Skip to comments.(Vanity) The Problem with Checks and Balances, or Three Wolves and The Sheep
Posted on 05/19/2013 8:59:32 PM PDT by grey_whiskers
One of the things which has so *maddened* conservatives during the oh-so-dolorous-and-slow Chinese water torture of the Obama administration, is the way that the Administration seems to be "above the law" or "unaccountable"; and at that, not only in a Nixonian sense, but in a Louis XIV sense ("L'état, c'est moi"). Look back at some of the initial scandals and/or muckraking topics from the first term, or from the campaign against Romney:
"They acted stupidly" / beer summit
The non-prosecution of the Black Panthers for voter intimidation
The brouhaha over the "birth certificate"
The non-closure of Club Gitmo
The run-up to Obamacare
President Obama's "middle finger on the cheek" during budget negotiations
The politicization of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting (complete with the Union-sponsored "together we thrive" t-shirts at a *memorial service*)
Elaborate vacations for the First Family at exotic locales all over the United States and all over the world, from Martha's Vineyard to luxury hotels in India
The appointment of rabid pro-abortion activists as head of powerful government agencies, without review "because of bird flu" (even though no such threat ever materialized in the real world)
The takeover of entire industries by government fiat, including seizure of bondholders' assets for distribution to union cronies
The shoveling of untold billions of *taxpayer* dollars in "green energy" grants to failing companies without economically viable products, which are -- by some strange coincidence -- affiliated with Democrat donors and/or cronies
The use of drone strikes and the assertion that the President can order the death of US citizens without trial
The stonewalling over Benghazi and the arrest of a "filmmaker"
The statement by Valerie Jarret that "we've been watching, and we will punish our enemies; we have two Court justices ready to go" etc. etc.
I'm sure the reader can think of others; but these are enough to get along with, for now.
First, they were *preludes* -- an indication, "for those who had ears to hear" -- of, if nothing else, a dangerous tendency towards megalomania, narcissism, and tone deafness of a sort which would make George Bush Sr. (Bush '41, of the supermarket scanner infamy, "message: I care", "wouldn't be...prudent") blush.
But more importantly, what it revealed was a glimpse at how official Washington works...or doesn't work. We FReepers, many older Americans, and a number of home-schooled children of the current generation, have all been taught the concept of checks and balances as an integral part of the American system: that is, the US government was *designed* to be slow, and cumbersome, and divided in powers and purpose, in order to forestall the egregious abuses of power, and to prevent the usurpation of natural-law rights, endowed by God but protected and secured by the Constitution and by a limited government. And so, for many years, the checks and balances have served their intended purpose: indeed, some of Obama's more recent statements of fatuous, petulant frustration ("I am not a King" and the like) have indicated his apparent chagrin at the wisdom of the Founders. (How much of this is due to his background in the Chicago political machine, how much to George Soros tinfoil hat conspiracy theories behind his election, and how much to his having spent his formative years, apparently the son of a British subject, growing up in Indonesia, remains to be seen.) But at the same time, whatever the cause, it seems that those power-brokers in the Democrat Party, and the back-benchers in DC in general, have found a way even to pervert the fabled checks and balances in order to suit their own goals.
Recall the old adage that "Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for dinner." Yes, it's true, democracy is subject to demagoguery, and for that reason, separated, limited government, a republic, elected by informed freemen from among their peers, works best. Unfortunately for us, that's no longer quite what we have. Most of the Senate are among the elite and feel neither kinship with the bulk of their
servants constituents, nor any fear (neither de facto nor de jure, as it turns out) of leaving their comfortable seating in the world's most exclusive club, to return to the wider world. The House, while not quite as rich, or elite, hope to secure their riches by means of their tenure in Washington, either by insider trading (somehow illegal to everyone else) or by parlaying their contacts into rich consultancy or lobbying positions in the Beltway, on the rare occasions in which they are defeated in their run for yet another successive term. The Supreme Court, which for a long time has held the reputation of being quiet, inscrutable, and devoted to a Diogenes-like search for legal truth, turns out to be a nest of partisan hacks, seemingly as concerned with their historical legacy as any President.
