The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Boehner's lawsuit

It is interesting to see that Democrats are going out of their way to paint Speaker John Boehner's lawsuit against President Obama as frivolous and even “nutty.” They point to the large number of executive orders that were issued by Republican presidents; Paul Begala, who used the “nutty” term, even points to Speaker Boehner's acquiescence in President George W. Bush's executive orders and holds them out as evidence that Boehner is a hypocrite, objecting to executive orders only if a Democratic president issues them.

But there are executive orders and executive orders. The point is that nobody, not even John Boehner, is challenging a President's right to issue executive orders. If a President issues an order that is in accordance with the President's Constitutional powers and Congress-passed legislation, this is just fine. It is when he issues executive orders which contravene legislation which the Congress has passed and a President has signed into law, then he has violated his Constitutional duty to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” (Art. II, Sec. 3, clause 5 of the Constitution)

Some might argue that the House of Representatives should instead resort to the impeachmment power which the Constitution grants to the House. The problem is that all of us know that no Democrat, and there are 55 of them, in the Senate will vote for conviction. Sixty-seven Senatorial votes are needed, and even if all Republicans vote to convict, there are only forty-five. We have seen, in the case of Bill Clinton, that the impeachment power is quite toothless. Politics trumps the Constitution in the impeachment proceedings. Bill Clinton lied before a Grand Jury, and could not be convicted. So John Boehner needs to go a different route. But how the courts will rule is uncertain. This technique has not, to my knowledge, been tried before. And even if a court finds for Boehner, will President Obama defy it? I suspect he will. But all we can do is wait and see how this plays out.

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