CONGRESS HANDS OFF CONSTITUTIONAL DUTIES
by Robert Gregg
September 29, 2004
In his nightly monologue, Jay Leno was on target when he recently said: "They keep talking about drafting a constitution for Iraq. Why don't we just give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys; it's worked for over 200 years, and we're not using it anymore."
Our marvelous Constitution reads, "All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States." Then why does Congress allow executive orders and presidential directives to attain law-of-the-land status?
Congress, having last declared war on Dec. 8, 1941, has assigned its war-making power to the president. On Oct. 3, 2002, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, met with the House International Relations Committee and offered a motion to declare war on Iraq. Intending to vote against his own legislation, he reasoned that if the United States is to go to war, it should be done constitutionally.
Committee Chairman Henry Hyde, R-Ill., rejected this motion with this comment: "There are things in the Constitution that have been overtaken by events and are no longer relevant to a modern society. Declaration of war is one of them. Your motion is inappropriate, anachronistic, and it isn't done anymore." So much for the oath of Congressman Hyde to obey and protect the Constitution.
Executive orders have been issued ranging from consignment of American citizens of Japanese ancestry to concentration camps, to establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency, to declaring war on Iraq. American kids are dying in a Mideast war supposedly to "protect freedom" while our freedoms at home are shrinking. In the words of Rep. Paul, "We have far more to fear from an unaccountable government at home than from any foreign terrorist." With federal spending, mostly unconstitutional, doubling after seven years of Bushes and eight years of Clinton, Treasury presses are rolling. Our federal debt increases by $1.3 billion daily, and our trade deficit with foreign nations grows by $1.9 billion daily. Bipartisan socialism!
President Bush should issue a memo to our big-spending, voter-pandering Congress emphasizing the Constitution. To the citizens, Bush, supposedly a Christian, on one of his "I am George W. Bush, and I approve ..." messages should state that our Constitution was written by godly men with Christian principles and that, incidentally, the phrase, "separation of church and state" is a myth used to keep Christian principles out of government.
Robert M. Gregg, Nixa, is a Naval veteran of Pearl Harbor.
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