Wednesday, May 30, 2007

"If Only President Bush Would Obey the Congress"

Well, I took my own advice, and I clicked on the "next blog" tab and went on a wild little ride around the "blogosphere". One of the blogs I came across was a sincere, enigmatic little blog called "This Can Be Happening". It was very stimulating and interesting because I found myself disagreeing with the vast majority of what this lady said. But I didn’t dismiss her out of hand. Her earnest sincerity made me think, and when I think, I’m stimulated to write, and what I write is going to end up in the "pages" of this blog. So I put that blog in my list of favorites and it now resides over on the right sidebar. Check it out, and see if it doesn’t have a similar effect on you. Here’s a link:

Two things this lady regrets are (one), our inability to remove the president from office, and (two) the apparent Congressional reluctance to end the war in Iraq. She’s operating under the illusion that the President is morally and legally obligated to "obey Congress", and she also seems to think the vast majority of Americans are opposed to the war in Iraq. I think it’s very clear that most Americans are unhappy about the progress we’re making in Iraq. But I don’t think that necessarily translates into a mandate to end the war, even though the media is anxious to present it in exactly those terms. The vast majority of Americans would be unhappy with an actual military defeat in Iraq, which is precisely what a precipitous withdrawal would be.

Here’s a link to the first post to which I responded.
She quotes from a recent speech by Defense Secretary Robert Gates at the Naval Academy:
"As the founding fathers wisely understood, that the Congress and a free press, as with a nonpolitical military, assures a free country–a point underscored by a French observer writing about George Washington in 1782. He wrote ‘This is the seventh year that he has commanded the army and that he has obeyed the Congress. More need not be said.’"
And then she lamented: "If only President Bush would obey the Congress. If only the Congress would enact legislation to end the war..."

This was my response to that post:
In 1782 our country was still fighting for independence. George Washington was the Commander-in-Chief of the army by appointment of Congress. He obeyed Congress because he honored the chain of command. The Constitution hadn’t been written yet. The office of the President as we know it didn’t exist. President Bush in 2007 is Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces by virtue of the Constitution, which gives that power to the president. He has no Constitutional obligation to "obey the Congress." However, Congress has the power of the purse, and could simply de-fund the war, but they'd have to take responsibility for the ensuing political fall-out, and Congressional Democrats are too craven and cowardly to do that. Congress has the power to pass legislation, but it still has to cross the president’s desk for his signature before it becomes law. If he vetoes legislation, Congress would have to over-ride the veto with a 2/3 majority. I don’t see that happening.

In another post she says:
"So what to do now? The Founding Fathers seemed to assume that the checks and balances would, uh, check and, you know, balance. We sign petitions, we vote, we blog, we appeal to those who are in positions of so-called power. And we say, "Impeach." But nothing happens.I say let's amend the Constitution so that We the People can bring a citizen's article of impeachment the same way we can make a citizen's arrest. My partner believes there should be a provision whereby some action (such as a recall or a confidence vote) is triggered if the approval rating for the President falls below some percentage, say 25%. A recall of my vote wouldn't work since I didn't vote for him, but you get the idea."
It’s worth reading the whole thing. Here’s a link :

To which I responded:
The problem is you don’t have a large enough majority in Congress. Why not? Because people who share your opinion don’t constitute an overwhelming majority of the American people. A one-seat majority in the Senate is hardly a mandate. Neither is a 16 or 18-seat majority in the House. Any legislation passed by Congress has to cross the desk of the President and be signed by him before it becomes law, and to override a veto you need a 2/3 majority. So the people spoke out in November and voted for a change in leadership in Congress, not, as you say, to end the war. Democrats don’t have enough votes to make that happen. Committee chairmanships changed from Republicans to Democrats. Positions like Speaker of the House and Majority Leader changed hands. That’s all that happened.
You want public opinion polls to trigger a recall vote? American news media are overwhelmingly liberal left-leaning Democrats, about 90%. If you’re a Republican or a conservative looking for a job in the media, you better keep it to yourself, or you won’t get hired. They can’t possibly be anything but biased with a majority like that, and it taints everything they say about the war and about the President. The public opinion polls published in the media are suspect, because they don’t see the light of day if they don’t meet the requirements of the narrative the liberals are trying to push. And they consistently over-sample liberals and Democrats. Do Democrats and liberals outnumber Republicans and conservatives 2 to 1? They don’t, but let’s not let that get in the way of the agenda we’re trying to push. Public opinion polls are easily manipulated by the media. The Founding Fathers were wise to exclude them as a trigger for impeachment or recall.
In order for impeachment to take place there must be an actual crime committed by the President. The Constitution is quite clear on this; bribery, treason, high crimes and misdemeanors. Being inarticulate, mispronouncing "nuclear", and failure to "obey Congress" don’t qualify as impeachable offenses. So some people say "impeach", but other people like me say, "let’s have an actual crime committed first." The war in Iraq is neither illegal or immoral. Congress authorized the invasion. Do you remember that?

No comments: