Recently, I’ve read competing arguments regarding introducing impeachment charges against President Obama for his rampant, obvious lawlessness. The most widely-publicized voice in favor of pursuing impeachment is Sarah Palin, and former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy has even written an entire book about it.
Meanwhile, on the other side, noted conservative/libertarian Pat Buchanan argued that any Republican attempt at impeachment would be a political loser, and when asked about Palin’s opinion, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) simply said “I disagree.”
While Obama’s actions are already well beyond the lawlessness of both our most recently impeached president (Clinton) and the one before him who came closest (Nixon), people on both sides of this issue are missing a crucial point. Lawlessness is not defined simply by unilaterally altering statutory law, as Obama has done most notably with Obamacare. Also, it’s not limited to his picking and choosing which statutes he’s going to enforce or not.
Lawlessness also – and most importantly – includes the government passing any law or engaging in any activity for which it has no constitutional mandate. The U.S. Constitution strictly defines, via the enumerated powers, the very few required duties of the federal government. And whatever things the government is required to do are the only things it’s allowed to do…no more, no less.
Obama is by far and away the most competent and accomplished president this country has ever had – at unconstitutionality. The same can be said for his lawlessness where statutory law is concerned, even for those laws which are unconstitutional.
For instance, nowhere in the Constitution is the government required to have anything to do with health care/insurance, so it is not allowed to do so; therefore, Obamacare is totally unconstitutional. Even so, Obama has illegally amended that statute by unilaterally issuing waivers intended to lessen the political fallout which is sure to result from full implementation of that law.
So, while it is indeed true that Obama has engaged in rampant, purposeful lawlessness – perhaps more than any other elected official before him – he is not the only one to have ever done so. Yes, Obamacare and the current facilitation of the influx of illegal immigrants across our southern border are the most recently egregious examples of our government engaging in lawless activities, but they are not the first instances of unconstitutionality on the part of the federal government.
As stated previously, the government has no constitutional requirement to have anything to do with health care/insurance, so that is strictly not permitted. But before Obamacare, we had Medicare and Medicaid – both also unconstitutional on the federal level.
And beyond the issue of health care/insurance, the unconstitutional acts undertaken by the federal government are legion. In fact, most of what government engages in is outside the strict limits placed upon it by the Constitution – the sole purpose of which is to limit government, in favor of individual liberty.
So, yes, Mrs. Palin and Mr. McCarthy, Obama’s lawlessness is obvious and blatant and deserving of serious censure. And yes, Mr. Buchanan and Mr. Boehner, pursuing impeachment would be shunned by the mainstream media and weak-willed politicians of both parties. But whichever path is chosen, Obama will continue to thumb his nose at both the will of the American people and the Constitution’s purposefully strict limits placed upon all branches of the federal government.
However, we must not lose sight of the fact that Obama is not the only politician acting outside the bounds of the enumerated powers, nor is he the first. If we are to return to America’s founding principle of truly limited government that is subordinate to the citizen – and not the other way around – then we must implement this one incredibly simple, and wholly constitutional, ideal:
IF IT’S NOT ENUMERATED, IT MUST BE ELIMINATED!