Patterico's Pontifications

7/29/2014

Obama Plans to Violate Constitution With Massive Issuance of Work Permits

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:44 am

Sounds like legislation? Sure! But who’s going to do anything about it?

Even as they grapple with an immigration crisis at the border, White House officials are making plans to act before November’s mid-term elections to grant work permits to potentially millions of immigrants who are in this country illegally, allowing them to stay in the United States without threat of deportation, according to advocates and lawmakers in touch with the administration.

Such a large-scale move on immigration could scramble election-year politics and lead some conservative Republicans to push for impeachment proceedings against President Barack Obama, a prospect White House officials have openly discussed.

Yet there’s little sign that the urgent humanitarian situation in South Texas, where unaccompanied minors have been showing up by the tens of thousands from Central America, has impeded Obama from making plans to address some portion of the 11.5 million immigrants now in this country illegally. Obama announced late last month that congressional efforts to remake the nation’s dysfunctional immigration system were dead and he would proceed on his own authority to fix the system where he could.

I think we’re at the point where Obama is actively doing things he knows he has no power to do — because he wants Republicans to mount an effort to impeach him. That would be a political winner, since Americans are generally rationally ignorant of constitutional processes, and impeachment polls badly as a result. They don’t really care whether Obama exceeds his lawful authority if they like what he’s doing, and they see impeachment, not as a necessary Constitutional corrective, but as an irritation brought about by those stupid politicians who can’t get along. And Big Media tells us that when the two sides don’t get along, it’s usually the Republicans’ fault, and who are we to argue?

We get the government we deserve. The idea that the Constitution restrains the branches is pretty much dead; its provisions don’t matter when the public is unwilling to back the side whose territory is being infringed.

Andrew Jackson is famous for saying: “John Marshall has made his decision. Now let him enforce it.” Well, Barack Obama is saying: “Congress may have the ability to rein me in. Let’s see them do it.”

They won’t. And there goes the system of checks and balances. And what will the public do about it?

Nothing.

And that’s the problem.

UPDATE: Thanks very much to Allahpundit for including this post in the famed “Quotes of the Day” post at Hot Air. It’s an honor.

80 Responses to “Obama Plans to Violate Constitution With Massive Issuance of Work Permits”

  1. Hey, you can’t have a left-wing utopia in the Western Hemisphere without a little bit of Castro.

    JVW (feb406)

  2. Yes, the gift that keeps giving

    OR

    “You asked for a miracle, Theo, I give you the U.S. Government”! DIYNTST?

    felipe (960c75)

  3. Wait, I thought their were children at the border. Is the President authorizing child labor!?

    Dejectedhead (a094a6)

  4. Obama’s promise to fundamentally change the country is right on schedule. Work permits to
    illegals who will take jobs from citizens, unrestricted immigration with thousands of anchor
    babies to come, a decline in the net worth of Americans. One might think that a president would
    at least go on the tube and tell us why he is doing the things he does. Instead he goes on the tube
    and tells us of the magnificent contributions Muslims have made to the fabric of the country

    The Cloward-Piven approach is in full swing.

    Luke Warmwater (4e54a2)

  5. Dejectedhead, our Dear Leader is planning on passing out work permits to 6 million illegal immigrants who entered into the country in years past. He’ll wait until after the mid-term elections to start processing this latest group of arrivals.

    JVW (feb406)

  6. So La Raza veteran Cecilia Munoz and her ilk at the White House are “listening to recommendations” from the activist groups. That’s rich. They are planning the transformation of America through a new wave of illegal immigration.

    I can’t wait until the liberals I know at the bottom of the ladder get replaced by a newly minted American worker. And the liberals at the top of the ladder suddenly lose their servants as they take real jobs. And the unvetted criminals make their cities even less safe.

    I compare this to Andrew Jackson’s inaugural where the drunken mob invaded the White House and left it in shambles. It’s not going to be pretty.

    Patricia (5fc097)

  7. boehner’s down with this

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  8. I knew the system of checks and balances was a pipedream when Al Gore made his famous “No Controlling Legal Authority” speech as the Vice President. He had broken the law by campaigning with government resources but knew noone could stop him. Our current president and his cronies in the administration learned the lesson well. With no “forth estate” to challenge them and the low-information voters in this country the progressives have well performed their work; the USA as we knew it is not long for this world.

    I fear for a world without the United States of America.

    Weltall (c1edfb)

  9. I can’t wait until the liberals I know at the bottom of the ladder get replaced by a newly minted American worker. And the liberals at the top of the ladder suddenly lose their servants as they take real jobs.

    Frankly, I think that employers have a moral obligation to fire low-wage American workers and replace them with low-wage immigrant workers. It’s the compassionate thing to do, and it certainly doesn’t cost us anything.

