The United States Congress:
What Value Does It Actually Have Today?
Who Changed Its Role As a Co-Equal Branch of Government?
When our forefathers set up our form of government, they created three separate, co-equal branches to construct a system of checks and balances. This three-part governmental system was designed to prevent the concentration of power in a single individual or a single group.
Our forefathers had lived under the despotism of King George III of Great Britain. Because they had personally experienced the tyranny of concentrated governmental power, they concluded that a divided form of government was essential for establishing and maintaining a nation where individual liberty could flourish. When they created our government, they did not necessarily know what form of government was unquestionably right; but they most definitely knew what form of government was unquestionably wrong.
Obama and others have complained about a “do nothing” Congress, or an “obstructionist” Congress; but there are times when we want a “do nothing” Congress—when it is better to do nothing than to pass unconstitutional legislation that diminishes personal liberty. On the other hand, we don’t want a “do nothing” Congress when the president or the U.S. Supreme Court oversteps constitutional authority.
When the clearly defined separation of powers is violated, then we want an “obstructionist” Congress. We want Congress to obstruct all efforts by the president or the U.S. Supreme Court to exceed their constitutional limitations and encroach upon the powers and authority granted only to the U.S. Congress.
Obama complained about a “do nothing” Congress, for example, regarding immigration reform. He told us emphatically that he had a pen and a phone, and he would use these tools fundamentally to transform America—without the benefit of legislation passed by Congress—if he deemed it necessary to advance his agenda.
The U.S. Constitution states that all legislative power rests with the U.S. Congress. The U.S. Supreme Court lacks the legal authority to legislate from the bench, and the U.S. President has absolutely no legal authority to legislate from the Oval Office. Nevertheless, Obama altered his signature piece of legislation, the so-called Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, several dozen times. Each of these changes was made in blatant violation of the U.S. Constitution’s clearly defined separation of powers. Only the U.S. Congress has the constitutional authority to create or alter legislation, including Obamacare.
For decades, the legislative branch has allowed the judicial branch to legislate from the bench and rob Congress of its constitutionally delegated powers. With Barack Obama following in the footsteps of the U.S. Supreme Court, Congress allowed itself to be placed on a dangerous path. With the development of an imperial presidency, the U.S. Congress may soon find itself demoted to a merely ceremonial role, perhaps something akin to that found in Czarist Russia or the old Soviet Union.
Now, more than ever, the constitutional roles of the three branches of government have been blurred, and the executive branch is being catapulted into a position of nearly unlimited power, the scope of which is seen only in dictatorships! We must return to our roots. We the people must return to the wisdom of our forefathers and demand that each of the three branches of the federal government operate within the limitations placed upon them by the U.S. Constitution.
To achieve this goal, we the people must elect representatives who respect the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law. We can only achieve this goal by removing the current leaders of the Republican Party now running the U.S. Congress and replacing them with Tea Party members as well as those who are politically aligned with the Tea Party. That must be our goal; and that goal must be achieved. Failure is not an option; the stakes are much too high! As you soldier on, keep in mind what our Founding Fathers said.
Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States of America, wrote: “In questions of power then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from the mischief by the chains of the Constitution” (Kentucky Resolutions, 1798). He tried to warn future generations that politicians cannot be trusted. Therefore, we must confine them to the limits placed upon them by the Constitution, or they may become no different from common criminals and rob us of everything we cherish.
John Adams, the second President, in a letter to his wife Abigail, stated: “Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present Generation to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make good use of it” (26 April 1777). Clearly, the freedom we Americans have traditionally enjoyed was earned by the blood, sweat, and tears of our forefathers and everyone who followed them in fighting to preserve our constitutional republic and our national sovereignty.
Have we made good use of that hard- fought freedom, or have we allowed ourselves to be deceived into surrendering our liberty in exchange for a false sense of security? As Benjamin Franklin correctly stated, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety” (Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759).
Again in a letter to his wife, John Adams wrote: “But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever” (1775). He was correct. History teaches us that once liberty is lost, it is never fully recovered.
We are truly at a crossroads in America today. We can either continue to surrender our liberty for false security, or we can follow in the footsteps of our forefathers. We can either fight for liberty, or surrender to tyranny! The real question is this: Do we have the boldness of Patrick Henry? He was a courageous Founding Father who boldly proclaimed, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” (Richmond, VA: Second Virginia Convention, March 20, 1775).