President Obama should be impeached.
It may come as a shock to those reading, but I do not admire President Obama. I disagree on his approach to healthcare, leadership, and foreign policy. I think that his version of "sound economic policy" is best described as bread circuses. I think his position on gay rights has been, at best, lackluster. How could someone who seriously attempts to cast himself in the progressive or liberal democrat mode seriously suggest that they do not support equal rights for all when it comes to something as fundamental as marriage? Yet throughout the campaign, and as recently as this year, he has refused to fully support equal recognition of all persons in this country to receive the benefits of rights that we have reserved only for heterosexual couples.
His latest attempt, however, to shed his image as a Johnny come lately to the idea that homosexuals should have the same access to the same fundamental rights is fundamentally wrong. It is also, I suggest, an abrogation of his duty as President. It does and should be viewed as a high crime or misdemeanor.
On Wednesday, President Obama instructed the Attorney-General to cease defending the Defense of Marriage Act(DOMA). By doing this, he abrogated to himself the determination of whether a law is constitutional. He also refused to do one of the duties for which he swore an oath. Something that it seems the mainstream press is missing, he is also creating a precedent for executive nullification.
DOMA is and always has been an example of American legislation at it's worst. A law designed to deprive a class of people from a right recognized as fundamental to everyone not in that class. It was one of President Cinton's greatest failings that he signed it into law, rather than forcing Congress to override his veto.
From the Clinton Administration until yesterday that law has been defended by the Justice Department. Although President Obama refused to endorse equal protection for gay rights, he has always stated that he was against the law. Yet, when he had the backing of the electorate and near supermajority in Congress, he refused to do anything about the law. He did not seek to have legislation introduced to excise the law from the books. He barely made mention of it from 2009 until 2011.
In short, he had the opportunity and the means to do something about the law but refused to act.
Now, in a cynical move, President Obama has decided that the law is unconstitutional. As such, he has instructed Attorney General Holder to cease defending the law before the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. The case before the 2nd Circ, v. , is about whether or not the law is constitutional.
Here is the first problem with President Obam's action: it is not his decision to make. As anyone who has passed eighth grade history should know, much less someone who claims to be a constitutional scholar, the federal government is made up of three separate, co-equal branches. They are the Executive Branch, the Legislative Branch, and the Judicial Branch.the legislators of the Legislative Branch, otherwise known as the House of Representatives and the Senate, draft and vote on the laws. The Executive has the authority to veto the laws, but, just as importantly, must execute and uphold the laws. Finally, the Judicial Branch adjudicates disputes over the laws, including whether the laws are in fact constitutional.
I defy anyone to point to a clause of the U.S. Constitution or its amendments to show where the Executive Branch, or the president himself has the power to make a binding determination that a law is unconstitutional when it has been passed and signed into law.
Yet that is exactly what President Obama has done.
Now the argument may be made that he has not instructed the various departments of the government to cease enforcing the law. However, with the law under attack and at issue in a court, he has essentially instructed the Attorney General Holder to allow the case to go into default, to not answer the appeal.
In boxing, it's called taking a dive.
Now, some people ask, why is this important? It's important because it sets a precedent for how future presidents will carry out their duties. Will they uphold all the laws? Or just the ones that they find fit their style or the needs of a special interest group.
For instance, what if the next president is a social conservative. And what if this social conservative decides he is not going to uphold the law repealing DADT. And when it is challenged by some group as being unconstitutional, he orders the Attorney General to decline to defend the law. Insert any controversial law there and you could have a future president do what President Obama has done.
This gets our Republic into a dangerous area. It confers upon one man the power to overrule legislation which has been validly passed.
It is wrong. It is a violation of President Obama's oath. By following this illegal order, Attorney General Holder should likewise be held accountable.
A president, no matter how well intentioned, has the power to act as a king would.
President Obama has committed a high crime or misdemeanor. He has broken his oath of office. He should be impeached.
Too bad that the members in the Senate, in either party, lack the moral courage necessary to take the appropriate steps. It is even more unfortunate that the press has been hailing this decision, giving their imprimatur and adding legitimacy to his action.
No matter how right the ultimate intention may be, in this type of situation, breaking the law, breaking the oath, is never justified. There is a system in place to deal with this. President Obama had the opportunity to avail his administration of the system. Yet he has chosen to abdicate his duties and has ordered his subordinates to follow his lead.
Like other presidents who violated the law, President Obama should and mist be held accountable. He should be impeached and forced to stand trial.
Otherwise, the system means nothing. The Constitution is dead letter and ceases to act as a restraint on any sitting president. And our rights are committed to the whim of an elected tyrant.
President Obama must be held accountable for his actions as the Constitution demands.