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Is It Over, and We Just Don’t Know It?

Have we lost our Founders' government?

by
Tom Blumer

Bio

February 10, 2014 - 10:29 pm

constitution_off_switch_big_2-6-14-2

Historians have a tough time agreeing on many of the turning points in ancient history.

One of them, in light of events during the past several years and the tone of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address on January 28, seems particularly relevant. That’s the question of when the Roman Republic ended:

(The republic) began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, c. 509 BC, and lasted over 450 years.

* * * * * *

Towards the end of the period a selection of Roman leaders came to so dominate the political arena that they exceeded the limitations of the Republic as a matter of course. Historians have variously proposed the appointment of Julius Caesar as perpetual dictator in 44 BC, the defeat of Mark Antony at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, and the Roman Senate’s grant of extraordinary powers to Octavian (Augustus) under the first settlement in 27 BC, as candidates for the defining pivotal event ending the Republic.

There’s little doubt that the United States of America has reached a point where, relatively unhampered by legislative or judicial barriers, its president and his bureaucracy exceed the limits of the nation’s Constitution “as a matter of course.” They in turn are quietly but effectively under the control of our “independent” central bank.

Decades from now, it’s possible that historians will look back and conclude that the American experiment, which began with its declaration of independence from and defeat of Great Britain, ended sometime between 1999 and 2014. As with Rome, the pivotal event isn’t obvious, and the list which follows isn’t all-inclusive.

The failure by the U.S. Senate to convict Bill Clinton after his impeachment by the House was the first signal that the rule of law might not matter any more. These days, the law seems to be whatever Barack Obama and Eric Holder want it to be.

President George W. Bush’s formation of the mammoth Homeland Security Department and mission creep at the National Security Agency after the 9/11 terrorist attacks consolidated awesome and disturbing powers in very few hands. Now both outfits are out-of-control monsters.

The 2007-2008 crackup in housing and mortgage lending would be a leading candidate for the pivotal moment prize if one believes that it was the result of decades of conscious effort. Evidence that it was, including the Community Reinvestment Act and HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo’s 1990s housing discrimination directives, both of which forced banks to make loans to vast numbers of borrowers who couldn’t repay, is compelling. Compounding the problem, government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac “routinely misrepresented” the quality of both the mortgages they packaged for the securities markets and those they kept on their own books for 15 years. The amounts involved were in the trillions of dollars.

It would have been painful in the short term, but the nation’s economy would likely have recovered, as it always previously had, from that Cloward Piven-like attempt to collapse the system if a frightened George W. Bush administration, opportunistic Congress, and conflicted Federal Reserve hadn’t intervened in the fall of 2008. But they did, and heavy-handedly. Congress passed TARP, despite citizens’ overwhelming opposition. Bush’s Treasury Department then used it to “put a gun to the head” of big-bank CEOs, forcing them to accept government “investment” and de facto control, which the Dodd-Frank legislation solidified two years later.

All the while, the Fed engaged in a massive, undisclosed bailout of domestic and even foreign banks, followed by what became known as “quantitative easing.” And $4.1 trillion later, our central bank’s tiny cadre of suits and skirts now has the ability to almost instantly send the economy into a tailspin any time they see federal government policies or actions they don’t like. Don’t think for a minute that the three branches which nominally run our government don’t know this.

Historians may conclude that the presidential election of 2012 was the last chance to undo the authoritarian encroachment. Pervasive Obama administration harassment of political opponents by its Internal Revenue Service, serial lying about the September 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack, and the mother of all 21st century lies — “if you like your health care plan, doctor, medical provider, and drug regimen, you can keep them” — inarguably delegitimized its result.

Things have now gotten so out of hand that a president consumed with arrogance can go in front of his nation and tell it that he plans to exceed his constitutional authority — and get a standing ovation from the same people who said they were scared to death of “the imperial presidency” a decade ago.

Obama acts as if he’s untouchable, and he seemingly is. If there’s a level of defiance or incompetence which will lead to serious calls for his removal, we haven’t yet reached that threshold — one which would long since have been crossed with any other president of either party.

Just days after his State of the Union address, we saw a cocky president comically declare that there’s “not a smidgen of corruption” at the IRS. He then stood by as the agency, in a clearly in-your-face move, handed out millions in bonuses to employees.

