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Unconstitutional at Any Speed: Assessing the Legacy of Obama

The burgeoning literature on the Obama administration, one of the most lawless in U.S. history, includes Michelle Malkin’s Culture of Corruption (2009), Tom Fitton’s The Corruption Chronicles (2012), Gene Healy’s False Idol (2012), John Fund and Hans von Spakovsky’s Obama’s Enforcer: Eric Holder’s Justice Department (2014), Andrew McCarthy’s Faithless Execution (2014), and the many legal critiques of Obamacare. None, however, focuses on the damage the 44th President has done to the U.S. Constitution like George Mason University law school professor David E. Bernstein’s excellent new book, Lawless: The Obama Administration’s Unprecedented Assault on the Constitution and the Rule of Law.

Bernstein, known as a libertarian-leaning expert on constitutional law, is a meticulous scholar and the author of the trailblazing (and highly-praised) Rehabilitating Lochner (2011), a reassessment of the Supreme Court’s much-reviled decision upholding the liberty of contract in Lochner v. New York (1905). Here he has undertaken a large but important task, and we should be grateful that he has performed it so thoroughly. Many of the book’s examples of administration misdeeds have been reported elsewhere, but having them in a single volume (with extensive accompanying footnotes) creates a shocking indictment of the Obama presidency.

Bernstein is particularly concerned about Obama’s extravagant exercise of unilateral executive power, defiantly circumventing Congress and his own campaign promises. Unfortunately, this disregard for the Constitution only accelerated in his second term, as this book shows. But it is not a partisan screed. Readers seeking denunciations of specific policy initiatives, criticism of Obama’s competence, philosophical broadsides against the President’s judicial appointments, complaints about the record deficits and soaring national debt amassed on his watch, or simply an exploration of Obama’s many scandals will have to look elsewhere. For example, neither the ATF’s “Operation Fast and Furious” disaster and cover-up nor the Benghazi fiasco and cover-up qualify for Bernstein as “lawless.” He has strict standards for what deserves censure. Moreover, he does not restrict his criticism to the current administration; when relevant, he places Obama’s actions in historical context.

The author acknowledges at the outset that the Framers’ conception of a separation of powers balanced among the three distinct, independent, and coequal branches has been eroding for decades, with the executive steadily gaining power at the expense of Congress. George W. Bush was “especially aggressive” in claiming unilateral executive authority, he says. Still, in the absence of any major domestic or foreign crises, Barack Obama has pushed presidential prerogative to new levels, “across an unusually wide range of policy areas.” When he began researching the book, this President’s actions seemed to be in line with longstanding trends. But in delving into the record of the last seven years, he “became convinced that the administration’s lawlessness has well exceeded that of its recent predecessors, certainly in degree, but also in kind.”

Perhaps the most remarkable way that the President has shown his contempt for the Constitution’s checks and balances is that so often his sole justification for ruling by executive fiat has been his desire to circumvent lawmakers on the other side of the aisle. Hyper-partisan politics, the general media bias in his favor, and an embedded Leftist mindset among the Beltway elites have assisted Obama’s arrogant sacrifice of constitutional constraints in pursuit of “desirable” policy objectives regardless of the views, and the constitutional role, of those who disagree with him.

In the realm of domestic affairs, the book catalogs the Obama Department of Justice’s malfeasance. The DoJ advocated numerous “outlandish legal theories” that were unanimously rejected by the Supreme Court. The Department’s chief, Eric Holder, became the first Attorney General to be held in contempt of Congress. Its top leadership ignored the legal advice of the Office of Legal Counsel on voting representation in Congress for the District of Columbia and then selected a rubber stamp, Virginia Seitz, to head the OLC. Seitz went on to opine in favor of “one of Obama’s most egregiously unconstitutional actions,” making “recess appointments” when the Senate was not in recess. (This was one of the unanimous Supreme Court rebukes.)

The DoJ’s Civil Rights Division was allowed to decline to prosecute members of the New Black Panther Party for voter intimidation. The Department has been packed with attorneys tied to Left-wing activist groups. It has encouraged environmental groups to sue the federal government, so that its Environmental and Natural Resources Division has been able to enter into “sweetheart” settlements that require regulation more stringent than that allowed by existing law. Lastly, the Department refused to defend the Defense of Marriage Act from constitutional challenge. Bernstein ruefully concludes that the President and Attorney General “were more interested in playing politics and pursuing a progressive ideological agenda than in upholding the rule of law.”

In foreign affairs, Bernstein deems Obama’s record a “huge disappointment,” not so much for what Obama did, but because he failed to reverse the recent trend of presidential usurpation in this area, despite campaign promises to the contrary. The Obama expansion of drone strikes, military intervention in Libya, and, with the blessing of unexpectedly malleable State Department legal adviser Harold Koh, disregard of the War Powers Resolution were, although controversial (and generally unpopular among legal scholars), consistent with longstanding precedents dating to the Truman administration. Bernstein’s close analysis of Koh’s possible motives for his “about-face on the scope of executive power” borders on inside baseball. It simply strikes this reviewer that the Yale law professor abandoned his pre-State Department views because, like many liberal academics, he is an unprincipled chameleon seeking power and influence.

One of Bernstein’s strongest (and most original) chapters is his defense of private property and freedom of contract, sacred institutions to libertarians and classical liberals. He says without qualification that the Obama administration has compiled “the worst record on respecting property rights of any presidential administration,” and he has the facts to back it up.

The Obama assault on property rights can best be seen in the fact that in three property rights cases that the administration argued before the Supreme Court, the administration lost each one by a vote of 9 to 0. The matters at issue were: the EPA’s attempt to punish the owners of a dry, non-waterfront, residential lot who had done some routine grading, unless the owners restored the lot, on the grounds that it was a “wetlands”; the Army Corps of Engineers’ refusal to compensate property owners for damage to woodlands downstream of a Corps dam caused by the Corps’ periodic (but temporary) flooding on the grounds that only permanent flooding could constitute a “taking”; and the Department of Agriculture’s pursuit of sanctions against raisin growers who refused to surrender a portion of their crop to a government-sponsored raisin cartel.

On fiscal and economic policy, Bernstein implicates the preceding administration, which unilaterally doled out $17 billion in Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds—intended for “financial institutions”—to the auto industry, but lambastes Obama for tripling the TARP payout to GM and assigning government bureaucrats to micromanage GM and Chrysler. Especially disturbing was Obama’s edict that GM and Chrysler reorganize in bankruptcy, under special rules that spared overly generous union pension plans but decimated shareholders and even secured creditors, leaving the federal government with a big stake in the resulting “new GM” and “new Chrysler.” According to Bernstein it was an “illegal reorganization” facilitated by White House threats and intimidation. Ultimately, taxpayers lost $23 billion on the GM bailout, due entirely to exempting the car company’s unions “from having to accept standard pre-bankruptcy concessions.”

Obama’s thumb on the scale in favor of unions extended to the National Labor Relations Board’s extraordinary complaint against Boeing for opening a new production facility in employer-friendly South Carolina instead of union-preferred Washington state. This illegal bullying enabled the unions to extract concessions from Boeing to raise wages and expand production in Washington. Obama’s appointees similarly bullied the health insurance industry into accepting Obamacare regulations not authorized by the (poorly drafted) underlying statute, and the oil company BP into creating a $20 billion compensation fund for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill.

The use of “czars” to head federal agencies, in circumvention of the Senate confirmation called for in the Constitution, receives much-deserved attention in Lawless. Again, the practices of earlier Chief Executives are described as setting the stage for President Obama. As with recess appointments, previous administrations (including that of George W. Bush) have gamed the distinction between “principal officers” and advisors, and have created “czars” who do not need Senate confirmation.

Candidate Obama rode a popular backlash against Bush’s overuse of czars into office—and promptly emulated Bush. Obama created, reports Bernstein, 20 czar positions in his first four years in the White House, which was “over twice as many as Bush had created in two terms.” This further concentrates power in the executive branch. And incidentally, Obama’s reaction to Congress’ belated funding cutoff for illegal czar positions was to issue a “signing statement” of precisely the sort he had vowed as a candidate to eschew, another demonstration, writes Bernstein, of “utter contempt for Congress as a coequal branch of government.”

