Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

Checks & Balances

U.S., Political, Quality of Life

Checks and balances were created in our form of government by the Founding Fathers.  We have, theoretically at least, three equal branches of federal government and each has certain responsibilities and certain limitations.  That having been said, we hear now that the Executive Branch may have to enact some yet undefined gun control rules by Executive Order.

This subject, of course, elicits some of the best of our worst.  The passions attached to this subject are easily enflamed and exist on both sides of the issue.  Such passionate ‘discussion’ easily inflates to hyperbole that serves to overwhelm reasoned debate.

This particular use of the Executive Order would heighten the seeming ‘stick in the eye’ approach that the White House has taken with regard to its relationship with Congress.  The White House has made very effective use of the Executive Order to this point.  The idea that even more effective use might be the legacy of the second term of this Administration is more than many can accept.

The many include the following.  Judicial activists and judicial conservatives would likely be in opposite corners of that ring.  Republicans and Democrats would, on the surface at least, likely be in opposite corners.  Liberals and conservatives would likely be in opposite corners.  Gun owners and gun haters would be in opposite corners.  Hunters and non-hunters might well be in opposite corners.  Those desiring more government and those desiring less government would be in opposite corners.

The one thing about which we can probably agree is that this subject is one that easily arouses the ire of many, no matter their respective positions on the subject.

Vice President Biden has been known to make remarks that have proved to have been off the mark.  But is that what is happening in this ‘debate’?  That is very doubtful.  The Administration is very likely in full control of the so-called “optics” surrounding this issue.  It has made the issue front page news.  It has vowed to once and for all get guns under control.

Is this the prelude to what we can expect throughout the second term?  Is this designed to set the overall tone for the second term?  Is this yet another chapter in the effort to thoroughly rout the Republican Party, to destroy it as an effective political adversary?  Is this the reality of what we will live with week-in and week-out over the coming four years?

I suspect it is some of each of those and I suspect it is a precursor to the coming four years.  President Obama appears to believe that he has been given the power to do as he sees fit almost without regard to the checks and balances envisioned by the Founding Fathers.  He does not seem to recognize Congress and he does not seem to worry about the Supreme Court.  The fact that he may very well reshape the Supreme Court during his second term may be at the root of the stick-in-the-eye approach being taken with Congress.  Actually the stick-in-the-eye doesn’t pertain to the Senate, only to the House, the only part of Congress that is even remotely threatening to him.

If this foretells the rest of the coming four years, I fear for our country in that there are elements that will find such actions more and more threatening.  The louder and louder complaining could provide/provoke the public impetus/forgiveness for Executive Orders as the order of the day.

Without effective checks and balances, our society will be inalterably changed and that can occur very quickly.

Remember the admonition that one should never let a good crisis go to waste.

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