White House power: Beware the Ides of March
There’s an old saying in news rooms: “If it bleeds, it leads. If it’s rare, it’s fair.” Fortunately, it is one of those rare events when a member of our armed forces goes berserk as one did recently in Afghanistan and starts shooting non-combatants. But, given the repetitive overseas deployments of our forces ever since 9/11, those who serve in our Army’s Infantry Branch and the Marines have suffered enormous wear and tear on their personal and family lives. While violence against non-combatants can never be condoned, given the stress placed on our armed forces since 9/11, it is surprising we have not seen more of this.
Another news credo is beware of news released late Friday afternoons. For example, on Friday, March 16, 2012, Mr. Obama updated a 1950s Executive Order to give himself the authority, in times of national emergency (which he decides) to nationalize all the means of production in the United States. As historians and students of government know so well, the seizure of the means of production is the hallmark of fascist governments, be they Stalin’s Communists or Hitler’s National Socialists.
Should Mr. Obama decide that we are in a state of national emergency his National Defense Resources Preparedness Executive Order names a troika of government agencies to carry out his wishes: The White House National Security Council, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Economic Council. The possible saving grace of this Executive Order is Section 804 which says this Executive Order will be “subject to the availability of appropriations.” But, if Mr. Obama’s political party controls Congress, then the appropriations he needs to seize total control of our economy would likely be placed in his hands.
It should also be noted that while Executive Orders do bypass Congress and the usual law-making process, no part of an executive order may direct the agencies to conduct illegal or unconstitutional activities. Good luck with that. Thirty days after being published in the Federal Register, Executive Orders become law.
A word about titles: This writer thinks it is disrespectful to just say: Obama. While I am prepared to believe that Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii, our third branch of government, the Judicial Branch, has before it a number of cases in which it is alleged that Mr. Obama has not met the presidential eligibility requirements set forth in the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Until the Judicial Branch rules in favor of Mr. Obama, I am content to not juxtapose his surname with the words: president or commander-in-chief. Unfortunately, some newspaper editors change my column and insert “president” before Obama. I wish they would not do that. I am merely trying to be respectful of Mr. Obama, the person, and, at the same time, await the judgment of our Judicial Branch which has yet to rule.
Should Mr. Obama be declared ineligible to serve in the office he holds, we can expect tumultuous times. On the one hand, Mr. Obama might step down with grace or he might chose to declare a national emergency and invoke the National Defense Resources Preparedness Executive Order of March 16, 2012. As Shakespeare wrote: “Beware the Ides of March.”
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University.
©2012. William Hamilton.
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