AUGUST 17, 1998
Words Have Meaning
© 1998

Everyone who was upset by the president's Executive Order 13083 on federalism has been prematurely excited by the reported "suspension." Before we all throw our shoulders out of place patting ourselves on the back over the presumed revocation of Executive Order 13083, remember, the devil is in the details, and the battle isn't over -- yet. Words have meaning. There are more questions than answers regarding the "suspension" of Clinton's 10th Amendment-killing executive order. Here's some background: When President Reagan issued his Executive Order 12612, it reasserted and strengthened the power of the states to deal with federal bureaucracy run amok. Clinton's insidious EO 13083, which he tried to sneak in while in Birmingham, England, states "Executive Order 12612 of October 26, 1987, and Executive order 12875 of October 26, 1993 are revoked." Words have meaning. Clinton's EO 13095 (which was the result of unbridled anger of state organizations, governors, talk radio and reporting on the Internet -- specifically WorldNetDaily) "suspends" the previous insult of E.O. 13083, but does not "unrevoke" Reagan's effort to strengthen the states. Words have meaning. The "suspension" order did not kill the previous contentious order, and it is not a "do over," but rather a "time out." T.S. Eliot once wrote: "There will be time, there will be time To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet; There will be time to murder and create, And time for all the works and days of hands That lift and drop a question on your plate; Time for you and time for me, And time yet for a hundred indecisions And for a hundred visions and revisions." He went on to note in his poem Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock: "In a minute there is time For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse." Eliot was only in his mid-20s when he wrote those words, which could have, or have been incorporated into the Bill Clinton Standing Operating Procedures manual. The Bill of Rights is under assault by semantics sleazebags who use time like both a scalpel and bludgeon. The same administration which calls taxes "investments," and reportedly is attempting to create new definitions and distinctions for various sexual activity, has "suspended" but not revoked a clearly unconstitutional executive order. Words have meaning. The dictionary definition (not the president's definition) of "suspended" is "temporarily debarred, inactive, inoperative, held in abeyance." "Revoke" however means (according to the dictionary) "reverse, repeal, rescind, recall." Clinton's actions have not rescinded his previous evil deed. The President has again embraced his standing operating procedure of delay, stall, stonewall, and obfuscate. Words have meaning, and the devil is always in the details of what is and is not said. Congress has introduced two bills to deal with the perfidy of the executive branch. HCON 229 IH is supposed to express the "sense of Congress," and HR 4196 IH by Bob Barr, in my opinion, does the job. Not surprisingly, the shorter is better. The most important and significant sentence in the Barr bill (HR 4196 IH ) states "LATER ORDER OF NO FORCE OR EFFECT -- Executive Order 13083, issued May 14, 1998, shall have no force or effect." The very mechanism of the executive order, and presidential decision directives are issues which have attracted attention and derision from both talk radio and the Internet. However, (and this is a routine annoyance and frustration) Congress has the ability, but not the will to prevent the executive branch from "making law." Congress can, and should vote to reject any and all executive orders which presume to make law. The framers specifically established three branches of government: Executive; Legislative; and the Judiciary. It is the job function of the Legislative branch to make law. Frankly, Congress should rebel against executive orders for territorial imperatives, regardless of petty partisan concerns or agendas. If Congress is prepared to hand over their legislative function to the Executive and Judicial branches, they are accepting pay under false pretenses. Do not be lulled into a false sense of confidence by the "suspension" of E.O. 13803. Urge your congresscritters to support the Bob Barr bill HR 4196 IH to revoke fully E.O. 13803 so that it "shall have no force or effect." Otherwise heed the words of Eliot, and remember: "In a minute there is time For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse."