Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Reining in the Imperial Presidency

My congressman.


Here's a noble - but ultimately doomed - cause. Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina seeks to limit the president's power to launch wars. Citing the lies that led to the disastrous invasion of Iraq, Jones seeks support for a resolution that restores the right of Congress, and only Congress, to declare war.
Think this doesn't affect you? This isn't a debate about legal minutiae, nor is it just about foreign policy. Bruce Fein, an expert in constitutional law, explains how the Chief Executive has mutated into a direct threat against Americans' lives and liberties:
His sights zeroed in on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the passage of which last year laid out provisions for the military detention of Americans on U.S. soil in counter-terrorism operations. “(It) empowers the President to detain any American citizen, on his say-so alone, if you provide substantial assistance to an associated force of a terrorist group,” noting that the government hasn’t even tried to define “substantial assistance” or associated force” when pressed. “That shows you the breadth of the authority that’s authorized by the NDAA — that’s a migration from the war powers usurpation,” Fein insisted, offering other examples of extreme overreach, like spying on Americans without warrant, and the unilateral decision to target individuals — even Americans — with Predator drone strikes.
Sadly, Jones has little support for his resolution, reflecting a lack of interest in a topic most people don't think affects them. Inevitably, an unchecked Chief Executive will use his (or her, if Hillary's grand ambitions come true) power to silence domestic opponents. It's only human nature. Why do I say Jones's cause is doomed? Because the abuse of executive authority isn't an anomaly, nor is it due to the failings of a few individuals. It's a natural outgrowth of an oversized central government. The imperial ruling elite won't be stopped by a toothless resolution, even if Jones managed to get it passed. The only answer is secession. Period.


  1. You and Walter Jones are heroes of mine but you aren't going to change America. America is addicted to its own BS. It is also hopelessly addicted to War, Welfare, and Entertainment. Our domestic policy is best represented by food stamps. Our foreign policy is represented in nearly 1000 troop locations; a spin-off of Cargo Christianity that I call Cargo Diplomacy. As long as we pump cargo into a place, they let us house our troops there. Every Christian missionary knows that cargo from home brings in converts. It doesn't seem to be working well in Afghanistan or Pakistan. Bush put a surge of troops in. Obama will put a surge of foreign aid in. Same old, same old.

    All my good lines come from movies.
    Keep trekkin'. Mad Max, Beyond Thunderdome.
    Endeavor to Persevere. The Outlaw Josie Wales.

    I'm off to the Idaho healing hot pools. With a small miracle I will be in Tarboro on October 3 instead of here watching the traffic jam for the great Presidential Debate. Haven't had a good tie-up since the First Lady (gag) visited the hospital down the street.

    A big miracle would be if they invited you and me to participate in it. I'll drink to that.

    1. Our domestic policy is best represented by food stamps. Our foreign policy is represented in nearly 1000 troop locations


      Hope you make it and let me know, please.

    2. Intent rules all. I have the requisite intent. If my lady driver is willing to drive another 2252 miles from Idaho, I will be there. You don't put any Texas barbecue sauce on that pig to ruin it do you? I lie awake at night and dream of Carolina barbecue and Nags Head bluefish. Sign of "Low T" but I'll get another shot before I leave Aurora.

    3. Eastern NC sauce, there is no other.:)

  2. While it is true that there is little chance for success, I salute Congressman Jones. Although it was written for a different context, its sentiment applies "Do not go gentle into that good night, ... Rage, rage against the dying of the light." So to Congressman Jones and all the others who support him, thank you.

    1. So to Congressman Jones and all the others who support him, thank you.'

      'Well said, Sir.