The chapter on Obamacare describes the Affordable Care Act as “a constitutional and rule-of-law disaster” for many reasons, including that it originated in the Senate, despite a constitutional requirement that all revenue-raising bills originate in the House. While Bernstein’s characterization is apt, I will not spend much time summarizing his arguments, which (unfortunately) have not yet proven successful despite two trips to the U.S. Supreme Court.

If Obamacare is ultimately upheld, the greatest blame will be borne, not by Obama, but by the Congress that enacted it and the Supreme Court for failing properly to apply the Commerce Clause to invalidate it. Particular obloquy—now and forever—is owed to Chief Justice John Roberts for singlehandedly saving Obamacare—twice. Bernstein justifiably scores the Obama administration for unilaterally “fixing” defects in the Obamacare statute, delaying its implementation, and “waiving” certain provisions via executive edict (some contained in blog posts!). This is surely the most depressing chapter of the book.

As a libertarian, Bernstein is acutely concerned about the First Amendment. By his lights, Obama’s worst demagoguery has been on the subject of free speech. Citizens United (2010), after all, upheld an organization’s right to show a movie criticizing a presidential candidate before an election. What’s more central to the First Amendment than that?

In addition to explicating the oft-ignored free speech implications of campaign finance “reforms” and bemoaning (at some length) Obama’s rhetorical war against the Koch brothers, Bernstein skewers the Internal Revenue Service for its outrageous campaign against conservative non-profit groups. IRS Director of Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner led a witch hunt against Tea Party-type groups, requesting “voluminous and often inappropriate information” from them and effectively preventing many conservative groups from obtaining 501(c)(4) status. Lerner sought the names of donors, the resumes of individuals involved, the titles of books applicants had read, relationships with other groups, personal information on interns, and similarly intrusive information, demanding responses up to 20,000 pages in length, under dire threats of perjury charges. Bernstein reports:

Many of those who tried to organize 501(c)(4)s eventually gave up, some out of frustration, others because they did not have the resources to comply with the never-ending paperwork requests.

IRS officials “repeatedly lied to Congress” before the IRS publically admitted in May 2013 that it had targeted conservative groups. Bernstein correctly calls this episode “one of the great political scandals in recent American history,” yet to date no one has been prosecuted. Incredibly, Lerner was allowed to retire instead of being fired. An abridgment of the First Amendment this clear-cut, followed by no accountability, is disgraceful. (Arguably even worse is a Senate action regarding the First Amendment, mentioned by Bernstein: the chamber’s passage last year of a proposed constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.)

The chapter entitled “Antidiscrimination Law Run Amok” is a tour de force. It begins with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) interfering with religious employers by advocating an unduly narrow application of the “ministerial exception,” yet another of the instances of  unanimous Supreme Court rejection of Obama administration actions (Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church v. EEOC, 2012).

Also detailed is the overreach by the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) in transforming Title IX—intended to prohibit sex discrimination at federally funded universities—to require schools to adopt one-sided disciplinary codes, administered by academic personnel ill-equipped to handle an adjudicatory proceeding, with the effect of  railroading students accused of sexual misconduct. OCR dictates procedural rules that lower the burden of proof in these quasi-criminal hearings to “preponderance of the evidence,” which discourages cross-examination of the accuser. In a Star Chamber-like twist, OCR has even suggested that the presumption of innocence be eliminated. To top it off, this transformation is being effected through an OCR guidance—not even a formal regulation. Bernstein rightly calls it “almost certainly illegal and unconstitutional.”

Nor has OCR stopped there. It has also “sought to impose a draconian nationwide speech code at American universities.” In May 2013, the OCR sent a joint letter with the Department of Justice to the University of Montana memorializing the settlement of a sexual harassment case brought under Title IX. Incredibly, the letter stated that it was intended to “serve as a blueprint for colleges and universities throughout the country,” even as it ignored “Supreme Court precedent, the First Amendment, and OCR’s own previous guidance.” Any sexually themed remark that subjectively offended any listener would be actionable. OCR eventually backpedaled on that one, but the damage was done. The specter of losing federal funds and/or becoming embroiled in unfounded claims has led to unconstitutional speech codes at many campuses.

