House Democrats Erode Our Democratic System

House Democrats have seriously damaged our democracy. Their relentless pursuit of dubious charges against the president has created a constitutional crisis. House actions to this point have blurred the lines of power between the three major branches of our government.

The founders created a mechanism to depose a president if he or she oversteps their authority. At the same time they were careful about delineating crimes of a president that might qualify him or her for impeachment. They used words like high crimes and misdemeanors that portray a guilty president as one who is detrimental to our democracy because his crimes were heinous under any circumstances. Visions of treason, sedition and murder are the crimes that come to mind.

The founders certainly didn’t envision presidents being ousted for speculative indiscretions that couldn’t be proven or were based upon hearsay without being processed under the rule of law. Keep in mind almost all of the initial testifiers in the Judiciary Committee’s investigation of Trump had second and third hand information about the president’s actions and conversations. Most of the evidence was hearsay that wouldn’t be admissible in a court of law. When the proceedings move to the Senate, the president will benefit by the usual amenities of a court of law that will include facing accusers (including the whistle-blower), representation by counsel and calling witnesses.

But the real damage by Democratic shenanigans over the past few weeks is that impeachment is now a tool readily available to any opposition-led majority in the House of Representatives. For frivolous and unpopular actions future presidents will be subjected to yet another three-ring circus, as we witnessed in recent weeks. The bar for impeachment is now on the ground as if we were prosecuting a common thief, as opposed to the leader of the free world.

The lesson about “lowering the bar” should have been obvious to liberal lawmakers in the House based upon a similar episode in the Senate a few years ago. For decades the filibuster was used to stymie appointments to federal courts by the minority. Democrats, in frustration, changed the rules of the Senate enabling senators to confirm judges with a simple majority, and not a super majority, for all judges except Supreme Court justices.

Democrats, thinking that they outwitted their rivals, disregarded the reality that they might face if control reverted back to Republicans, which it did. Republicans, upon assuming power changed the rule further to include Supreme Court justices. Democrats objected, but were drowned out by their own stupidity.

The result was confirmation of a series of young conservative justices to the highest court in the land that will affect the law and our society for many years. It was a naïve and tragic miscalculation.

Here we are at the same crossroads. Prospectively, Americans should expect a hair trigger when Republicans regain the House, which could be in 2020 even if Trump loses the presidency. If Warren is elected, perhaps Republicans will impeach her for lying about her background to the electorate and to Harvard University when she applied for a position at the law school.

Impeachment Is Threatening Our Democracy

The swamp known as Washington, D.C., is becoming more toxic every day, and the impeachment of President Trump is threatening our democracy.

The impetus of the growing peril to our country is, of course, the election of Trump, who strode into office in response to voter dissatisfaction. The Trump experiment has been anything but a smooth ride for our nation.

The Obama administration swung far to the left and disenfranchised the very people Obama promised to help, the black community and young Americans. Ironically these groups did the worst during the Obama years, and yet both groups remained loyal to the president.

The backlash to an incompetent and ineffective president has been over cooked. Voters looked outside of Washington for new leadership. Donald Trump, a man known for his quirky, aggressive and self-promoting disposition defeated several stalwarts of his party in the primaries in a wild and whacky primary contest.

To no one’s surprise Trump attacked opponents personally and brought them to their knees. He denigrated the Republican establishment and proclaimed it was only one notch above Democratic progressivism. Trump decimated his competition. And America chose a shady real estate developer with absolutely no experience to lead the party.

Even more ironic, Democrats chose about the only person in their party who could not defeat Trump. Trump out-campaigned Hillary Clinton whose attitude of entitlement proved to be her downfall. She was not going to be president, and was decisively defeated in the one and only metric that matters- the Electoral College.

Trump was just as surprised as anyone when he eked out a win in Florida, and then Ohio, then Michigan, then Pennsylvania and so on. Voters were sick of the old guard, dynasties and bold-faced liars, and yet they chose a man who has proven that he is a greater liar than any presidents before him.

Now we are on a precipice. Do American voters cast their ballot for a continuation of the bizarre, self-indulgent, idiosyncratic and non-statesman-like leadership of the incumbent? Or do they opt for a socialist and make a complete U-turn politically?

How has the country painted itself into such a corner? Opponents of Trump have moved left to deflect Trump’s right persuasion. Both parties have become far more extreme and the ultimate outcome of the impending election will be another president that cannot bring the country together.

