The U.S. Constitution plainly states that only “the People of the several states” can elect representatives to the Congress of the United States. Despite this undeniable restriction, the U.S. Senate has voted to give the District of Columbia a vote in the House of Representatives. According to a story in the Washington Post “The House is expected to approve the D.C. vote bill next week, and President[sic] Obama has indicated he will sign it into law. ” Thus in the near future we will witness the unique spectacle of a Federal bill signing ceremony in which an individual exercising Constitutionally questionable authority as President of the United States will purport to sign into law a bill that unquestionably violates the Constitution. Unlike some other historic “firsts” daily held up for our obeisance in connection with the present occupant of the White House, this one undoubtedly deserves great attention.
As Senator Mitch McConnell (Ky.) has pointed out the President, and any members of Congress who vote for the bill in question, certainly know that the it is unconstitutional. McConnell fails to note however that their willful disregard for that fact places each and every one of them incontestably in violation of their sworn oath to uphold, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
By now most reasonably well informed citizens of this country are aware that Barack Obama has refused to release documents needed to establish the fact that he satisfies another clear and explicit Constitutional requirement, to wit, that “No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President”. Acting in defense of the Supreme Law of the Land citizens, now including military people conscientiously seeking to be faithful to their oaths, are by legal means pursuing such evidence.
So far the judges have arbitrarily denied any and all such plaintiffs a just hearing in the Courts. The media has subjected them to ridicule and vilification. They have been slandered as insane and somehow extremist in their views. Yet their only goal is to assure that the expression of sovereign will which is the basis for the legitimate authority of the U.S. government, our Constitution, is not treated with contempt; that the agreement as to the form of government which has been the acknowledged mainstay of the peace and unity of our polity is not cast aside; and that Americans loyal to the Constitution and its principles do not face the awful choice of either abandoning liberty for their children and their grandchildren or coming face to face with the grievous prospect of civil war.
Despite unfair and slanderous attacks, people concerned with the eligibility issue have persistently warned that the willingness simply and openly to disregard the Constitution in one instance is likely to lead to further abuses, until in the end it has been shredded beyond recognition or repair.
It’s not hard to recognize the Obama faction’s latest contemptuous disregard for Constitutional procedures as convincing new evidence that their warning is fully justified. If the legislative power of Congress over the District of Columbia somehow includes the unconstitutional power to assign it a vote in the Congress, what of the other places over which it has similar authority, such as the sites of “Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful buildings.” (Article I, Section 8) or other places (e.g., Guam or Puerto Rico, or the extensive public lands within the boundaries of some of our western States) that qualify as the “Territory or other Property belonging to the United States (Article IV, Section 3). Can Congress, by factional majority vote, grant voting representation to whatever entities it may by law create out of such jurisdictions?
I realize that any such Congressional actions would fly in the face of our whole history as a nation. I know that epochs in some of its greatest controversies were marked by legislation (the Missouri Compromise, the Great Compromise of 1850) whose history and existence prove that no such power was ever imagined to be in the hands of a factional Congressional majority, until now. But if the unconstitutional exercise of this power passes with no more than a casual bleat of protest, what warrants the expectation that it will not be used as a precedent for actions that would permit a majority faction to pack the Congress as President Franklin Roosevelt once sought to pack the Supreme Court, engineering permanent and dictatorial control of the legislative power?
I wish we could live in the certain hope that the Supreme Court will weigh in against this patently unconstitutional act. But even if it does, a majority arrogant enough to disregard both the Constitution and the weight of our whole history may well believe that the fervent personality cult they seem to rely on for their impunity in this case will secure them from opposition in any event. The arrogance of despotic power rarely comes on all at once. By seemingly small usurpations it accustoms people to accept the abuse of power until, encouraged to bolder action, it can eventually be stopped only by major confrontation fraught with the possibility of civil conflict.
Have we and all our leaders become such strangers to commons sense and civic duty that we will only move to act when things have reached such a dire extremity? Where is the wisdom, where is the prudence, where is the sane concern for civil peace in such inaction? Statesmanship acts from foresight, in good time, by proper and effective political means. But, the American Founders foresaw that “enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm.”
In that event, people with courage and common sense must make up for the defect of statesmanship. They must organize and communicate their firm opposition to the politicians who are contemptuously engineering the end of Constitutional government in our land. If the privileges of statehood are to be granted to the people of the District of Columbia, the U.S. Constitution makes it plain that it is for the states to decide, by Constitutional amendment.
The state legislators now promoting the re-invigoration of respect for the 10th Amendment ought to recognize the Obama faction’s latest act of usurpation as a step intended to subvert their good efforts just as they begin. I pray they have the vision to see what is at stake and respond accordingly.
Worth considering? Then don’t forget to DIGG IT!!!!