    JVW (feb406)

  10. I’m hoping it will implode, and Obama will be sued – which seems to be much better solution than impeachment

    So I’m for suing the executive branch when they decide they can do it – let Obama after he’s out of office still be paying millions in legal fees – see how clever playing with the American people will work out for him

    EPWJ (abd159)

  11. But what’s the point of impeaching him, if he’s guaranteed of acquittal in the senate? As an ADA, would you indict someone if you knew there was no chance at all of convicting him at trial, no matter how strong the case against him? Let’s say a gang boss who you know has bribed every judge in the district, and a majority of the appeals court? Perhaps you’d do it anyway, thinking that at least putting him through the expense and trouble of a trial will achieve some justice, but what if you know his acquittal will be seen as vindicating him, and that at your job review you will suffer because you “persecuted” him? Would it still be worth indicting him just because it seems the right thing to do?

    Milhouse (c63fe5)

  12. What I find most disturbing is the assumption that we must import millions of workers “to keep the economy going” and to do the low wage work that “Americans won’t do”, while at the same time millions of Americans are unemployed (some who want to be employed and can’t get a job, but many more who are in a cycle of multi-generational unemployment/welfare and are neither equipped to work or willing to work, or willing to move within the country where there is work to be done.

    elissa (b9af8b)

  13. The operative sentences are: Who’s going to do anything about it? and, American deserves the government it lets happen.

    What unites America anymore? The Constitution was supposed to limit, tie down, the federal government. It is a cancerous behemoth, metastasizing daily – and instead of representing, protecting and serving the people, fleeces and harms us. We were supposed to have a Rule of Law, but it is mostly inane and insane tangled process, that is trumped daily by politics or corruption. We were supposed to be a representative Republic, but the House was capped at 435 in 1911 (we were about 125 million; now over 310 million), so we have had ever diminishing representation since then, and there are now over twice as many federal judges as there are reps. http://www.thirty-thousand.org/ It is lawless America. This is chaos, and if chaos continues it becomes anarchy, revolution. There is no one left to blame – but the judges/judiciary.

    HBO’s THE SECOND CIVIL WAR (1997) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120086/ – warned of this. So repeatedly did Pat Buchanan and Michelle Malkin. They were ridiculed.

    Libeerty & Truth require constant vigilance. We have not been vigilant. GLZ.

    Gary L. Zerman (bcbaa8)

  14. I knew the system of checks and balances was a pipedream when Al Gore made his famous “No Controlling Legal Authority” speech as the Vice President. He had broken the law by campaigning with government resources but knew noone could stop him.

    Um, no. He was correct — there was no controlling legal authority that what he was doing was illegal. So your claim that he had broken the law is begging the question. You can say that in your opinion he broke the law, and he can and did say that in his opinion he hadn’t, and without a controlling legal authority his opinion is just as good as yours, so why shouldn’t he follow it?

    Milhouse (c63fe5)

  15. If Obama issues such an Executive Order, the Legislative Branch does not have time to sue or impeach. They need to demand a special session of the Supreme Court. The President would be seizing power from the Legislative Branch for the Executive Branch. They must do this immediately because they must stop the amnesty before it goes into effect.
    Obama may well be America’s first dictator. We are the generation that is allowing the destruction of our Constitutional republic. This is a despicable way to go down in history. It is our duty to ensure that we leave our children with the same freedoms that our parents and grandparents ensured we had.

    JoyO (b43b23)

  16. The issue with Gore’s fundraising (not campaigning) was that he was sitting in a government building, raising money from people outside it. A 19th century law bans fundraising inside government buildings, but it was passed before the days of telephones, and was intended to prevent face-to-face fundraising from government workers, i.e. where both the fundraiser and the fundraisee are inside the building. The idea was to prevent politicians from shaking their workers down for a donation, with the implicit threat that if it was not forthcoming they would be fired. So it’s not clear how it applies when one person is in a government building and the other one is not. Is it illegal to sit in a private building and call into a government building? Or to sit in a government building and call out to a private building? As far as I know there is an old precedent that the former is illegal, which may be taken to imply that the latter (which Gore was doing) is legal, but there’s no controlling legal authority on the question.

    Milhouse (c63fe5)

  17. I’m hoping it will implode, and Obama will be sued – which seems to be much better solution than impeachment

    So I’m for suing the executive branch when they decide they can do it – let Obama after he’s out of office still be paying millions in legal fees – see how clever playing with the American people will work out for him

    1. Congress has no standing to sue.
    2. His legal fees would be paid by the government, and once he’s out of office the next president would automatically be substituted as the defendant!

    I’m rather looking forward to President Walker “waiving” enforcement of all EPA and NRLB regulations.