A short time later, we learned that the Health and Human Services Department allegedly allowed programmers from Belarus, a country which should be considered an enemy, to be involved in producing the objectively not-secure HealthCare.gov web site supporting Obama’s so-called “signature achievement,” the Affordable Care Act. The intelligence community believes that these programmers may have deliberately installed malware, which “could be used to covertly route data from the Obamacare website to foreign locations.” Since the Obamacare computers have access to a myriad of other federal databases, our enemies may literally now have the keys to the kingdom. As of when this column was written, this shocking development had barely made a ripple.

I certainly hope I’m wrong, and I’m not suggesting that we hang our heads and give up. But it sure feels like we are already in the grip of post-constitutional despotism. The best counter-argument right now is that some in Congress have finally determined that passing laws or even discussing legislation while a lawless president is in office is a pointless exercise. Will enough of them figure that out in time to begin taking the country back?

(Artwork created using multiple Shutterstock.com images.)

Along with having a decades-long career in accounting, finance, training and development, Tom Blumer has written for several national online publications primarily on business, economics, politics and media bias. He has had his own blog, BizzyBlog.com, since 2005, and has been a PJM contributor since 2008.
Top Rated Comments   
In Imperial Rome, wanna be dictators knew that having the mob on their side would guarantee their assent to power. Thus began the "bread and circuses" in which the formerly independent farmers were attracted to Rome for free eats and entertainment (the Roman version of food stamps and Obamaphones) in return for support of the newest despot. Farmland went fallow, and the Emperors invited barbarians in to farm the land (doing the jobs that Romans wouldn't do.) We know how this turned out.

Mark Twain commented, "History doesn't repeat, but it does rhyme." We are so hosed.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
When Walter Cronkite convinced the American People that the War in VietNam was not winnable, the Mainstream Media knew they were no longer in the business of telling the people what was happening and were, instead, in the business of telling the people What To Think aobut what was happening.
That was the beginnning of the end.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've been saying since 2008 that we lost our last chance to save the Republic.

Nice to see other folks coming to the same realization.

Ballot box is rigged. Only one box left, it looks like...