Other brazen overreaching by Obama appointees includes federal guidelines “pressuring public school districts to adopt racial quotas when disciplining children” and the EEOC’s absurd campaign (so far, thankfully, rejected by the courts) “to try to force employers to ignore job applicants’ criminal records” under a bogus “disparate impact” rationale.

There are a couple of areas where Bernstein pulls his punches. One is immigration. It’s a bit odd, since the foreword to Lawless is by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), who has criticized Obama’s unilateral grant of amnesty to millions of illegal aliens by executive order when Congress failed to pass the so-called “DREAM Act.” Cruz has said the President went well beyond the exercise of conventional prosecutorial discretion, flouting federal law and even “counterfeiting immigration documents.”

Bernstein relegates the grant of amnesty to the final pages of his book, conceding that Obama has “acted improperly” and that his executive order flew in the face of his repeated prior assurances that such action would contravene the Constitution. Since the author does acknowledge that “no president had ever used the discretion provided by the immigration laws and inherent to his office simply to evade congressional opposition to his policies, nor to extend de facto legal status to so many people,” the issue, in my judgment, deserves more attention than he gives it. It is arguably the signature act of lawlessness by a President whose contempt for the Constitution is as facile as it is breathtaking.

In the same vein, the Tenth Amendment goes virtually unmentioned in Lawless. The Obama administration’s appalling record of encroachment upon the autonomy of the 50 states—such as the EPA’s proposal to limit carbon emissions for electrical generation plants, the wildly overreaching Endangered Species Act and Clean Water Act enforcement, the imposition of cross-state air pollution rules on the state of Texas, and the DoJ’s bordering-on-frivolous Voting Rights Act litigation to challenge voter ID statutes—should have been discussed. These infringements on state sovereignty have provoked significant litigation against the administration by numerous state attorneys general.

As to what we the people can do to counteract a lawless Chief Executive, Bernstein, first noting that impeachment is “virtually toothless,” makes some well-meaning suggestions. He proposes greater congressional oversight, bipartisan legislation to restrain the next President, and liberalized “standing” to permit “a wider range” of judicial challenges to “the abuse of presidential authority.” He enjoins future attorneys general and Presidents to respect the legal advice of the OLC, and expresses the hope that  future occupants of the White House might “voluntarily limit their own exercise of power even when pressing political considerations dictate otherwise.”

Unfortunately, it amounts to wishful thinking. Ultimately the American public must do a better job of electing Presidents committed to the rule of law, Congress must be more vigilant in guarding its prerogatives and enacting only constitutional laws, and the Supreme Court must trim the sails of the executive branch by revisiting the Chevron doctrine and limiting the delegation of legislative power to administrative agencies.

If the solutions are not here, surely few books have outlined the problem as well as Lawless, which deserves the attention of all serious students of constitutional government.

Reader Discussion

Law & Liberty welcomes civil and lively discussion of its articles. Abusive comments will not be tolerated. We reserve the right to delete comments - or ban users - without notification or explanation.

on November 05, 2015 at 09:42:54 am

How about we edit this into a 60 second video and show it during the upcoming campaign as an example of what Progressives have done and will continue to do.
It could be educational!

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Image of gabe
gabe
on November 05, 2015 at 12:10:50 pm

Obama and his progressive colleagues are shredding the Constitution and trying to transform our country, but he is simultaneously destroying the Democrat Party brand. Look at the net loss of Senate and House seats under his leadership, not to mention governorships and state legislative seats. Look at what just happened in Kentucky, San Francisco, and Houston. I predict a massive backlash in 2016!