    Milhouse (c63fe5)

  18. Oops, NLRB

    Milhouse (c63fe5)

  19. What I find most disturbing is the assumption that we must import millions of workers “to keep the economy going” and to do the low wage work that “Americans won’t do”, while at the same time millions of Americans are unemployed

    It’s called free trade. Keeping foreign workers out for the purpose of protecting the jobs of Americans is every bit as illegitimate as keeping foreign steel out to protect the jobs of American steel workers.

    Milhouse (c63fe5)

  20. If Obama issues such an Executive Order, the Legislative Branch does not have time to sue or impeach. They need to demand a special session of the Supreme Court.

    1. By what authority could even the whole Congress — let alone just one chamber — demand such a session?
    2. If it were called, what could it do about it?

    The President would be seizing power from the Legislative Branch for the Executive Branch.

    So what has the judicial branch got to do with it? On the contrary, the judicial branch has no business inserting itself into a squabble between the other two branches? That’s the political question doctrine. The constitution gives only one remedy for executive overreach: impeachment.

    Milhouse (c63fe5)

  21. Obama may well be America’s first dictator. We are the generation that is allowing the destruction of our Constitutional republic.

    Not FDR?

    Milhouse (c63fe5)

  22. Sorry- It’s not either “free trade” or “protecting American jobs” when the U.S. government using our tax dollars pays American people not to work and provides various means for them to live in some comfort for a lifetime while not working–thus both causing and exacerbating the shortage of home grown labor.

    elissa (b9af8b)

  23. It’s called free trade.

    Sorry Milhouse, it’s called illegal immigration. I don’t think we are for “keeping out foreign workers” since we welcome legal immigrants who meet our standards for employment and sponsorship. We are against the massive influx of illegals who come here to take rather than contribute. That’s neither stopping free trade nor protecting American workers, it’s protecting the sovereignty of the United States as well as the culture of our people. We are not an international soup kitchen, hospital, day care, delivery room, housing or educational facility. We are the United States of America and if we fail to defend our boarders and culture we will cease to exist as such and will have deserved that result.

    Hoagie (4dfb34)

  24. > > Obama may well be America’s first dictator. We are the generation that is allowing the destruction of our Constitutional republic.

    > Not FDR?

    Not Lincoln?

    aphrael (98d2d0)

  25. We lack standing in Federal courts to bring suit.

    Jumping Jack (e54f0f)

  26. Say what you will about President Lincoln–his thang was to preserve the union, aphrael. Preserving the union does not seem to many of us to be what’s driving President Obama.

    elissa (b9af8b)

  27. elissa, I actually heard a guy from the WSJ say we need more immigration to “refresh” the work force and that will revive the economy.

    Refresh!!

    Patricia (5fc097)

  28. I see no discussion in the linked article of what the executive order would entail, or of what the statutes governing the issuance of work permits are. I do not know the area of the law well enough to have *any idea* what level of discretion the administration was given by Congress.

    I have a hard time taking claims of “unconstitutional” seriously when they appear without these kinds of details.

    aphrael (98d2d0)

  29. Elissa, fair point.

    Not Andrew Jackson? Or, for that matter, John Adams?

    [my point here is "executive overreach", "dictatorship", and "monarchy" have been the rallying cry of opponents to the current inhabitant of the executive branch pretty much throughout the history of the republic.]

    aphrael (98d2d0)

  30. America is getting what it richly deserves. It wanted this, its getting it.

    SarahW (267b14)

  31. Congress has standing when its Article 1 delegated powers are being usurped. The Constitution clearly gives Congress authority over naturalization and immigration. They have passed laws regarding that and they have standing to sue to have them obeyed by the executive.

    Even if they do not, which I find inconceivable — impeachment cannot be their only response — there are many others who are harmed. Any trades union for starters. Probably any American carpenter. Work permits are regulated in part to protect native workers against an influx of competition, and allowing such influx is harm.

    I’m sure there’s a judge somewhere who will issue an injunction.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  32. And what was all this nonsense about Reagan and the Contras?

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  33. The Democrats are assuming they will control both the Congress and the Presidency for the foreseeable future. All this can be reversed by the next government. They may assume to will be too late but I think they may be assuming too much. The “Nuclear Option” in Reid’s Senate was an example of a bet that they will hold on to the Senate. They are now worried about it. The pressure on Ginsberg to resign is one sign of it.

