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From the Track

When is Enough Enough?

Kip Hamilton

(7/2012) This column was started over a year ago with the intention of generating some thought about our Constitution and the role it played in the founding of this Republic. We have talked about how the 13 original nation states came together for their mutual protection. We’ve talked about the limited role the founders envisioned the federal government’s playing in the lives of its citizens. We’ve talked about the importance of the concept of Liberty and what that means to us as citizens of this Republic, not this Democracy. We have tried to raise the reader’s awareness and understanding of how "things" are supposed to be.

With the current administration there have seemed to be regular assaults on our freedoms…almost to the level that these attacks appear to be orchestrated to wear us down to the point that we are so tired of hearing about them that we just tune them out, from exhaustion if nothing else. But with the President’s declaration this week that his government would be granting work visas to a certain segment of the illegal alien population in direct opposition to the will of We the People as demonstrated in the December 2010 defeat of the DREAM Act which contained this provision, we have reached an extremely dangerous place. Our sitting president has made the personal decision to negate a portion of the United States’ Criminal Code because he disagrees with it….again

This is wrong on so many levels… Our government was established with three separate, but co-equal branches: the Executive, the Legislative and the Judicial. Each of them is intended to have the same weight as the others and this was designed so that each branch could provide a check on the others to prevent exactly what we are seeing today; one of the branches (in this case the Executive) usurping power and dominating the others.

As inconvenient as it must be to this administration, our Constitution stipulates how our government is supposed to function. It calls for the president to function as the chief executive of the government and the administrative head of the Executive branch and spells out the duties of the office. Article II, Section 3 mandates that the president "shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed." Meaning, of course, ALL laws are followed, not just the ones he likes. He tried to get the DREAM Act passed through Congress, but they rejected it. Not satisfied with that result, he essentially decreed this new immigration dictate by executive fiat. His explanation? It was the "right" thing to do. Some might think that may very well be the case, but what he did is demonstratively illegal. And this is certainly not the first time that he has violated his oath of office.

The Presidential oath is pretty clear: ""I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Instead of living up to that oath, President Obama has actively attempted to subvert, ignore, and completely destroy large parts of the Constitution. It seems the President of the United States is well aware of what he is doing, and it is absolutely intentional. In addition to disregarding the Constitution, he has now begun to perform executive "end runs" around Congress, the duly-elected representatives of the People. The president is an administrator, not a legislator; he cannot make laws. That is the duty of the Congress. By directing that immigration law be ignored, he is essentially creating a new law. He does NOT have the authority to do this.

This is a very disturbing development because just as recently as September 28, 2011, Mr. Obama explained that he must follow the laws at a White House meeting: "…I just have to continue to say this notion that somehow I can just change the laws unilaterally is just not true. We are doing everything we can administratively. But the fact of the matter is there are laws on the books that I have to enforce."

So, by his own words, he realized nine months ago that there were Constitutional limitations on his power. What has changed between then and now? I think then he felt secure of his re-election. Obviously now, with his political support crumbling around him, he feels it necessary to pander to the Latino vote by this blatantly politically motivated decision.

When you add this to the extra-Constitutional czars, the healthcare debacle, the Justice department’s attack on the sovereign state of Arizona, the committing of US troops to a war in Libya based on UN approval rather than Congressional approval, his unilateral rejection of the Defense of Marriage Act, his illegal non-recess recess appointments, his list of impeachable offenses becomes longer and longer.

Some contend that among these high crimes and misdemeanors is the intentional violation of the oath of office administered to the President and all other federal officials. In fact, federal law at 5 U.S.C. 7311 specifically provides that violation of the oath of office includes advocating the overthrowing of our constitutional form of government. This is specifically declared a criminal offense in 18 U.S.C. 1918 and is punishable by both a fine and imprisonment. President Obama, Eric Holder, and numerous other members of his administration have gone beyond just advocating the overthrow of our constitutional form of government. They are actually engaged in making it happen, and as a result should be impeached and convicted.

Will there be an impeachment and conviction in the current Congress? Probably not, since it takes a two thirds vote in the House of Representatives to impeach, and a two thirds vote in the Senate to convict. With Harry Reid and the progressives still in control of the Senate, and many of them guilty of some of the same impeachable offenses, they will resist it and it is unlikely that anything will happen at all.

Does that mean it should not happen? Of course not. We still live in a Constitutional Republic (or what’s left of it) and as citizens we still have a voice in how our government is run….don’t we?

Read other articles by Kip Hamilton