What to do about the alleged unconstitutional and unlawful actions of President Barack Obama?
Some have proposed marches. Others hearings. Some have demanded the president’s resignation. Some have called for impeachment, even though a Democrat-controlled Senate would be unlikely to oust their party’s leader.
Polls show Americans of all parties are upset with the direction of the country, but what can they actually do to make a difference?
Retired Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely, as chairman of Stand Up America, has been at the forefront of many of these rallying cries, encouraging Americans to take action in a number of ways.
But now the former deputy commanding general of the U.S. Army in the Pacific has settled upon a battle plan he believes could actually work: a House-led, parliamentary style vote of “no confidence” in Obama’s administration.
“I have already achieved a level of ‘no confidence’ in Obama as a leader, but now I urge you to examine this concept,” Vallely wrote in an email to supporters obtained by WND. “If you agree with me that all confidence is lost, I urge you to then ask yourself what is in the realm of the possible. I implore you to push aside the urge to try and fix everything in one fell swoop.
“Now is the time for something a dear friend calls ‘conviction without eviction,’ an end that can be brought on through a vote of no confidence, locally, statewide and nationally,” Vallely claims. “This is just a first step in what can only be repaired over time, but it is achievable in the short term and starts to remove Obama’s ability to continue his ruinous ways now.”
In a blog post on the battle plan posted Dec. 15, the general explained he already has a man on the ground in Washington working to make it happen.
Vallely quotes “a prominent Washington, D.C., insider with whom Stand Up America is coordinating –and who prefers to remain under the radar for the moment while conferring with potential House co-sponsors on both the basic rationale and the detailed content of such a House Resolution of no confidence” as offering the following justification for this novel course of action:
“First, in most of the world’s so-called ‘democracies’ – actually, multi-party constitutional republics – a formal vote of ‘no confidence’ by the Lower House suspends or greatly limits the governing authority of the party in power and, in a ‘recall’ of sorts, mandates new elections within 30-60 days,” the insider reportedly reasons. “Although we have no such instrument in our Constitution or in existing law, there is nothing to prevent its use as a comprehensive de facto indictment and conviction for contempt of Congress, violations of oath of office and of the Constitution itself – for all of the reasons stated in such a resolution.
“Second,” he reasons, “it would be much easier to cosponsor [than impeachment articles], to be formally adopted by the House and to achieve what might be called Obama’s ‘conviction without eviction’ – in which wholesale repudiation by the House, loss of control of the Senate and a substantial diminution of power and influence during his remaining time in office would be the penalties.
“We know there is no legal standing in a vote of ‘no confidence’ that would come of this act, but at least one thing will certainly occur: We take back the power of discourse,” the insider contends. “What do we do? We conduct a national ‘vote of no confidence.’”
“We cannot possibly believe that impeachment is attainable, and we know he will never resign,” Vallely adds, “but at least we can show other leaders the way; show our collective voices that we have no confidence in [Obama].”
Vellely contends the vote also would defuse some of the partisan finger-pointing that infects not only D.C. but the entire country.
“You are not calling anyone names, or labeling others. You are not trying to encapsulate each and every event,” he explains. “Rather, what you are doing is telling the world that ‘I have no confidence in him or his team anymore.’ They cannot take that away from you or attack you for it.
“A vote of ‘no confidence,’ albeit symbolic, at least focuses the discussion on something you can own as I own. This ownership is in your opinion; one based in fact and close analysis, not in emotion, ‘talking points’ or ulterior motives,” Vallely continued. “If asked or challenged tomorrow by his supporters that my lack of confidence is a political ploy, I will say, ‘No, I own my conclusions, I own my opinions and I have a deep sense of no confidence in Obama.’
“The House of Representatives must follow our lead and take up a resolution of no confidence,” the general contends.
Among other examples they cite as evidence of disregard for law and the Constitution are the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, and the 15 or more times Obama has changed the law – without consulting Congress.
“What else is our nation to do now that the rule of law has effectively been thrown out the window by the Obama administration?” Vallely asks. “How are we to trust our government anymore, now that lying and fraud are acceptable practices?”
Vallely listed a sampling of Obama’s broken promises and lies, crediting Peter Wehner at Commentary Magazine:
- His promise not to allow lobbyists to work in his administration. (They have.)
- His commitment to slash earmarks. (He didn’t.)
- To be the most transparent presidency in history. (He’s not.)
- To put an end to “phony accounting.” (It started almost on Day 1 and continues.)
- And to restore trust in government. (Trust in government is at near-historic lows.)
- His pledge to seek public financing in the general election. (He didn’t.)
- To treat super-PACS as a “threat to democracy.” (He embraced them.)
- His pledge to keep unemployment from rising above 8 percent. (It remained above 8 percent for the longest stretch since the Great Depression.)
- To create five million new energy jobs alone. (The total number of jobs created in Obama’s first term was roughly one-tenth that figure.)
- To identify all those “shovel-ready’ jobs. (Mr. Obama later chuckled that his much-hyped “shovel-ready projects” were “not as shovel-ready as we expected.”)
- To lift two million Americans from poverty. (A record 46 million Americans are living in poverty during the Obama era.)
- His promise to bring down health care premiums by $2,500 for the typical family (they went up) … allow Americans to keep the health care coverage they currently have (many can’t) … refuse to fund abortion via the Affordable Care Act (it did) … to respect religious liberties (he has violated them) … and the insistent that a mandate to buy insurance, enforced by financial penalties, was not a tax (it is).
