Absent the emergence of scores of elected Democrats in Congress with Howard Baker-like character, does any power exist in Washington, D.C. that can hold the lawless Obama Administration accountable?
It's not as if defiance, if not out-right abrogation, of the Rule of Law by President Barack Obama wasn't known before his re-election. Despite contempt of court citations for illegally-imposed deep water oil drilling moratoriums in the Gulf of Mexico to executive orders defying welfare-to-work laws and amnesty for illegals despite the Dream Acts' defeat in Congress; popular and electoral majorities chose to re-hire the Chief Executive to whom Attorney General Eric Holder and IRS employee Lois Lerner report.
Fifth Amendment assertions notwithstanding, Lois Lerner had already admitted serial and gross violations of 501(c)(4) tax exempt organization law for which she can, despite oppressive union-inspired civil service laws, and should lose her job. Despite the vague language of that section of the U.S. Code referring to the "substantial" amount of its time that a qualified exempt organization must expend on "charitable" and other non-political purposes, and the inherent weakening of the rule of law by bureaucratic discretion, the statutory language (and for that matter the First Amendment's absolute protection of free political speech itself) does not confer arbitrary enforcement of the law, much less its application for partisan political reasons based upon the content of an organizations speech, much less their prayers to Almighty God.
Lois Lerner must be removed from the payroll of the IRS, and not transferred to another agency of government-funded by American taxpayers. It would be wrong to fire someone based upon their assertion of the constitutional right against self-incrimination. Before the government can take away one's Liberty with a stint in the federal penitentiary, the state must prove them guilty beyond a reasonable doubt with evidence obtained independent of the defendant. But one's right not to be imprisoned does not encompass a right to keep one's job for reasons less than a criminal conviction.
Lerner works for We the People. She admitted violating laws she was hired to faithfully execute. Even if she had admitted said violations the day after they were committed as early as 2011, rather than via a bizarre planted question late on a Friday in 2013, and never plead the Fifth; she would no longer deserve to remain employed by We the People. An employee that refuses to account for to their employer, ceases to be an employee, in fact.
The goal of the republican majority in the House should be the removal of Lerner from the government payroll, and while I do think Americans would be better off paying most non-military government workers to do nothing rather than execute a substantial portion of the oppressive tax, environmental, educational and other laws on the books; Lerner has clearly violated the public trust and should have to join the rest of us in the private sector where one can't be paid by borrowing from China or Ben Bernanke's Fed. That goal will probably be more easily met by calling fellow employees as witnesses against her, rather than any prolonged game of chicken over her Fifth Amendment assertions.
But even more serious than the continuing employment of a relatively low-level employee of the Internal Revenue Service on indefinite leave, is the continuance of a perjurer as the "chief law enforcement officer" of the United States:
President Obama is probably having a TGIF sort of day: His speech on drone policy and the war on terror left everyone with more questions than answers. Now, former IRS head Doug Shulman has discussed visiting the White House 118 times in two years. In light of this, it is beyond the reach of human imagination to suggest that the President was unaware of IRS targeting of Tea Party groups. If those two issues weren’t headache enough, Obama now faces, probably, the biggest embarrassment of his Presidency – so far: United States Attorney General Eric Holder has committed perjury and will have to resign.
Perjury is commonly thought of as lying under oath. This is not strictly true; perjury is the act of knowingly swearing a false oath, as when one swears to tell the truth whilst being fully aware that they have no intention of doing so. During the hearings on Operation Fast and Furious – the Justice Department’s (DoJ) disastrous gun-running scheme between the U.S. and Mexico – Eric Holder stated clearly that he had no personal knowledge of the operation until just shortly before the it came to light. Emails obtained by Congress later revealed that direct Justice Department involvement in what was, essentially, an operation run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) was greater than had been previously admitted. Republicans were reluctant to go after Holder himself and maintained that they had seen no direct evidence of his personal involvement with Fast and Furious.
This time around, Holder has clearly perjured himself: The first step was when he personally gave sworn testimony at a congressional hearing on Justice Department oversight. The second step came during the hearing itself. Hank Johnson (D-Georgia) tiptoed around the subject of the Justice Department’s probe of the Associated Press (AP). Johnson devoted considerable time to playing the role of apologist; suggesting that it was perfectly fine for members of the press to be investigated if national security was at stake. He was persistent in his attempt to put words into Holder’s mouth, whereupon the Attorney General completely confounded him with the following statement: “with regard to potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material, that is not something I’ve ever been involved in, heard of or would think would be wise policy.”
According to an NBC report, however, the Justice Department has acknowledged that a search warrant for Fox reporter James Rosen’s personal email account had high-level approval, including “discussions” with the Attorney General. Clearly, then, Holder was aware of – and approved – the search warrant. The warrant itself was issued as part of an ongoing investigation into a possible leak of information sensitive to national security. Therefore, when Holder said, under oath, that “…potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material…is not something I’ve ever been involved in, heard of…,” he committed perjury.
A 2010 tea partier-fueled Republican majority that Speaker John Bohener famously dubbed a mere 1/2 of 1/3 of the federal government that he deemed essentially impotent to do much of anything significant to reduce the size of government, cannot impeach the true chief law enforcement officer of the United States, Barack Obama or Eric Holder. And they may not be able to hold him accountable for contempt of Congress much less face criminal prosecution. It will be interesting if Holder could follow Bill Clinton in this area and lose his law license, but I digress.
What the GOP in Congress must do is try and reintroduce shame into the equation for Obama's gangster government. President Obama has an Obamacare law that gives him the liberal legacy he sought. He never has to face the electorate again and knows that the odds of re-gaining the House of Representatives in the sixth year of a presidency is all but impossible. Clearly he feels no urgency to stimulate the creation of private sector jobs so long as we can all get food stamps. The media, academia and Hollywood remain his protector, despite present grumblings; much as pro-abortion feminists remained the protector of serial woman abuser Bill Clinton. Why? Because modern-day liberal Democrats belong to the same mob, the same "church" and care more about their Utopian, big government agenda than to any principle of character.
Keeping abortion on demand legal for as many trimesters as possible was more important than Kathleen Willey or young interns. And in the cases of the IRS denials and delays of tax exempt status for conservative Republican organizations and DOJ leak investigations of Fox News; liberals are secretly happy with the violations of law that suppressed votes against their hold on power in the Election of 2012.
So oppressed by a distant King of England, our Founders rightly feared broad executive power, which is why they experimented with Articles of Confederation and its weak executive before adopting the Separation of Powers with a singular executive in the U.S. Constitution. Clearly, that Constitution conferred broad Commander-in-Chief powers to protect the United States via war from enemies abroad. Checks and balances on the Chief Executive domestically include Courts (that refused to enforce its orders abrogating oil moratoriums), Congressional purse strings (that Boehner has essentially refused to assert via a government shutdown), and the requirement of re-election after four years if one wishes to continue to rule like a despot. And, ultimately, absent a military coup, Barack will return to private life and the writing of this third autobiography before the age of 60 after January 20, 2017.
But any president of the United States could have seized legislative power by fiat had they also lacked character and self-restraint given the difficulty of garnering impeachment majorities. Never have we had an occupant of the Oval Office that seems oblivious to any restraint save an impending election in which he will be on the ballot.
Then again, he threw his white grandmother and Hate GD America pastor under the bus, so there remains some hope that the Grand Old Party together with Democrats wishing to distance themselves from Obama can help to restore some minimal level of accountability to the federal government.
“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson
Editor of Hillbilly Politics
Atlanta Law & Politics columnist at Examiner.com
Front page columnist for Liberty Unyielding and Western Free