Obama Versus The Constitution

Our White House constitutional scholar has taken a strangely ambivalent attitude toward the oath he swore to protect the Constitution of the United States of America in recent weeks. Despite past good deeds in this area, he seems to have lapsed to the point that I wonder if he, like FDR, “crossed his fingers” when he gave the oath of office. (Roosevelt later explained in his memoirs that he took mental exception to the oath the second time around, understanding it as a changing document that can be expanded and altered to fit the needs of a “progressive” nation.)

The first instance is the Employee Free Choice Act. This item has been floating around Capitol Hill for some time, but with White House support, seems to be still hanging on on Capitol Hill and will certainly come back like a bad penny unless somebody gets rid of Senator Kennedy and Representative George Miller in 2010.

The side of the Employee Free Choice Act that requires elections amongst employees deciding whether to join a union and whether to strike to be public and thus susceptible to union intimidation tactics has been talked to death, but there is an even more onerous side to this bill. Apperently, it would give the government the right to automatically come into any negotiation going on between a company and a union, and enforce a resolution decided by government arbitrator if the two parties cannot come to an agreement in less than 90 days.

I will not bother to go into how this treats our nation as if it were under a command and control economy, which it is not supposed to be. There is a big issue here. Firstly, no union has any real incentive to make a reasonable offer if they know that dragging the negotiations out will get them a politically appointed government adjudicator who probably knows little about the industry and certainly was appointed by pro-union Democrats. In addition to this, there is a constitutional issue.

We are supposed to have protections for our property and privacy under the Constitution. This is the basis of our rule of law. Contract law is the section of law that deals with contracts between two free, independent parties. If the two parties can be forced into a contract by government fiat; then that is by definition, coercion, and the contract is very questionable according to contract law.

If the rules change, then the entire idea of rule of law breaks down and is replaced by the idea that the guy at the top of the pyramid makes the rules. This particular economic model is practiced by a large number of the hundred and forty odd nations in the World, and it has long been known that a consistent, predictable, rule of law is the best basis for economic success. Who wants to invest in a company if the government may change the rules tomorrow and nationalize your assets?

Clearly, the people who wrote this legislation (and George Miller and Ted Kennedy who put it on the table) have no respect for the right of a free individual to make a binding contract with another free individual or his representative without duress or coercion.

The second area where the White House is working against the Constitution this week (I really have to keep track of attacks on the Cons titution on a weekly basis nowadays; it is pretty sad.) is a treaty that Obama would like us to sign that allows for an international registry for firearm owners. This would share information with a foreign government that is only very questionably OK to share with our own. In addition, the treaty would allow extradition of people who break gun control laws, in a bizarre version of mutual back scratching, or in this case, mutual population oppression.

Entire swaths of guns would be immediately outlawed and entire swaths of American citizens criminalized. It must be stated that this clearly infringes on the Second Amendment, as well as infringing on the Fifth Amendment right to privacy. It is also worth noting that when the British army tried to merely register the names of the people who owned firearms in the Boston area, riots ensued. Thousands of firearms were seized from the citizens of Boston alone, and this incident was a significant contributor to the rebellion of the Colonies. Yet, I am certain that we are so apathetic and complacent now that we would not even complain if the government were merely compiling such a list (against the Fifth Amendment) for itself, and we only get angered about this because it will be handed over to European bureaucrats with the power to extradite.

It amazes me that any discussion of gun control ends up being an argument in defense of the Second Amendment. Is it not enough that the Second Amendment is there? Any law that violates the Constitution is inherently void, since the Constitution is the source of authority of our law in this nation. If gun control advocates do not like it, then we can change those Amendments, we do have procedures to do that legally.

Thus, in an amazing week, even for Obama; he has managed to support attacks on the Second and Fifth amendments, and on our freedom to make contracts with one another under the law. I think that this may be a record.

Honestly though, there can be no protections, no guarantees, and no rights for citizens who refuse to stand up and defend the liberties they have inherited. If we are so corrupt and apathetic, and so inured to the concept that rights trickle down from the great One, rather than all branches of government having rights only by leave of the people, then nothing can protect us from inevitable tyranny.

The Second Amendment is the very last of the various brakes and checks on power for our government. They have ignored the lawmaking and oversight authority of Congress in the area of regulation, turned the Supreme Court into another, illegal legislative body, empowered sections of government in ways never envisioned by our founders and blown away States rights completely. The very last check to stop the total centralization of power into the hands of a single man (subject to temptation as all men are), is the Second Amendment. The last resort to guarantee that the citizens are listened and not dictated to. Yet, we see people today who are too clueless to even understand what all those protections were for, and who wouldn’t do anything to protect the few freedoms they still have. Even a gun is no use in the hands of a coward.

So in summary, we have a White House running unchecked over the tatters of the Constitution and an apathetic citizenry unwilling to even say anything about it. All things considered, I guess it could still be worse; we could have all this and be part of the EU too. But hey, who knows, give him time, he’s only in his first year…


~ by Jubal Biggs on May 15, 2009.

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