    Mike K (b5c01a)

  34. Boehner and the GOP elites have been mostly quiet. Today, Boehner took even the threat of impeachment off the table. Mark the day on your calendar. It has all the appearances of Boehner, the elite GOP and the Chamber of Commerce will get their amnesty without having to vote on the record. With Boehner’s action you are now living in an “official” totalitarian system. And Obama only had to ignore the border and use a few planes instead of burning the Reichstag.

    cedarhill (ba5410)

  35. ==And what was all this nonsense about Reagan and the Contras?==

    Exactly. And the regular national broadcast television programming was superceded to show the Iran- Contra hearings. It was a big, big deal. This was not treated as a breaking news story interruption to highlight a few snippets and quotes–it was hours and hours of the whole hearing televised so America could see what their government was up to. How quaint, huh?

    It was the sort of thing that was needed for Fast and Furious and a few other recent scandals.

    elissa (b9af8b)

  36. Unfortunately, the only recourse after rejecting the Constitutional avenues, is Rule-7.62!

    askeptic (efcf22)

  37. as with Hamas today, the left then, wanted to make sure that the enemies of America and the West, were untroubled, the Contras are the standin for Israel now,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  38. I think we’re at the point where Obama is actively doing things he knows he has no power to do — because he wants Republicans to mount an effort to impeach him.

    Probably not. For one thing, Republicans are not likely to do this. If he intends to do it before the 2014 election, the motive would be the opposite of inviting impeachment – it would be to prevent it.

    I think this is probably just to squeeze Republicans into a vise for the 2016 election.

    Either such permits are going to be renewed by the next president, or they are not going to be rennewed (or Congress will legitimize them)

    Whatever position a Republican candidate for president chooses to take, it creates great, great problems for him.

    Sammy Finkelman (4151a0)

  39. 24 –
    FDR? Close, very ….ing close.

    Lincoln?…Lincoln?

    askeptic (efcf22)

  40. Congress has no standing to go to court over Executive usurpation of Legislative prerogitives?
    If that’s the decision of SCOTUS, they should be allowed to issue that without the benefit of electricity and staff – cut their funding to that which will cover the salaries of the nine Justices, and no more.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  41. Dejectedhead (a094a6) — 7/29/2014 @ 8:20 am

    I thought their were children at the border. Is the President authorizing child labor!?

    I’m actually not sure what this is talking about, but possibly he intends to increase the nu,ber of people given temporary – Obama deliberately makes this thing temporary, its extension depending upon the next president and/or next Congress – suspension of deportation or whatever you call it.

    Anybody that gets that kind of suspension already gets a Social Security card and the right to work. Obama has been havinbg fights with a few states when some states try to deny such people driver’s licenses.

    Till now Obama has limited this to the “Dreamers” – people brought to the United States before July 1, 2007 who were less than 31 years old on July 1, 2012, who did not have certain kinds of disqualifications.

    My guess is, if this is to be extended, it would be extended to people whose only disqualification from the program is that they were deported from the United States. Immigration offenses have been one of the exceptions or exclusions. Possibly this might be removed. This is, after all, largely a matter of chance.

    Sammy Finkelman (4151a0)

  42. 24. aphrael (98d2d0) — 7/29/2014 @ 9:43 am

    Not Lincoln?

    Lincoln is correct. Obama may very well want to issue his own version of the Emancipation Proclamation – which was also of questionable legality.

    Sammy Finkelman (4151a0)

  43. Iran contra is the last time we’ve had televised hearings, other than on C-Span..

    We didn’t get that for Whitewater, or Waco.

    Sammy Finkelman (4151a0)

  44. Well, at least I’m above average in one metric:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-29/one-rate-not-only-not-going-down-13-year-high

    Oh, wait…

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  45. 28. “I have a hard time taking claims of “unconstitutional” seriously when they appear without these kinds of details.”

    I have a hard time with Menshevik agitprop, especially when they’re number comes up first.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  46. 31. Kevin M (b357ee) — 7/29/2014 @ 10:23 am

    Congress has standing when its Article 1 delegated powers are being usurped. The Constitution clearly gives Congress authority over naturalization and immigration.

    No it doesn’t.

    If you read the constitution carefully.

    http://constitutioncenter.org/constitution/full-text

    Article I Section 8 gives Congress power over naturalization but not immigration.

    Everybody assumes so, but it is not so. A textualist approach would not read this into it.

    The same clause gives Congress power over bankruptcy. That does not give Congress the right to write a commercial code.

    Article I, Section 8 Clause 4:

    The Congress shall have Power… To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

    There’s nothing here about immigration.

    Power over immigration was primarily a state power.

    There is a clause that indicates that:

    Article I, Section 9, Clase 1 (emphasis mine)

    SECTION. 9. The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

    That indicates some power of Congress, but it is undoubtably derivative of the power to regulate foreign commerce, and perhaps of the power to arrange relationships with other countries.

    But certainly nothing about internal enforcement.

    And the kind of laws taht we have now were not even dreamed of.

