Does the rule of law still mean anything?

Tuesday, June 30, 2009 Comments

Well, at least it does in Honduras. What the state-run media is calling a "military coup" was actually the arrest of their president for violating their Constitution, after attempts to get him to comply with the Constitution failed. It was carried out on orders from the Supreme Court after the Congress intervened.

What I can't figure out is why Obama is joining with the likes of Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro to side with the ousted would-be dictator.

Aside from the obvious question as to why the president of the United States of America wouldn't defend another country's right to uphold its own Constitution (oh yeah, he doesn't respect ours either), wasn't it just last week that he was telling us we have to be uber-careful to not be seen as meddling in the affairs of other countries? He turned a blind eye to the plight of Iranian citizens who wanted nothing more than freedom and integrity in their elections and took something like two weeks to make a statement (rather tepidly IMO) against the violence perpetrated on the people by their own government. Yet he wasted no time in rushing to the defense of a man who was removed from office for illegal activity.

Back to my original point about the rule of law... while I'm pleased to see Hondurans standing up for their Constitution, I can't help but wonder about the rule of law in our own country.

We have a president who continually violates the law and the Constitution whenever it suits him, a media that by and large refuses to call him on it, and so far the Supreme Court hasn't really weighed in. The rule of law has been replaced by the rule of "empathy" (isn't justice supposed to be blind?), or the rule of "I won" (so therefore I can do whatever I want and you can't stop me).

The Chrysler and GM deals are one example. Bankruptcy law calls for the secured creditors to be paid first, before unsecured creditors. Yet Obama inserted himself into the proceedings and forced the secured creditors to take a backseat to the unions, who were unsecured creditors. Some bondholders took their case to the Supreme Court but SCOTUS declined to even hear the case.

The administration (via the Car Czar's office) had involvement in the closings of dealerships, in which they actually took businesses from families that had owned them for generations, with no compensation, and gifted them to competing dealers (many of whom just happened to be Democrat donors).

And speaking of czars, I've lost count of how many we have now. It's unconstitutional to have unelected government officials circumventing Congress and answerable only to the president. There have been such positions under other presidents, but not nearly so many and not with the scope of power that Obama is conferring on them. It makes a mockery of the separation of powers established in our Constitution, and it needs to stop.

You'd think that Obama might at least follow the laws that he himself co-sponsored, right? Not so much. Last year, he co-sponsored a bill that was passed to protect the independence of Inspectors General, which required that IG's could not be fired without 30 days notice and an explanation to Congress of the reasons. Yet after Gerald Walpin reported his findings of abuse of taxpayer money by Sacramento mayor Johnson, the White House gave him one hour to resign or be fired, offering no explanation. It just so happens that Mr. Johnson is an Obama supporter / crony. After an uproar over this illegal firing of someone charged with protecting taxpayer funds, the White House attempted to besmirch Walpin's reputation by claiming he was "confused and disoriented" and basically unfit. I've seen interviews he's done, he's anything but. It would seem that it's the White House that is confused. It looks like the Senate is trying to look into this, and that's good.

It makes me very nervous to see a president so arrogantly disregard the law on a whim, and especially since many of the cases appear to involve either payoffs to or protection of supporters / donors / special interests. Cronyism and corruption should not be tolerated, and I hope that the administration will take greater care in the future to avoid even the appearance of impropriety, and that Congress and SCOTUS will step in as needed. The confidence of the American people in our government and our laws is at stake.

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