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Image of Mark Pulliam
Mark Pulliam
on November 05, 2015 at 12:57:23 pm

The many parallels in history are obvious. One such being Hitler's use of the "law" much of which was established during the previous Wiemar administrations. Or Stalin's purges and "trials" that were held under the color of the law. Both Germany and the USSR had constitutions that in many instances reflected the American Constitution but,in the end,were meaningless. America,like Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia,has become a nation not of objective written laws but a nation of powerful men,many of which are behind the scenes known as the "Deep State." Mr.Obama and his administration's disregard for the Constitution and rule of law could not have been possible without the aiding and abetting of past administrations and especially past judicial rulings. His usurpation of power was built upon the shoulder's of Presidents such as Lincoln,Wilson,FDR,LBJ and both Bushes. The average American,as far as the "law" is concerned is but a numbered tax serf on a tax farm. Sad to say,but true,the American Constitution,though not perfect,is as dead as the Dodo Bird. It has been for years. It has been replaced by the administrative state. The fact is that no matter who becomes President in the next election nothing will really change. The "real owners of America" will see to that.

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Image of libertarian jerry
libertarian jerry
on November 05, 2015 at 13:54:30 pm

As noted, there is a veritable Greek chorus singing of this tragedy to the people, describing the actors and their actions; and yet, the songs of the role of the people in selecting scenario of the tragedy are few and muted.

At the federal level there is no longer a single body of authority.

There is the constitutionally delineated body of authority that comprises the mechanism of the federal government [Constitutional Government-“CG”]. There is now the Federal Administrative State [FAS] for which authority has been established with the active consent (sometimes demand) and passive acceptance of the people, usually to attain benefits or amelioration of burdens.

The CG did, and to some extent still does, function under a Rule of Law.
That *Law* describes, defines, but does not necessarily *delineate* OBSERVED social order and the relationships within it. The CG requires administration for the exercise of its delineated powers.

The FAS functions under Rules of Policy comprised of legislation, regulations, rulings, ordinances and their excrescences, which are attempts to describe, define and *delineate* DESIRED social order and the relationships necessary for it. Administration under the FAS is exercised to establish power; power for the functions, and, as importantly, for the administrators, who are among the actors sung of.

The actors for those scenarios are chosen by the people and find their roles in the FAS to be predominant by the People’s demands; and those roles call for “rational” responses. The choruses sing of returns to the “old” or “former;” while a few soloists call for revising the current predominating scenario, the FAS.

Perhaps some chorus someday will sing that it is not the actors or their actions in the roles they play, but rather it is the scenario which creates those roles and mesmerizes the audience of the people who avoid the drama of what is for the romance of what ought to be.

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Image of R Richard Schweizter
R Richard Schweizter
on November 05, 2015 at 15:19:27 pm

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

As Obama first entered office I ran a blog documenting his activities. If you googled "impeach obama" my site would come up on page one quite frequently. I documented his activities well, kind of like Bernstein did, but without the authoritative character. Obama was, and still is, an anti-constitutionalist, a chronic liar, and a thug.

At one time I predicted that he would be impeached before his first term ended.

The blog was a waste of my time. When he was not only not impeached, but was actually re-elected, I had to reassess America's political reality.

I'm not interested in Bernstein’s book. It isn't that he doesn't write well or that his thesis is not credible or anything like that. The problem is that he's whipping a horse so long dead it is fossilized. Everyone who cares already know the gist of what Bernstein is going to discuss. Obama lies a lot. He has contempt for the Constitution. He is a thug. Yada-yada-yada. It's not old news, it's ancient news. Is Bernstein, perhaps, creating documentation for historical purposes?

The topic of the day is understanding the conditions that lead to his being elected and re-elected, and not impeached; and how to better manage those conditions. Does the book discuss this?

I suggest that unchecked populism (and with it, the party system) is the acid eating away the foundations of American government. I am most interested in a discussion which addresses that particular condition and how to manage it.

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Image of Scott Amorian
Scott Amorian
on November 05, 2015 at 16:18:56 pm

Well stated Scott. My contention is not the Presidency of Mr.Obama. That Presidency,and the damage that it caused,can be rectified down the timeline of history. The problem I have is with the useful idiots who voted to put this man in office. The democracy that has superseded our constitutional republic has opened up the floodgates to a constituency that votes for a living instead of working for a living. A constituency ensconced on the government gravy train. It is what the Founders of our nation feared above all else. You can change government officials but you can't change misguided,corrupt voters. And,by the way, the Republicans aren't much better. As things now stand,there is no hope for liberty in America.