Orion
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (168)
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Tom Blumer asks this provocative question in his blog. Have we reached a critical turning point in our history where the country now faces an existential crisis under President Obama?
There have been a number of turning points that have signaled the end of the American experiment. At least, at the time, it seemed like the end.
In 1860, Virginia and a half-dozen other states adopted articles of secession, with the intent of splitting the United States into to separate and independent countries. The ineptitude of the Union generals made it look like the Confederacy actually had a chance of succeeding. As it turned our, that was not the beginning of the end as we thought it would be.
In 1914, the assassination of a minor Royal figure started a regional flare-up that turned into a global conflagration. The world suddenly became smaller as we learned that vast oceans were not enough to isolate us from European conflicts. Technology introduced new instruments of war that threatened to take the world back to a collection of feudal villages. However, after millions of casualties, the war to end all wars finally ended and a promising new peace was established with a League of Nations organized to settle disputes. But, the ultimate war was not to be the end of wars, nor was the peace sustainable.
In 1918, the outbreak of the Spanish flu ‘proved’ that densely packed urban living was unsustainable, and that, after 130 million deaths due to that dread disease, the world would settle back into widely dispersed rural enclaves. This catastrophic event showed that civilization was unsustainable. However, just as Europe’s black plague a few centuries earlier had not signaled the end of civilization, the Spanish flu was also a false alarm.
In 1929, a massive implosion of endlessly leveraged financial instruments collapsed the financial structure of the United States and, very quickly, the entire Western world. Production and trade plummeted, and millions of unemployed workers faced starvation. An overconfident president sought to set aside rule of law and nationalize major industries. When stopped by the courts, he sought to pack the Supreme Court. The long view of history suggests that Roosevelt’s actions served to exacerbate and prolong the depression due to the uncertainty that was brought about by his regulatory adventures and rash political action. Our noble experiment would go down with a whimper, it was thought. The fat was pulled from the fire, so to speak, by the massive production demands brought about by an evolving war that engulfed Europe, Asia and ultimately the US. The dissolution of our society had been interrupted. The Great Depression was not the turning point.
In 1939, an arrogant little Corporal learned that he could attack and annex smaller countries and the irresolute and self-absorbed stronger neighbors would do nothing to stop him. His unanswered challenges to a peaceful world order brought us to another worldwide conflagration. Again, technology unleashed horrific weapons that promised to level all the great cities of the world. The atomic bomb was conceived and almost invented by Germany, but was in fact fully developed and put to use by the United States to completely destroy two major Japanese cities. In short order, enough nuclear material was amassed by a variety of mutually hostile countries to turn the world into a nearly lifeless smoking cinder. The genie had been let out of the bottle, and this was surely the beginning of the end.
There were numerous other events that seemed to indicate that our society was coming apart at the seams. A nation of laws and property rights and representative government was not going to be sustainable, it seemed.
In the Twenties, we had massive labor unrest, with strikes, lock-outs, riots, factories being torched, murders, and Communist controlled organizations popping up to try to take control of a distressed nation. It didn’t work.
In the Thirties, criminal gangs controlled major cities like Chicago, Detroit and New York, having corrupted the political process and the politicians. They ruled with impunity, fought with one another, and ‘owned’ the cops. Massive corruption was to be the end of us. As it turned out, it didn’t last.
In the Fifties, the labor unions gained enormous power and managed to get laws passed that seemed to guarantee their power in perpetuity. They brought giant corporations to their knees at will, and played off one against the other. The struggle to divert the fruits of productivity gains to benefit labor was heavily tilted in the direction of labor. The stalling of economic growth and the negative effects of excessive inflation made US producers uncompetitive and encouraged imports that ultimately drained the union jobs out of existence. As it turned out, union power was not going to signal the end of the US as we knew it.
In the Sixties, our country faced the twin disruptions of anti-war rioting a
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
You got your Progressive New Deal, America. You haven't rejected the "Religious Right". You have rejected God and Liberty. Have some cake.
1 Samuel 8
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm still waiting for the person's responsible for Freddie Mac, & Fannie Mae "Multi-trillion $ debacle"! Someone must pay for this "economic tragedy".....besides "you & me".....What is the value of your home today? I personally lost over $150,000 in home value, & it's not coming back......."Move over Bernie Madoff, America, is looking for some "cell mates" for you!
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
The following is a long response to who was responsible for the Mortgage Crisis, the Bank Panic, and the subsequent recession. While it may seem like a lot of bloviating, I'm known to that, it's worth understanding the facts, villains, and the good guys involved in the crisis.

It was the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act passed by the Democrats and pres. Carter that laid the ground work for the housing bubble and its collapse and subsequent bank panic leading to the recession that started in the Bush administration. But was it the fault of Bush as Democrat have claimed?

The fact is that it was Pres. Clinton who "turned the Community Reinvestment Act, a once-obscure and lightly enforced banking regulation law, into one of the most powerful mandates shaping American cities—and, as Senate Banking Committee chairman Phil Gramm memorably put it, a vast extortion scheme against the nation's banks." - http://www.city-journal.org/html/10_1_the_trillion_dollar.html.

This was done during the Clinton administration when "In July [1999 under Clinton presidency], the Department of Housing and Urban Development proposed that by the year 2001, 50 percent of Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's portfolio be made up of loans to low and moderate-income borrowers. Last year, 44 percent of the loans Fannie Mae purchased were from these groups."

''These two entities -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- are not facing any kind of financial crisis,'' said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ''The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.'' [Barney Franks is Chairman of the Banking Committee and received huge sums of money from Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac and is the one pushing this bailout bill through the House] Representative Melvin L. Watt, Democrat of North Carolina, agreed."

http://www.wpaag.org/Bailout%20-%20Who%20Caused%20Financil%20Crisis.htm.

It was the Bush administration, including Sen.McCain, which tried to held off what they saw was an untenable plan that would lead to an inevitable banking collapse. Of course the Democrats and progressives vehemently deny this.

McCain Co-Sponsored A Bill to Prevent the Fannie and Freddie Crisis
Bloomberg News Excerpts from article entitled "How the Democrats Created the Financial Crisis September 22, 08 Footnote 4, 5 & 6"

"What happened next was extraordinary. For the first time in history, a serious Fannie and Freddie reform bill was passed by the Senate Banking Committee. The bill gave a regulator power to crack down, and would have required the companies to eliminate their investments in risky assets.

