Have you seen the Constitution? I know it's around here somewhere

posted by Jeff | Monday, February 1, 2016, 10:49 PM | comments: 0

There's a segment of the voting population, particularly the Obama haters and Trump boosters, who don't really understand their own government. I'm not sure that it's willful ignorance. I think maybe they just don't know.

The chorus that says "Obama is ruining the country," and let's be honest, Obama hasn't really done much of anything, suggests that he's going to take your guns and going around Congress and whatever. That's giving him too much credit. I may not always agree with him, but the dude is a Constitutional lawyer and professor, he knows his shit. All of the nonsense about executive orders is silly, because the orders have to be lawful under existing law. They can't change or subvert the law. Heck, the only president to issue fewer orders in my lifetime was the first Bush, while Reagan issued the most. And as is the case with any rule making (rules are issued by all kinds of agencies, like the FCC, FAA, CSPC, FDA, etc.), the rules can and are often challenged in court. Checks and balances work.

And the Donald? Dear God, he has no idea what the Constitution is. You don't get to just do anything once you're president. That means you don't get to repeal laws on "day one," because only Congress gets to do that. You don't get to declare war, because Congress does that. You don't get to replace Supreme Court justices, and even if you do seat one, their job isn't to pander to you, it's to scholarly interpret the Constitution. If you believe any of that crap, you're about a hundred steps behind the immigrants that you hate so much. They had to know this stuff to become citizens, whereas you just had to be born here.

The structure of our government moves very slowly. Sometimes that's frustrating, but given the reactionary stupidity that a lot of folks want to enact, maybe that's why the founding fathers made change a little harder. Things like abolishing slavery and enacting civil rights took entirely too long, but we got it sort of done (still a lot of work to do). It's odd that we spend so much time worrying about the executive branch, when to me it seems that it's the legislative that's doing the most damage. I guess it's harder to attribute that to the hundreds of people who make up the branch on the hill.


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