Constitutional Crisis: Which way the Military?
Some years ago the University of Nebraska asked us to help build a crowd for a debate between William Rusher, the publisher of the conservative National Review Magazine and Nat Hentoff, of the liberal The Village Voice.
While William Rusher and William F. Buckley, Jr. and National Review, were already familiar, it was only necessary to read a few back issues of The Village Voice to understand that Nat Hentoff was (and is) one of the worlds most articulate liberals. We filled the auditorium; however, we didnt know what to expect. Would the debaters be civil or uncivil?
More than civil, they listened respectfully to what the other had to say. The audience was treated to the best ideas that both conservatism and liberalism had to offer in an atmosphere of respect and even genuine friendship between the two icons of their differing points of view.
Unfortunately, in April, 2012, Mr. Rusher went to his Eternal rest. Fortunately, Mr. Hentoff is still with us and continues to give voice to liberal causes. But what brings this particular column about is that Mr. Hentoff, the consummate left-winger, has just called for the impeachment of President Obama, saying that Mr. Obama is the most dangerous and destructive president ever and is far worse than Mr. Hentoffs former target, President Richard Nixon.
Mr. Hentoff says Mr. Obama has thrown the U.S. Constitution under the bus and is ruling as a dictator. As evidence, Hentoff cites Mr. Obamas delay of the employer mandate in ObamaCare, the changing of types of plans available under ObamaCare, ignoring our immigrations laws, refusing to deport illegal immigrants, enacting stricter gun-control measures without Congressional legislation, sealing his presidential records, creating government offices and Czars without authorization, and changing the pay grades of selected federal employees without authority.
For work-a-day Americans, these burrs under Mr. Hentoffs saddle might seem insignificant; however, one of conservatisms leading voices, St. Johns University Professor M. Northrup Buechner, writing in Forbes Magazine on November 19, 2013, says Mr. Obamas unlawful actions could lead to a troubling scenario: "A Republican Congress is elected and repeals ObamaCare over a Democrat Presidents veto. The President refuses to enforce the repeal. The Supreme Court rules that the Presidents refusal is unconstitutional. The President denounces the ruling and refuses to be bound by it.
"If the President persists in rejecting all authority other than his own, the Dénouement [outcome] would depend on the side taken by the Armed Forces..."
Writing in The Washington Times on November 12, 2013, Commander J.D. Gordon, USN (Ret.), a former Pentagon spokesman, says "...every week since President Obama took office, weve been hearing that another top leader has been summarily fired, despite decades of loyal service and valuable experience protecting the nation. Statistically speaking, its actually closer to one every 8.8 days, a staggering 200 military brass shown the door in less than five years."
Thus, one wonders if this Stalin-like purge of generals and admirals is a precautionary step taken by Mr. Obama in advance of a descent into the darkness of a Constitutional crisis.
If so, as the actress Bette Davis famously said, "Fasten your seatbelts, this is going to be a bumpy night."
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.
©2014. William Hamilton.
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