    With regard to bankruptcy there is a separate clause prohibitinbg states from enacting bankruptcy laws:

    Article I, Section 10, Clause 1

    SECTION. 10. No State shall…. pass any… Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts…

    Wth regard to immigration there is:

    Article IV, Section 2:

    SECTION. 2. The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.

    Which means they can pass laws discriminating against aliens (and only Congress can grant citizenship) but not against citizens of other states.

    It’s been thought this was intended (also) to make sure any rights aS against the federeal government were also against teh statese. The Supreme Court ruled otherwise, and the first clause of the 14th amendment was partically intended to remedy that (the “privieleges and immunities clause)

    They have passed laws regarding that and they have standing to sue to have them obeyed by the executive.

    Even if they do not, which I find inconceivable — impeachment cannot be their only response — there are many others who are harmed. Any trades union for starters. Probably any American carpenter. Work permits are regulated in part to protect native workers against an influx of competition, and allowing such influx is harm.

    I’m sure there’s a judge somewhere who will issue an injunction.

    Sammy Finkelman (4151a0)

  47. I trust Sammy’s reading about as far as I can throw the Canadian craton.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  48. An American parent who sent their unaccompanied minor-child on foot from Nuevo Laredo, Texas to Guatemala City, Guatemala would be viewed as unfit and face criminal sanctions. In such a circumstance, termination of parental rights would be a fitting punishment. Latin American parents who send their children on such a mission do so in the hope of obtaining, for themselves, legal immigrant status in the United States. To place one’s own child at risk for the personal benefit of U.S. citizenship is unconscionable. These people should not be rewarded. I could see allowing these children to remain in the U.S., but only if all familial rights are terminated. Parents like that don’t deserve their children.

    The problem for the Republican Party, but really for the country, more generally, is that patronage is the Party leadership’s defining purpose. About the only thing these people seem capable of doing is writing an “omnibus” bill with plenty of money to be spread around to their friends and supporters. From time to time, moral-sounding arguments are invoked to mollify the principled, conservative base, but these are never more than hollow promises. It is in moments like these – moments that require moral clarity and leadership skills – when our party leaders seem totally outclassed. It is important to remember, though, that from the outside looking in, John Boehner may seem clueless, but to his fellow Republican congressmen, he is their Man Friday.

    If congressional Republicans actually believed the principled views they cynically peddle and were willing to stand up for those principles, men like Obama wouldn’t pose such a threat to our republic. Unfortunately, I see “Vichy” Republicans almost all the way down. (does that final comment mean I lose the argument?). Today’s Drudge headline is just one more in a very long line of examples.

    ThOR (130453)

  49. “We get the government we deserve. The idea that the Constitution restrains the branches is pretty much dead; its provisions don’t matter when the public is unwilling to back the side whose territory is being infringed.”

    What I find breathtaking is that so many in Congress, including the Democrats who control the Senate, don’t seem to care that their authority is being usurped. Ceding constitutional authority to the White House isn’t in the interest of any Senator or Congressman, let alone in the interest of the American people. What are these people thinking?

    Of course, similar comments could be directed at the Fourth Estate. (Do we also get the news media we deserve?).

    See? I read your posts. I particularly enjoyed yesterday’s post on Prohibition, though I think you hold the bar too low. You’ve been on a roll of late. Thank you.

    Yours truly,

    ThOR (the Libertine)

    ThOR (130453)

  50. 48.An American parent who sent their unaccompanied minor-child on foot from Nuevo Laredo, Texas to Guatemala City, Guatemala would be viewed as unfit and face criminal sanctions.

    Hell, ThOR, just the other day a mother was arrested for allowing her 9 year old to play by herself at a local park. She could loose the child and is facing up to 10 years in prison. But hey, she’s not an illegal, she’s and American.

    Hoagie (4dfb34)

  51. See, that’s the problem Hoagie, if she were an illegal, she could play the Multi-Culti/Diversity card – and she’d win.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  52. ==so many in Congress, including the Democrats who control the Senate, don’t seem to care that their authority is being usurped. Ceding constitutional authority to the White House isn’t in the interest of any Senator or Congressman, let alone in the interest of the American people. What are these people thinking? Of course, similar comments could be directed at the Fourth Estate==

    I’ve been thinking and saying something similar for a long time. Even if all these people are caught up in the here and now and their personal immediate aggrandizement, don’t any of them have children or grandchildren that they love, or great-grandchildren yet to be born? Have they no interest not just in the nation, but in the type of world they are leaving for them to inhabit and survive? Are they really so clueless and ignorant that they can’t see the dangers lurking around almost every corner now?

    elissa (b9af8b)

  53. They believe that the bell will never toll for them, because they’re someone special.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  54. That’s the kind of thing I was referring to on the other thread about making it easier to be “good” and harder to be “bad”.
    It should not be the case that a mom willing to work goes to jail for leaving a 9 yo in a public park alone. And it should not be the case that people are somehow lauding the effort to send children across all of Mexico and reward them with freebies.