- Obama’s pledge to stop the rise of oceans. (It hasn’t.)
- To “remake the world” and to “heal the planet.” (Hardly.)
- To usher in a “new beginning” based on “mutual respect” with the Arab and Islamic world and “help answer the call for a new dawn in the Middle East.” (Come again?)
- To punish Syria if it crossed the “red line” of using chemical weapons. (The “red line” was crossed earlier this year – and nothing of consequence happened.)
- That as president “I don’t bluff.” (See the previous sentence on Syria.)
- And of course the much-ballyhooed Russian reset. (Tensions between Russia and the United States are increasing and examples of Russia undermining U.S. interests are multiplying.)
- And let’s not forget Mr. Obama’s promise to bring us together. (He is the most polarizing president in the history of the Gallup polling.)
- Or his assurance to us that he would put an end to the type of politics that “breeds division and conflict and cynicism.” (All three have increased during the Obama presidency.)
- And his counsel to us to “resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.” (Remind me again whose campaign allies accused Mitt Romney of being responsible for the cancer death of a steelworker’s wife.)
“It is time to recall the reprobates and reclaim the power of the people,” Vallely said. “We need to start with the White House and all of Obama’s appointees, especially Eric Holder. … Then on to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi – the architects who shoved Obamacare down our throats. We also cannot forget John Boehner and company who openly castigate the tea-party caucus, which are only doing that which they campaigned upon.”
Congress already is addressing charges that Obama is violating the Constitution.
WND reported when Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., said Obama’s actions have reached “an unprecedented level, and we’ve got to do something about it.
"Assume that a statute said you had to provide two forms of ID to vote. Can the president require three forms? Can the president require one form? Can you suspend all requirements? If not, why not?" he said. "If you can turn off certain categories of law, do you not also have the power to turn off all categories of law?"
Gowdy cited Obama's decisions to ignore certain immigration laws, even though Congress did not approve the changes. He also cited arbitrary changes to the Obamacare law and Obama's "recess appointments" of judges even though the U.S. Senate was not in recess.
His proposal is for Congress to take the White House to court over the president's actions, through a resolution proposed by Rep. Tom Rice, R-S.C., that would authorize the House to sue the Obama administration. It has 30 co-sponsors.
Rice said that because of "this disregard of our country's checks and balances, many of you have asked me to bring legal action against the president."
"After carefully researching the standing the House of Representatives has and what action we can take, I have introduced a resolution to stop the president's clear overreach," he said.
A Fox News interviewer asked Gowdy if Obama could refuse to enforce election laws.
"Why not?" asked Gowdy, "If you can turn off immigration laws, if you can turn off the mandatory minimum in our drug statutes, if you can turn off the so-called Affordable Care Act – why not election laws?"
Gowdy noted that a liberal law professor, Jonathan Turley, agrees.
WND reported Turley's concerns in December.
Turley has represented members of Congress in a lawsuit over the Libyan war, represented workers at the secret Area 51 military base and served as counsel on national security cases. He now says Obama is a danger to the U.S. Constitution.
He was addressing a House Judiciary Committee hearing Dec. 4. Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., asked him: "Professor Turley, the Constitution, the system of separated powers is not simply about stopping one branch of government from usurping another. It's about protecting the liberty of Americans from the dangers of concentrated government power. How does the president's unilateral modification of act[s] of Congress affect both the balance of power between the political branches and the liberty interests of the American people?"
Turley replied: "Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The danger is quite severe. The problem with what the president is doing is that he's not simply posing a danger to the constitutional system. He's becoming the very danger the Constitution was designed to avoid. That is the concentration of power."
Turley explained that the "Newtonian orbit that the three branches exist in is a delicate one but it is designed to prevent this type of concentration."
"There are two trends going on which should be of equal concern to all members of Congress," he said. "One is that we have had the radical expansion of presidential powers under both President Bush and President Obama. We have what many once called an imperial presidency model of largely unchecked authority. And with that trend we also have the continued rise of this fourth branch. We have agencies that are quite large that issue regulations. The Supreme Court said recently that agencies could actually define their own or interpret their own jurisdiction."
Turley was appointed in 1998 to the prestigious Shapiro Chair for Public Interest at Georgetown. He has handled a wide range of precedent-setting and headline-making cases, including the successful defense of Petty Officer Daniel King, who faced the death penalty for alleged spying for Russia.
Turley also has served as the legal expert in the review of polygamy laws in the British Columbia Supreme Court. He's been a consultant on homeland security, and his articles appear regularly in national publications such as the New York Times and USA Today.
WND reported that it was at the same hearing that Michael Cannon, director of Health Policy Studies for the Cato Institute, said there is "one last thing to which the people can resort if the government does not respect the restraints that the Constitution places of the government."
"Abraham Lincoln talked about our right to alter our government or our revolutionary right to overthrow it," he said.
"That is certainly something that no one wants to contemplate. If the people come to believe that the government is no longer constrained by the laws, then they will conclude that neither are they."
Cannon said it is "very dangerous" for the president to "wantonly ignore the laws, to try to impose obligations upon people that the legislature did not approve."
Several members of Congress also contributed their opinions in an interview with talk-show host Sean Hannity.
See the Hannity segment:
Vallely explained that a "no confidence" vote now "would also tell the world that we recognize the mess this administration has wrought upon the world and we do not support his actions. Despite what supporters of Obama say about our standing in the world, the world is laughing at us. We are not pleased!"
Without that action, he writes, "Obama will just continue to subvert the Constitution he took an oath to faithfully protect."