mark their territory to establish their "turf." Politicians routinely and
arrogantly mark their constituents in much the same manner. When the framers
founded the Republic, they very judiciously established three branches
of government: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. Each branch was invested
with various duties and responsibilities. The job descriptions were very
precise. The primary reason the framers in their wisdom divided power,
was to provide a system of checks and balances, and sufficient oversight.
They understood that when any one entity acquired excessive power, the
potential for abuse of that power was almost axiomatic. A teacher once
told me "...the best form of government is an enlightened despot." Failing
such enlightenment, a constitutional republic has proven to be the best
form available ... when it works as designed. Time, inertia, and incrementalism,
however, has slowly but inexorably eroded the form and substance of what
the framers gave us. Abraham Lincoln created the precedent, F.D.R. became
the master of the benevolent bastardization of the Constitution, and virtually
every President since has exacerbated the corruption of both the form and
the substance. Much (but not enough) has been written about executive orders.
Abuse of power under the color of authority and executive orders are synonymous.
An executive order is a decree by fiat (just because). The fact that "every
president does it" does not make it right. Frankly, executive orders consistently
usurp the constitutional authority of the legislative branch. The fascinating
thing is that Congress permits the executive branch to continue to employ
such a devastating abuse of power. When President Clinton proposed the
Mexican bailout to Congress, Congress rejected it. What happened? No biggie.
"We don't need no stinking congressional approval!" was the response, as
the president gifted $60 billion to the monumentally corrupt 'families'
of Mexico by executive order. And Congress didn't do anything. When President
Clinton signed his so called "Federalism" executive order (13083) from
England, and effectively abrogated the 10th Amendment to the United States
Constitution (to which he swore an oath) what happened? At first, nothing
... then, largely because of the attention and focus of the Internet, talk
radio, and the resultant pressure brought to bare by p.o.-ed constituents,
there is a "time out" to rethink the matter. Notwithstanding the questionable,
and arguable authority for executive orders, Congress can (and should)
act on every single one. Routinely they don't. Congress still (for the
time being) has the authority to reject any executive order with a vote
in Congress. Procedurally, if they do nothing ... that lack of action is
assumed to provide assent. I submit that the executive order mechanism
should be abolished. No one branch of government, and certainly no one
man (or woman) should have the authority to rule by decree. Such a concept
is, in and of itself, anathema to what the framers intended. If an issue
is important enough to require an executive order, it should be important
enough to compel Congress to act. We have allowed far too much to "slip
through the cracks." Rules and regulations (created by and managed by non-elected
bureaucrats) have the effect of law. Congress is supposed to have the sole
authority to make law. A reasonable person would expect Congress, as well
as the executive and judicial branches, to jealously protect their turf.
Congress should be waging war over executive orders if only to protect
their constitutional mandate and protect their job descriptions. Likewise
the abuse of power by judicial activists to "make law" rather than interrupt
and implement it, should spark congressional disdain, and outrage. I recently
received an interesting note which I share with you here: I am an employee
of the postal service and on Friday 7/24/98 my supervisor gave a stand-up
talk to the employees in our office. The announcement made was from a memo
stating a new postage stamp will be released at the end of July honoring
breast cancer research. The stamp shows no denomination but acts as a first
class postage stamp worth $0.32. The stamp will be sold for $0.40 and the
eight cent profit will be split between the Department of Defense Medical
Research Program and the National Institute for Health. My question is
"What type of breast cancer research is the DOD involved in and why?" My
supervisor could not understand why I would care because it is such a pretty
stamp and for a good cause. Several things struck me about the above: First,
a $0.32 stamp should sell for $0.32. By what act of Congress is the U.S.
Postal Service now collecting taxes for vertically targeted government
agencies? How is the Department of Defense involved in breast cancer research,
and HELL-O!, w h y? This is yet another example of what apparently has
become institutionalized: abuse of power under the color of authority.
But hey, the stamp is pretty, and for such a good cause -- so what? When
Patrick Henry was confronted with an outrageous abuse of power he asked,
"What is it that Gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear,
or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?
Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as
for me, GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH!" When the above-mentioned postal
supervisor was queried about an outrageous abuse of power, his response
was "why care? it is such a pretty stamp and for such a good cause."