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Image of libertarian jerry
libertarian jerry
on November 05, 2015 at 16:48:30 pm

Scott:

It probably fits with your observations and analysis that most of our political class are creatures of the FAS (see, above).

Consider, initially, why we have a political class? Is it just "populism;" or does it reflect something else about the electorate?

Is there an underlying set of forces to transfer individual (personal) obligations to the "collective" for amelioration of burdens or access to presumed benefits in exchange for assignments of obligations?

Do you think the populace would permit the disruption of the FAS? The political class doesn't seem to think so. As long as it exists with its functions it will attract the "impeachable' who won't get impeached, but will be asked for "more."

Is one route to constrain the way the functions of the FAS are effected; including by constraining the administrators of those functions. Then, to constrain the authority, bit by bit, until the administration of the FAS is returned to a role under the Constitutional Government.

It's not about a plague of rats (to be killed) it's about eliminating the conditions in which they thrive. Yet, we have to do so without shutting down the kitchen we all need to thrive.

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Image of R Richard Schweizter
R Richard Schweizter
on November 05, 2015 at 18:19:10 pm

Actually, the administrative state is operating well within the boundaries of the US Constitution. Unfortunately, it is operating under the post-1800 Constitution established by Jefferson and the Republicans of his time, not under the 1787 Madisonian Constitution.

The post-1800 Jeffersonian Constitution is very much a populist constitution, in contrast to the Madisonian Constitution which had populism contained by a non-populist Senate and President. Where the Madisonian Constitution was a fixed rule of law, limited by the natural nobles in the Senate and Presidency, the Jeffersonian Constitution is a living constitution with weak internal limiters and driven by the often times addled or naive opinion of the majority.

The Jeffersonian Constitution is a variation on the British Responsible Party Government. Where the British form has a single chamber dominated by a single party, the US Responsible Party Government has three chambers (House, Senate, President) which are dominated by some combination of the two parties. The advantage of the US form is that it slows down the creation of bad law because a party in one chamber can slow down or sometimes prevent the creation of laws from the opposing party that it doesn't like. Of course, this doesn't stop the creation of bad laws. This only slows down the rate of their implementation, which means that governmental degradation continues to progress, just not as fast as some people, such as Mr Obama, want.

The out-of-control FAS (among a multitude of other problems) is a consequence of the Jeffersonian Constitution. A sensibile, non-partisan Senate and President of the Madisonian Constitution could negotiate with the populist House for corrections to problems in government.

Can the US pull out of the mess we are in? I don't believe we can directly.

However, I'm noticing that some constitutional scholars understand the difference between the two US constitutions and they understand the problems with the Jeffersonian one. I'm also noticing that some nations, when they reform their national constitutions, recognize the problems with Responsible Party Government.

Specifically, I'm watching what is happening in Thailand. They are currently developing a new constitution. The last one they created (in 2007) was a wonderful example of a very progressive Jeffersonian style of Responsible Party Government constitution.

It lasted about two years.

Things got of control quickly and the military found it necessary to step in and establish martial law. In their later discussions of the issues they had with the 2007 constitution they acknowledged many of the problematic consequences of the failed constitution. Most of the things they want in their new and improved constitution are found in the Madisonian constitution.

Since there are nations that want the benefits of a Madisonian style constitution, and there are experts who understand and would help them develop such an instrument, it is only a matter of time before a nation, such as Thailand, implements a true Madisonian style constitution. When that happens everything will change. That nation will set the example. It will prove that the Madisonian constitution (with a few minor corrections to problems in our 1787 version) really does work and it works quite well. So there is at least one way out of the mess we are in. I'm sure there are others, but this way seems the most likely.

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Scott Amorian
on November 05, 2015 at 21:06:45 pm

Backlash? Probably something more like a slow leak, attributable to the age differential in the separate parts of the political class. The older part seem satisfied to offer more of the same and while the public always craves the "more;" the "same" has begun to wear thin when people have to live with it. The younger segment of the political class seems tantalized by the advantages of offering "more;" and to do so they want to cloak that advantage with some changes or reductions in the same old, same old presented as something different. BUT, it will all be delivered through the FAS, regardless.