Historically candidates were radical in the primaries and more centrist in the general election. No more. What you see in the impending primaries is what you will get if any of the current crop of candidates are victorious.

But there’s another sinister trend at play in the halls of Congress. Under the pretense that Trump is trying to unconstitutionally increase the influence of the president, Congress is moving forward to usurp the power of the vote from the people. Why would Democrats be so anxious to impeach and possibly oust a president one year away from a new election? Even more important, why would Congress attempt to undo the legitimate election of Trump in 2016?

This perspective is not an endorsement of Trump, the president or the man. But if he did not commit an impeachable crime, Trump should not be distracted from his duties as president to contend with a House that is hell-bent on prosecuting him.

The precedent of such an action would be very dramatic and meaningful. A House that opposes a president at any time will now be less constrained to begin impeachment proceedings with a simple majority, thereby bringing government to a halt. Of course being convicted by the Senate with a super majority will likely result in few if any convictions.

The hatred, venom and unprofessional behavior of Democratic leaders is unmistakable and has been fostered by spinning of information, illegally leaking confidential testimony and denying due process. In America we change leaders by replacing bad performers with replacements that are duly elected, not through proclamations by Congress.

Presidents are not above the law. But if a president is to be impeached it should be done fairly, according to the rule of law and without political interference.

The Impending Constitutional Crisis Between Obama And Congress

Sal Bommarito

The paralysis in Washington may result in dangerous constitutional confrontations in the coming months. Ever since the Democrats lost their filibuster-proof majority in the Senate (and then the majority in the House), Republicans have stymied most major initiatives by the president, a great source of frustration for him. The mid-term elections will only make the situation more stressful.

Our government has not been able to do its business in recent years. If the Senate falls to the Republicans, the schism between the warring political factions will become more contentious.

On a number of occasions, the president has said he will issue executive orders to achieve his agenda. In essence, the executive branch intends to move ahead without concurrence of Congress, if Congress is not able to pass any substantive laws.

An executive branch that usurps power and creates laws without legislative concurrence is an autocracy, a dictatorship if you will. The president’s rationale for these moves is: if Congress cannot do the business of the people, he will go it alone.

The Constitution specifically mandates that Congress enact laws. There is “no specific provision that explicitly permits executive orders, in lieu of laws.” However, presidents have used the following constitutional comment about the president: “take care that the Laws be faithfully executed” as the basis of issuing orders and bypassing Congress. Frequently, executive orders are issued in conjunction with laws enacted by Congress and in times of national distress, ie., wars, economic strife and the like. Very few of these orders have been contested.

If President Obama issues orders that are deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court and/or Congress, action by these entities is possible. The Supreme Court can rule that an executive order is unconstitutional. A more drastic step would be impeachment proceedings against the president by the House.

Two issues are creating significant distress in Congress, and with it talk of impeachment. The first one relates to acts of war, which may not be made without congressional approval. The Wall Street Journal reports that “limited airstrikes last week aimed at slowing the advance of militants from the Islamic State toward the Kurdish city of Erbil. . . [resulted in] complaints [from Congress] that [President Obama] had usurped the power to declare war that Congress claims as its own.” Briefly, Congress wants the president to clear the use of troops with it . As an aside, Speaker John Boehner may sue the president over these “unilateral actions.” The president indicated that he was acting properly based upon the 1973 War Powers Resolution, which requires the president to report the deployment of troops within 60 days. The ultimate hammer of Congress would be impeachment proceedings.

The other issue that has stoked impeachment talk relates to immigration, specifically the mass, illegal migration of aliens from Mexico and Central America into the U.S. If the president were to issue an executive order making all illegal aliens in the U.S. citizens, a truly outrageous and dubious move, it is highly likely that Congress would move to protect its power. However, a smaller order such as declaring all children who recently entered the U.S. citizens could evoke a congressional response.

The naysayers would argue that the Republicans would not risk another embarrassing impeachment because it would hurt them politically. Or, why impeach when the Senate will not convict? The response to these perspectives is that many congressmen and congresswomen would move to protect Congress from a “despotic” action that would minimize their power and responsibly. In other words, the institution’s power and constitutional responsibilities may trump political affiliation.

Much of the above is speculation about how the executive and legislative branch might act on two important situations. Nevertheless, the opposing parties are pushing very hard, and they are endangering our Republic.