This is post number 2 of a series of articles on the President Obama’s use of Executive Orders to govern His royal subjects.
I want to go on the record today by stating that neither political party is innocent and each session of Congress since the early Thirties is guilty of a shameful abrogation of their duties and responsibilities as representatives of the people. No less shameful is the fact that the American citizens continue to abase themselves by allowing their elected representatives to cower from their duties in favor of simply allowing the President to abuse and mock the Constitution.
In my lifetime, I have witnessed countless individuals gripe, bitch, moan, groan and complain about the government’s inaction and/or action without their expressing opinions and wishes to their elected officials. I would be less than honest if I did not also admit that for much of my life I have been one of those individuals. Nonetheless, as I grow older and watch this continuous eroding of liberties and the continuous self-serving cowardice of Congress, I find myself finally motivated to take action. The least action that each American owes to himself, and his or her children, is to express their opinion on issues to their respective Representatives and Senators. Moreover, each of us have a serious duty to hold these people accountable–yet we do not. There is no excuse particularly in light of the birth of the internet and how simple and easy it is to communicate with one’s representatives in Congress. For the sake of freedom and liberty, send an email dammit!
In my first post on this topic, (Executive Orders Suck) I identified the argument that is often used by the self-proclaimed experts (usually Presidents include themselves in this group) to attempt to justify the use of Executive Orders on most any issue that the President feels a compulsion to act. Therein, I stated:
- The folks that justify the use of Executive Orders argue that under Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution, which states that “. . .he (the President) shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, . . ., therefore the President can issue Executive Orders.
The New Use of Executive “Memoranda”
Executive Memoranda historically have been used to provide directives to members of the Executive Branch of government. Historically, these Memorandums are less prestigious than Executive Orders. Obama has recently used an Executive Memorandum to Secretary of State Clinton to govern his citizens without issuing the directive as an Executive Order. I have been curious why Obama did not use his alleged Executive Order power but chose to place his directive in this form. It appears that Executive Memorandums are not required to be published in the Federal Register unlike Executive Orders. This may have been a substantive factor in his decision.
Nonetheless, Obama used his quasi King like power in the form of a Memorandum to Secretary Clinton to reauthorize the use of tax payer funds to support overseas family planning initiatives that promote abortion! This form of enacting law is disguised in the title of the Memorandum; Mexico City Policy and Assistance for Voluntary Population Planning. The Memo was published on Friday afternoon, January 23, 2009 to draw less attention than if it had been issued earlier in the week.
Regardless of your position on the abortion issue, which is not the subject of this post, the fact that we are being governed by Executive Order rather than through a representative government of the people, and by the people is clearly evident.1
The phrase Mexico City Policy refers to an Executive Order issued by President Reagan in 1984 wherein Reagan expanded the application of the The Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2151 to withhold U.S. foreign aid to organizations that used its resources to:
- to engage in a wide range of activities, including providing advice, counseling, or information regarding abortion, or lobbying a foreign government to legalize or make abortion available.2
Prior to Reagan’s order, the Act itself barred recipients of U.S. foreign aid to use such aid . . . “to pay for the performance of abortions as a method of family planning, or to motivate or coerce any person to practice abortions.”
So, as a brief summary, Congress passed the Foreign Assistance Act which included a prohibition against any voluntary person or agency receiving funds to financially support abortion. In 1984, Reagan issued an Executive Order expanding the prohibition to include any person, agency or organization that used any funds to support or pay for abortions. In 1993, this issue became a political football when Clinton rescinded Reagan’s Executive Order. In 2001, President Bush reinstated the policy. Now, Obama has ostensibly rescinded the policy again–by using an Executive Memorandum–not by a published Executive Order.
Must we conclude that in 1984, Congress did not have a problem with Reagan’s expansion of the application of the Act that it had passed in 1961? The question that comes to mind: What did the American people think or want. We must then also conclude that when Clinton took office and he rescinded the Reagan policy, Congress did not have a problem with that either. What did the American people think or want–who knows? In 2001, when President Bush took office and rescinded the rescission, we must conclude that Congress could not have cared less. What did Americans think or want? Now that Obama has, or is attempting to, rescind the rescinded rescission, we have no idea of whether Congress has taken official notice of Obama’s action because there is no notice in the Federal Register. Must we assume that Secretary Clinton sent a copy of the memo to each member of Congress? What do American citizens think or want. Who knows, and who cares? After all America, it’s your money. Just send your hard earned money to Washington; let them do whatever they want with it and stop griping, moaning, and complaining about it.
For those few of you that actually care and would like to know more about the abuse of your liberties by proclamation and executive orders, see a well written article by Henry Mark Holzer a Brooklyn Law School Professor, How Americans Lost Their Right To Own Gold And Became Criminals in the Process.
Furthermore, for those few of you that will make a decision to at least tell their representatives how they feel about the issue of Executive Orders and any other important issue concerning their Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness, click on the following link to send your Congressional Representatives an email. Thank you in advance for caring, and thank you for posting your comments.
Attention: Teachers and home-school parents. Here’s a link for Questions that can be used in an educational curriculum.
- See: The Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln.
- See House Congressional Record, May 23, 1995.