    There is little to help a country where the level of education and virtue has dropped to the point that elections can be determined by those wanting their Obamaphone and foodstamps. Turning it around will be a miracle, if it happens.

    So…perhaps Obama is going forward full throttle on his agenda for both reasons:
    1) because he can get away with doing what he wants
    and
    2) he thinks if he can provoke impeachment while doing it, it will turn out well for him politically.

    Perhaps the “impeachment” should be the 2014 elections. Candidates should go directly to pointing out clear malfeasance by the governing party in the presidency and Senate and ask the American people for a vote of confidence in them. If the people want to elect a House and Senate that wants to go against the status quo, then they have their mandate.
    If the people do not, then it is pointless, except to establish pockets of civilization where it can be preserved, like monasteries in the Dark Ages.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  55. elissa (b9af8b) — 7/29/2014 @ 2:36 pm
    askeptic (efcf22) — 7/29/2014 @ 2:38 pm

    Perhaps it is as simple as they can see and feel the risk of going against the tide at the moment, and the future just seems too far off to be real.

    Perhaps it shows that what really matters is the principles that one lives by now. Even if the future seems far away, if one lives by principles today one can have courage to do the right thing.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  56. You hear much, much more talk about “impeachment” from Democrats who are using it for fundraising– and then planting it with the media who like to gin up controversy– than from anyone on the right. It’s another insidious ploy by the Dems.

    elissa (b9af8b)

  57. Today is a happy day for me. I finally got elissa to agree with something I’ve said.

    And I’ve wondered the same thing: Don’t these people have children and grandchildren whose future they care about? I don’t want my heirs left to clean up the Obama mess. Do they?

    A common theme in the westerns I grew up watching was the hopefulness of the pioneers and their wish to make things better for those who come after them. I loved that theme and you could see it in the newly built roads, bridges, dams and other engineering marvels that spanned the country. Now everything has been turned on its head. The goal seems to be consume everything now and to leverage the future for current consumption. How have we come to this point?

    Thank you, elissa.

    ThOR (130453)

  58. FDR!

    askeptic (efcf22)

  59. and, LBJ!

    askeptic (efcf22)

  60. #52, Elissa, The D’s have been fairly careful in selecting their clients … not too many GLTs are going to give a farthing about the next generation. They’ve already opted out.

    The R’s need to spend some money on perfecting Woody Allen’s orgasmatron … distribute a few thousand each to Seattle, Boston, San Francisco, Hollywood, New York, Arlington, and Bethesda along with appropriate emergency care equipment (because we only want the best for all our citizens,) and then watch as our electoral politics turns on a dime. And a huge number of congressional staff positions, let alone congressional positions, would suddenly open up.

    bobathome (4c87a1)

  61. #54, Philadelphia Doc, You have a marvelous idea. Newt had the contract with America, this year’s version could have a contract on Obama. All legal, non-violent, and very constitutional. I like the way you think.

    bobathome (4c87a1)

  62. #24, Aphreal, spend some time reading history. Lincoln did some stuff that was necessary if not pretty. But he knew in his heart that he would restore the country to it’s rightful, and exceptional, place in world history. Can you imagine any of our current batch of politicians walking virtually unprotected through Richmond within days of its fall to Union forces. He was a brave and virtous man who felt connected to the American dream.

    bobathome (4c87a1)

  63. Would these work permits have dates on them? What if local authorities started refusing to recognize work permits issued after a certain date? That would force the Obama Administration to drag the local authorities into court to force recognition of the permits, which would take care of the standing issue since it would be the Obama Administration asserting that the local authorities were behaving in violation of the law and the local authorities would have standing by definition to defend themselves.

    M. Scott Eiland (15aac4)

  64. Awww I think we agree on many things, ThOR. The source of any disagreements have, to the best of my recollection, been in discussions over political tactics–such as weighing the relative merits, effectiveness, pitfalls and dangers of certain methods and messaging.

    elissa (b9af8b)

  65. Sammy, limiting a power that the Congress does not have makes no sense. The only possible power they would be limiting would be a power to forbid certain immigration. Obviously, immigration is a natural federal concern and they don’t address it anywhere else EXCEPT when they give Congress the power over the closely-related concept of naturalization.

    I admit it is possible that a textualist might conclude that the government has no power to bar any persons from entering the country — passports and visas be damned — but clearly they do and the only conceivable constitutional authority is in Art 1, Sect 8, and Sect 9 by implication.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  66. Another way to get rid of Obama: Get 3/4s of the states to call for an Article V Convention to change his term to expired.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  67. We get the government we deserve.