Obama, a Central Figure in Left-Wing ACORN Organization

Obama is a central figure in the left-wing ACORN exploitation of financial institutions and pressuring them to make high risk loans. In the 90's those years, he also conducted leadership-training seminars for ACORN's up-and-coming organizers. "Obama's campaign apologized for failing to report $800,000 in campaign payments to ACORN. They were 'accidentally' filed with the Federal Election Committee as money sent to 'get-out-the-vote' and 'advance work.'"

After several days of rage from conservative activists regarding this provision, the ACORN provision was removed. See footnote 9 for link to article on matters in this section.

Liberals Try To Slip in another $56 Billion For Give-A-Way Programs In Midst of "Pearl Harbor" Financial Crisis

Even in the midst of the financial crisis which is costing taxpayers 700 billion, a crisis called a Pearl Harbor financial crisis by some, the liberal Democrats tried to slip in a $56 billion plan to expand more give away programs like food stamps. The bill was blocked by Senate Republicans. See this link for full article: http://www.nwanews.com/adg/National/238470/ See Footnote 9 for link to article

"Oh, and there is one little footnote to the story that's worth keeping in mind while Democrats point fingers between now and Nov. 4: Senator John McCain was one of the three cosponsors of S.190 , the bill that would have averted this mess.

See footnote 5 for link to McCain's speech on the floor on this bill and footnote 6 for text of bill. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aSKSoiNbnQY0

[Note: Senate Democrats blocked the passage of the Bill and while it passed in the House it failed in the Senate because of the Democrats.]

Powerful Democrats Receive Huge Levels of Financial Support From Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac
Bloomberg News Footnote 7

"But we now know that many of the senators who protected Fannie and Freddie, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Christopher Dodd have received mind-boggling levels of financial support from them over the years.

"Throughout his political career, Obama has gotten more than $125,000 in campaign contributions from employees and politica
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
The son was a Rotor Tech at the nearby Reserve base, after 9/11 he told me the most heart warming, chest expanding sight for the pilots and crew of those Helicopters was the sea of American flags that everyone put out in their yards, houses and apartments. He said it showed America was united in it's effort to bring Osama and murder inc. to justice. United in patriotism and love of country.
Now those flags are gone, have been since 2010 the people do not fly them anymore they fly no flags or sport team flags tea party flags and rebel flags even pirate flags but Old Glory is gone.
I see the poles bare or flying rags that are bleached pink and sky blue.
Either people sense it's gone or refuse to honor the people in power perhaps they fear to fly the flag Bill Ayers stood on, fear being punished for flying that flag.
Maybe they just sense that the America hating administration that permits and aids voter fraud writes laws without approval or need is not worth flying the flag for.
I know my flag pole is empty, the government said I was the enemy and the terrorist because I am conservative and a veteran I feel these clowns don't deserve the respect flying the flag should bring. Obama and company do not deserve the American flag flown for their antics and blunders.
Michelle Obama's words still echo, "All this for a flag" her feeling for the flag are plain and she is FLOTUS and beyond reproach.
My flag is down, the nation that was may be gone but one day the constitution will be read again by people who have grown to hate the childish dreamers who are so incompetent they cannot even run a healthcare website and blame the last POTUS for all their problems.
Yes, for now the Nation of before is gone, I'm betting it will rise up again once these idiots screw up royally one last time.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
The policies and communication skills of Regan combined with the backbone of Thatcher. GOP candidate? 2016? 2020? 2024? Find him or her . ASAP
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
It is kinda hard not to think so when we have a FLOTUS telling young, minority citizens that they should make sure that they don't "leave anything on the table" in regards to welfare benefits and government assistance programs. And I am left to wonder, which way is up?



9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
You just noticed?
9 weeks ago
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Incitatus for President!
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is what you get after almost 250 years of politicians on both sides of the aisle trying their darnedest to subvert the constitution. Now they've finally succeeded. It all just proves (yet again) Mark Twain's old line about America having no natural criminal class - except Congress.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes...it's over. Don't blame the Democrats, liberals, progressives for this mess. Blame the uninformed incredibly naive, stupid, mouth breathing American electorate who elected these people to high office.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
YEAH! The "kids" that are "History ignorant, politically ignorant, self indulged, & Narcissistic.......&......They "don't want to pay for Obama care, for "us" old folks!........[ to say nothing about the Liberal's, & Progressives......Killery Clinton....is the "czar" of the Progressives! Remember that, when she "goes for Obama's job"!
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
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