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February 27, 2009

Discarding Checks and Balances

Joe Charlebois

Our society was founded on the principles of individual rights, responsibility and freedom. What our Founders envisioned would occur, if government was left unchecked, has come to pass.


With the election of possibly the greatest anti-capitalist to ever run for national office – in the person of Barack Obama – there needs to be greater checks to balance a potential runaway freight train called Congress.


The three separate branches of government have started to meld after all of this time. Courts throughout the United States are overturning state-wide referendums on issues such as private property rights (eminent domain), gay marriage and issues regarding illegal immigration, in essence creating legislation without any law being passed (e.g., Roe v. Wade).


The Executive Branch, for example, has evolved in its right to make war through the War Powers Act without ever having to officially declare it. The ability to declare war still resides with the House of Representatives, although that has become an afterthought.


President Obama has picked up where former President George W. Bush left off – authorizing an additional 17,000 troops to the truly dangerous region in the continued War on Terror without a declaration of war. Understandably for both leaders the issue is who do you declare war on? But either way, that is for Congress to address.


The Senate of the United States has usurped the constitutional power of "Advise and Consent" and uses confirmation hearings, not in an advisory role, (but) rather as a political foil to undermine the president's authority to appoint justices and department heads on political grounds solely.


These breaches in the checks and balance system have weakened our country in a way that may have been foreseen but not hoped for by our Founders.


The calls for bi-partisanship from those on the left smack of blatant political posturing and – dare I say – totalitarianism!


Why would I speak of our country in that way?


How else would one describe a government that has press secretaries, members of Congress, and like-minded members of the press chastising the party out of power for asking for debate or criticizing dissent?


This may be politics, but it is not American to stifle debate in the halls of Congress.


Currently one party controls the Executive and Legislative Branches of government in numbers too great for the minority to object. This Democrat Party has written legislation that will forever shape this country's future. It did nothing to encourage debate and pushed through legislation prior to a deliberate and thorough review?


The Senate of the United States has been coined "The World's Greatest Deliberative Body." How can this be if the minority party has had no input into the construction of bills in the first month of the new administration?


This is no longer the great deliberative body.


Random House defines deliberative as "carefully weighed or considered; studied; intentional. Characterized by deliberation; careful or slow in deciding."


The Senate did not carefully weigh or consider the legislative package; it did not have an opportunity to study the bill; and, with the minority Republicans on the outside looking in, the bill was rushed to the desk of President Obama prior to one member of Congress actually having read the entire bill.


What the House and Senate Democrats have done is take this opportunity of crisis to nullify the votes cast for the Republican Party this past election.


For the next two years there will essentially be no checks, no balances, just an ever increasing burden on the American taxpayer and his great-grandchildren.


Our Founding Fathers could never have envisioned this.


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