The upshot of all of this, as far as checks and balances are concerned, is that the ideological left has found a way to "reverse the polarity" of the checks and balances: instead of using the inertia of competing claims for power and prestige among the branches of government to keep overall government power in check, instead, the inertia within each branch is used in order to *forestall* that branch's checks upon a resurgent, expansionary executive. Congressional hearings? Well, OK, except that all the parliamentary tactics of the left are used to delay and defuse them.
The Courts? The Supreme Court saw the appointment of former attorneys FOR THE ADMINISTRATION -- by contrast, would the GOP have been able to get Ed Meese onto the Supreme Court? And Obamacare being passed, not by the usual backstabbing of Souter, but by ...John Roberts? Following a "whisper campaign" designed to sway his attitudes by threatening his historical legacy and legitimacy? (Shades of Clarence Thomas, only applied to someone already *on* the court.) Character assassination is alive and well among the left, as Sarah Palin found out.
In other words, instead of a democracy ("two wolves and a sheep") being replaced by a republic, the three branches now are *three* wolves, looking the other way at one another's flaws and encroachments upon our freedom, by everything from creative incompetence to providentially mistimed red tape (PURELY by coincidence we are given to understand), scheming together to feast on a dinner whose identity is becoming all too clear.
And as for the sheep...No, not us.
Who is supposed to be the vaunted guarantor of our liberties? Why, none other than the strikefifth column unofficial fourth branch of government?
That's right, the press.
Until a recent scandal in which the White House was found to have traced all phone calls of a group of AP reporters for months, and openly turned the IRS against ideological enemies (literally one of the items for which impeachment was sought for Richard Nixon), a more docile group of sheep was not to be found.
It remains to be seen, with the recent spate of scandals, whether any of the wolves will feel sufficiently betrayed, that they will break ranks with the pack, or challenge the current Alpha Dork for his leadership role within the feral, but bureaucratic, pack that is Washington.
"Peasant under glass" birdcage *PING*!
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[[One of the things which has so *maddened* conservatives during the oh-so-dolorous-and-slow Chinese water torture of the Obama administration, is the way that the Administration seems to be “above the law” or “unaccountable”; ]]
The maddening thing is the spinelessness of the GOP to take a strong enough stand agaisnt the tyranny to put a stop to it- The left can ONLY get away with it IF they are NEVER held accountable- which, as they’ve learned with dear leader, the GOP will Never hold them accoutnable
It’s possible that the GOP is so riddled with scandal itself that they can’t stand up to the left- as we saw when the GOP went after Bawney Fwank and his gay lvoer runnign a gay whore house out of Bawney’s place, bawney said somethign to them that stopped them in their tracks even though thewy had the goods on him and were set to brign charges agaisnt him-
My feelign is that the whole damn congress practically is so tainted with sin and corruption that noone can stand for truth, honesty, integrity and morality anymore- and we will likely see the GOP lsot their bid to hold de4ar leaderaccoutnable for his gross incompetence and nearly criminal actions
The Problem with Checks and Balances, or Three Wolves and The Sheep
Terrific post! You chose to post it late on a Sunday night. I would suggest that you repost it in the morning when there will be more FReepers online.
To get a bit closer to present times (for the benefit of the young skulls full of mush) I’d prefer to call this regime Castresque, Chavesque or Mugabesque.
So pointing out that Obama has word-for-word literally engaged in the same activity as Nixon cuts through ALL of the left's defensive BS on a visceral, emotional level.
Thank you so much for your essay, dear grey_whiskers!
the gop elite leadership are in with the democrats. that’s why they appear inept and act inept. they are excellent at appearing afraid, doing stupid things and not doing obvious things. too many on our side buy their act.
it’s all a freaking show.
Some are, some are not. They cannot be effective against the Democrats without media support. The MSM is pro-democrat, all the time.
The new media has some pro constitution and truth advocates such as freerepublic, but nothing like the power of the MSM.
People keep making the mistake that the GOP has power to hold the Democrats to account. Without media support, they do not have the power.
all of the gop elite leadership is in with the democrats. all of them.
Thank you for this post. It expresses my sentiments exactly.
I wonder so hard what on earth is going to happen to this country.
Protest Obamas IRS at your local IRS Office or Post Office at Noon, May 21.
Gadsden Flags are optional.
Protest Obamas IRS at your local IRS Office or Post Office at Noon, May 21.
Gadsden Flags are optional.
That's it. Everyone in D.C. is compromised. If they speak up, their careers and wallets go bust.
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