    We’ve morphed into the people of a banana republic, of a populace that has more and more in common with the citizens of a Central or South American nation, where scroungy leaders like Obama are tolerated, if not embraced, and remain comfortably in positions of high power.

    I’ve occasionally wondered what it must be like being a resident of an interminably second-rate, half-baked nation like a Mexico, Peru, Venezuela or — for most of its recent history — Greece, or an exhausted nation of Europe like a France, Spain or, increasingly, Britain, whose people can only imagine what their glory years must have been like.

    That reality has arrived on the shores of the US.

    Easy comes, easy goes.

    After all, it wasn’t all that long ago, or as recently as the first half of the 20th century, when America had to share the world stage with the British Empire, and in some ways was still in the shadow of such nations.

    With liberals, squishy centrists and naive (and also greedy) laissez-faire conservatives (eg, the opinion that the people managing the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page have on illegal immigration) allowing the demographics of this nation to increasingly resemble that of places south of the border, it’s not pure sarcasm to say if Mexico won’t come to the US, the US will come to Mexico.

    And in this age of squish-squish, it’s only going to get worse.

    Mark (2604a9)

  68. Well said Mark. It’s what I believe in my darkest moments, like the historian who said we are in the looting phase of the empire.

    But there are lots of people who think differently. Maybe some day they will win out, before it’s too late.

    Patricia (5fc097)

  69. 69. When everything is illegal and they’ve got you dead to rights whenever you come to their attention the good news is you can easily escape notice.

    This totalitarian hell we know to be imminent cannot stretch from sea to shining sea; the logistics are impracticable in a world at war.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  70. Congress has standing when its Article 1 delegated powers are being usurped. The Constitution clearly gives Congress authority over naturalization and immigration. They have passed laws regarding that and they have standing to sue to have them obeyed by the executive.

    How does that give them standing? How has the congress been harmed by the president acting ultra vires? And where do the courts get the authority to tell him to stop? Since when do they insert themselves into political questions? The constitution has explicitly provided Congress with a remedy. That they find it inconvenient to use it doesn’t entitle them to run to the courts for help. I agree that this is unsatisfying, but I don’t see how that changes anything. Perhaps the whole constitutional arrangement needs to be overhauled, with congressional oversight explicitly written in, and standing given to the public to stop such blatant lawlessness, but that doesn’t help us now.

    Even if they do not, which I find inconceivable — impeachment cannot be their only response — there are many others who are harmed. Any trades union for starters. Probably any American carpenter. Work permits are regulated in part to protect native workers against an influx of competition, and allowing such influx is harm.

    And there we are, back with protectionism, exactly as I wrote above. Free trade is the most fundamental principle of political liberalism (now known as conservatism since the socialists stole our name just as they steal everything else). Preventing competition is wrong, and is an invalid motive for any legislation.

    And what was all this nonsense about Reagan and the Contras?

    Allegedly spending money not appropriated by Congress. But nobody went to court over it, that I recall. Congress acted on its own.

    (The Institute for Justice has done yeoman’s work getting federal courts to strike down state and local laws and regulations whose purpose is protecting some favoured class from competition, on the grounds that they fail rational basis review. In principle the same ought to apply to federal laws and regulations.)

    Milhouse (9d71c3)

  71. Exactly. And the regular national broadcast television programming was superceded to show the Iran- Contra hearings. It was a big, big deal. This was not treated as a breaking news story interruption to highlight a few snippets and quotes–it was hours and hours of the whole hearing televised so America could see what their government was up to. How quaint, huh?

    So let Congress hold hearings. Interrupting TV broadcasts is of course up to the broadcasters, and you know they won’t do that. But the courts played no role in any of that.

    Milhouse (9d71c3)

  72. Latin American parents who send their children on such a mission do so in the hope of obtaining, for themselves, legal immigrant status in the United States.

    Why do you assume this? The obvious reason they do it is because they love their children and want them to have a better future, and they’ve heard that if they get into America they’ll be allowed to stay and have that better future.

    Milhouse (9d71c3)

  73. What I find breathtaking is that so many in Congress, including the Democrats who control the Senate, don’t seem to care that their authority is being usurped. Ceding constitutional authority to the White House isn’t in the interest of any Senator or Congressman, let alone in the interest of the American people. What are these people thinking?

    Why isn’t it in the interest of the Democrats whose policies are being enacted? Why should they care how it’s done? They have no personal stake in the authority of Congress, and they believe these policies are in the interest of the people, who are poorly served by that “piece of paper” known as the constitution, which in any event is more than a hundred years old…

    Of course, similar comments could be directed at the Fourth Estate. (Do we also get the news media we deserve?).