What may change, important to individual liberty, is the degree of acceleration of centralization of FAS powers, and more executive powers at the state level - for a while; as sort of turf war.

The FAS may slow, but it will not auto-stop.

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Image of R Richard Schweizter
R Richard Schweizter
on November 05, 2015 at 21:26:00 pm

LJ

To focus on your analysis, it would be helpful to understand in what ways you find the electorate "corrupt."

Are there particular duties, obligations or relationships that are being violated? If so, how do those violated elements arise? Is the electorate subject to constraints that when evaded, or ignored evidence corruption - or just bad choices? Is the electorate free to chose, without constraints?

That is not to say the electorate is NOT corrupt, but to ask HOW are they corrupt?

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Image of R Richard Schweizter
R Richard Schweizter
on November 05, 2015 at 21:28:42 pm

"Actually, the administrative state is operating well within the boundaries of the US Constitution. "

Now that IS news.

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Image of R Richard Schweizter
R Richard Schweizter
on November 05, 2015 at 21:30:11 pm

"Bad principles in a Govt. tho slow are sure in their operation and will gradually destroy it."

-- James Madison

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Image of Scott Amorian
Scott Amorian
on November 06, 2015 at 01:06:19 am

Richard...........Much,but not all,of the electorate is corrupted because they use political action to acquire the means of survival. The idea of consciously living off of the fruits of someone else's labor while one is capable of working and producing is an anathema to those ensconced in the Political Class.

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Image of libertarian jerry
libertarian jerry
on November 08, 2015 at 21:55:17 pm

LJ

You write:

"The idea of consciously living off of the fruits of someone else’s labor while one is capable of working and producing is an anathema to those ensconced in the Political Class."

Do you intend to say that those persons comprising the Political Class find the idea of someone, capable of working and producing, consciously living off the fruits of someone else's labor to be an anathema? In essence, "Rent Seeking" is an anathema to the Political Class?

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Image of R Richard Schweizter
R Richard Schweizter
on May 27, 2016 at 09:51:25 am

[…] who have acceded to a doubling of the national debt under President Obama (along with most of his unlawful executive edicts)? Greater than the administrations of Richard Nixon (creation of EPA, support of busing and […]

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Image of Electoral Hysteria Invites Defeat – American Spectator
Electoral Hysteria Invites Defeat – American Spectator
on February 05, 2017 at 22:55:46 pm

[…] A recent item at The Onion, the online humor site which is rarely genuinely funny, claimed that “Fearful Americans (Are) Stockpiling Facts Before (the) Federal Government Comes To Take Them Away.” Naturally, it was occurring because Americans are “alarmed at the prospect of unconstitutional overreach by the Trump administration.” Ha-ha-ha — as if “constitutional overreach” didn’t occur at a record pace during Barack Obama’s eight years in office (for those who doubt, it did). […]

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Image of BizzyBlog
BizzyBlog
on February 07, 2017 at 00:23:17 am

[…] A recent item at The Onion, the online humor site which is now rarely genuinely funny, claimed that “Fearful Americans (Are) Stockpiling Facts Before (the) Federal Government Comes To Take Them Away.” Naturally, it was occurring because Americans are “alarmed at the prospect of unconstitutional overreach by the Trump administration.” Ha-ha-ha — as if “constitutional overreach” didn’t occur at a record pace during Barack Obama’s eight years in office (yes, it did). […]

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Image of Google's Dictionary: 'Fascism' Can Only Be 'Right-Wing' - Telzilla
Google's Dictionary: 'Fascism' Can Only Be 'Right-Wing' - Telzilla
on February 19, 2019 at 05:20:13 am

[…] colleague at George Mason University, David E. Bernstein. Reviewed in these pages at the time (by Mark Pulliam), Lawless: The Obama Administration’s Unprecedented Assault on the Constitution and the Rule of […]

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Image of Obama and Trump: At What Point Has a President Forfeited the Public Trust?
Obama and Trump: At What Point Has a President Forfeited the Public Trust?

Law & Liberty welcomes civil and lively discussion of its articles. Abusive comments will not be tolerated. We reserve the right to delete comments - or ban users - without notification or explanation.