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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/14/11

How Truman would be handling the Republican Debt Threat

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Message Al Rodbell
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We are in the midst of a constitutional crisis, in that we have an unanticipated conflict between two of the three branches of government. The Constitution carefully defined the process of creating laws and appropriation of funds. It was to begin in the House, be validated by the Senate, or amended, and then signed by the President. If Congress and the President disagreed, more authority was given to the President, the Executive, as it required 2/3 of both houses to over ride his rejection. So even a super majority of the house, much less a bare majority had no capacity to override a President.

The new anchor on CNN's "In The Arena" made a statement a few days ago that summed up the public's perception in answering a Democratic spokesperson, "You control the Senate and the Presidency, that's two out of three, so why don't you just fix it." While it showed an abysmal lack of knowledge for a newscaster, this will be the perception if the country is thrust into the catastrophe of defaulting on internal or external obligations.

In my proposed speech above, I only alluded to the three parts of the constitution that justifies the action I propose. Whether or not they would be jurisprudencially convincing is in some ways unimportant. The recent decision, along party lines, not to follow the Presidents recommendation in suspending execution of a man in violation of an international agreement sets the tone of this court. They have no compunctions against doing anything to lessen the authority of this President.

First, they should not take this case, as the remedy for a president who refuses to follow the law is spelled out in the constitution as impeachment, and only this. Yet, they probably would, and they would very possibly rule against the president. At that point we have sharpened the conflict, as the court is acting as a partisan agent, rather than an impartial evaluator of the facts and the law.

It would also create an impossible dilemma for the court, given that the executive branch would not have the funds to follow every existing lawful appropriation, thousands of priorities must be made. This would be difficult for the existing executive branch, but impossible for the Supreme Court with no resources to begin to handle such responsibilities.

The court could choose a president, but it can not replace one, and it is not a case of simply mandating the following of a given law. A refusal to increase the debt limit means that thousands of existing laws will not be able to be enforced, or funded. The catastrophe that Bernanke, John McCain and every thinking person predicts will not weaken the executive, it will make the president the single arbiter of what laws shall be followed, as there won't be funding for all of them.

The radical Republicans of the House of Representatives, in spite of the senior leaders of their party and even those in the other house of congress are attempting to use a quirk in the constitution to hold the country ransom to their sworn oaths against taxation. There is an overriding principle of jurisprudence at the Supreme Court level under the rubric,  "The Constitution is not a suicide pact."

Barack Obama is the elected Chief Executive of this country. He has not only the right, but the obligation to prevent great harm from befalling this nation. The Constitution has provided the process that Congress may reject his action in the form of impeachment, which should preclude any attempt by the Supreme Court to act. We must have a President, and in the absence of conviction by the Senate of articles of impeachment, it shall be the current president.

Now is the time for him to assert this authority.

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Al Rodbell Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Retired Commercial Printing Executive, developer of I.T. systems for the industry. Advanced degrees in Social Psychology, now living in Southern California
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