    What “fourth estate”? This is the USA. We have no estates. And the news industry has no role in our system of government at all. (No, this industry is not “the press”, the freedom of which the first amendment protects.) The name “fourth estate” is something that the news industry has arrogantly coined for itself, but I’ll bet that among those who use it you can’t find more than one person in ten who can name the first three estates.

    Milhouse (9d71c3)

  74. Would these work permits have dates on them? What if local authorities started refusing to recognize work permits issued after a certain date?

    What kind of local authorities have anything to do with work permits? In what sense are they called on to “recognize” them, that they can now refuse to do so?

    Milhouse (9d71c3)

  75. Sammy, limiting a power that the Congress does not have makes no sense. The only possible power they would be limiting would be a power to forbid certain immigration.

    The clause is about the importation of slaves, not the immigration of free people. Congress was given the power to tax it, and after 1808 to ban it.

    Obviously, immigration is a natural federal concern and they don’t address it anywhere else EXCEPT when they give Congress the power over the closely-related concept of naturalization.

    How is it closely related?

    I admit it is possible that a textualist might conclude that the government has no power to bar any persons from entering the country — passports and visas be damned — but clearly they do and the only conceivable constitutional authority is in Art 1, Sect 8, and Sect 9 by implication.

    How is it “clear” that they do have such a power? When the constitution was written no such power existed, as far as I know anywhere in the world, and neither passports nor visas were needed to go anywhere. As late as Jules Verne’s day, they were strictly optional; Phileas Fogg used a passport to collect visas, just to prove that he’d been to all these places.

    Milhouse (9d71c3)

  76. Another way to get rid of Obama: Get 3/4s of the states to call for an Article V Convention to change his term to expired.

    Yeah, but you never know what else such a convention would do.

    Milhouse (9d71c3)

  77. 67. Kevin M (b357ee) — 7/29/2014 @ 6:17 pm

    Sammy, limiting a power that the Congress does not have makes no sense.

    Obviously, but it is also clear that that power does not derive from Article 1, Sect 8, Clause 4.

    Naturalization is not immigration, just like bankruptcy is not general commercial law.

    And the secretary of HHS is not a state and Section 1321 is not Section 1311.

    The only possible power they would be limiting would be a power to forbid certain immigration.

    But that would be perhaps taxes or regulations on commerce.

    It was actually envisioned that customs inspections might be done by the states:

    No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it’s inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.

    Obviously, immigration is a natural federal concern and they don’t address it anywhere else EXCEPT when they give Congress the power over the closely-related concept of naturalization. No,the power has to derive from somewhere else. The very same clause authorizes Congress to make bankrupcy laws. Nobody has ever claimed taht gives Congress a plenary authority to write laws regarding commerce and contracts. Congress is gven the authority to make a uniform rule of naturalization, and the power to naturalize is taken away from the sttes.

    I admit it is possible that a textualist might conclude that the government has no power to bar any persons from entering the country — passports and visas be damned — but clearly they do and the only conceivable constitutional authority is in Art 1, Sect 8, and Sect 9 by implication.
    It is easier to make the case for the barring of slaves, because that is a commercial transaction. I think you can make a very good case Congress cannot bar someone from the country whom a state wants to admit, or at least it cannot expel them once they are here, or once they were admitted on whatever basis.

    Milhouse:

    The clause is about the importation of slaves, not the immigration of free people.

    No, it’s about both, because they didn’t want to acknowledge slavery. Congress in fact did not make any kind of law regarding immigration until about 1820, when they began keeping statistics. (the statistics only go back to 1820)

    Sammy Finkelman (4151a0)

  78. Our host wrote:

    … And there goes the system of checks and balances. And what will the public do about it?

    Nothing.

    And that’s the problem.

    The public created the situation by which the Democrats have abused and distorted the system of checks and balances when they elected Obama and Democratic majorities to both chambers of Congress in November 2008.

    The public partially remedied the situation by returning the House to GOP control in November 2010. But for that, we’d be living now in a country whose government is indistinguishable from Cuba’s. So I’m not going to agree that the public never does anything about these problems.

    But the public took two steps back in November 2012 after the three steps forward in November 2010. It retained Obama; it kept the Senate in Dem hands. And there we are, and will be, until at least January 2015.

    The question, of course, is whether in November 2014, the public will keep the House in GOP hands, which seems likely, and whether it will unseat Harry Reid’s Democratic majority in the Senate, which seems iffy, but possible (if the GOP plays its hand better, primarily by toning down the sniping between various factions united only by their opposition to Obama, and if the party and its candidates don’t get cocky).

    Beldar (fa637a)


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