President Clinton is guilty of many crimes of office, but none more
blatant, more audacious nor egregious than one he openly brags about.
There’s no need for congressional hearings or an independent counsel or
even an investigative news report to prove this one. The Clinton
administration has consistently boasted that it has ignored the Constitution
with regard to this abuse of power, does so today and will continue to do so
right up until the day the president leaves office next year.
I’m talking about Clinton’s brazen use of executive orders, memoranda,
proclamations, regulations and other forms of legislating and policymaking
and statements that these actions are a direct challenge to Congress, which,
under the Constitution, has sole authority to legislate.
Even more insulting to our system of government is Clinton’s pattern of
making such pronouncements right around Independence Day.
The New York Times published a
story last week quoting administration officials as saying the White House will continue drafting and carrying out initiatives with or without Congress right up until Clinton’s last day in office.
Among the action items on Clinton’s agenda, according to the story, are: Placing more federal land off-limits to development, reorganizing government agencies, tightening pollution rules and “pushing other measures that would stand little chance of congressional passage.”
“This president will be signing executive orders right up until the morning of Jan. 20, 2001,” said Bruce Reid, the president’s domestic policy adviser. “In our experience, when the administration takes executive action, it not only leads to results while the political process is stuck in neutral, but it often spurs Congress to follow suit.”
Clinton has signed an average of one executive order or other policy-making declaration a week, or 450 in all in the last seven-plus years, according to the Office of Management and Budget.
It was Independence Day in 1998 when Clinton aide Paul Begala first went public with this illegal Clinton administration political strategy. Remember that one?
“Stroke of the pen. Law of the land. Kinda cool.” It was this column that brought that otherwise obscure quotation to prominence — at least in the informed world of the Internet community.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Clinton officials make this point around the Fourth of July. I think it’s intentional. It’s the kind of in-your-face, law-breaking recklessness that illustrates why Clinton and his gang are would-be tyrants.
You see, the trouble with the way Clinton uses executive orders is that they violate the Constitution. It’s not even a close call, because Clinton comes right out and admits he is issuing them to bypass Congress.
“All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives,” says Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution. To that, the Clinton administration replies, “Stroke of the pen. Law of the Land. Kinda cool.”
I don’t know about you or Congress, but I don’t think there’s anything cool about totalitarianism. Evidently Clinton, Begala, Reid and company disagree. Imagine how impressed they would be with Hitler or Mussolini. They must have been really cool dudes, huh?
The greatest fears of the Founding Fathers was the establishment of a strong central government and an ambitious, power-hungry political leader at the center of that government. They had had their fill of kings and dictators. They believed the best assurance against centralized authority was a loose association of sovereign states, which maintained most governmental power at the local level.
How far we’ve come from the days of statesmen like James Madison, who believed “That all power is originally vested in, and consequently derived from, the people. That government is instituted and ought to be exercised for the benefit of the people; which consists in the enjoyment of life and liberty and the right of acquiring property, and generally of pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety. That the people have an indubitable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to reform or change their government whenever it be found adverse or inadequate to the purpose of its institution.”
Note that Madison said “the people” — not the government — have a right to change their government.
Bill Clinton has taken on this mission as his own God-given responsibility. He is acting like a strongman, an ayatollah, a czar, a potentate, a fuehrer.
And Congress sits by and watches.