What a quaint phrase! Not quaint for you and me, of course. For us plebs, what the law requires is, well, what the law requires. To the letter, Kemo Sabe. But how about for our masters in Washington, especially for the master-in-chief, Barack Obama? What, exactly, does the law require of him? That he follow and (see Article II of the U.S. Constitution) “faithfully execute” the laws? Not hardly. Andrew McCarthy’s new book Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment (not officially published until Tuesday but available now on Amazon) provides a sort of catalogue or cornucopia of Obama’s lawlessness. I won’t rehearse that litany here except to mention these key words:
- Obamacare (“If you like your health care plan you can keep your health care plan, period.”)
- et very much cetera (think Fast & Furious, Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository, making recess appointments when Congress not in recess, Solyndra — really, read Faithless Execution)
When it comes to lawlessness, Obama is the gift that keeps on giving. If Congress passes a law that is Constitutional but that he happens not to like: no problem. He just won’t enforce it (ask the folks in Arizona about immigration laws). Perhaps Congress fails to pass a law about something that he does want done: that’s no problem, either, because he has learned that there is no cost to governing by decree. The latest instance of presidential lawlessness concerns the Taliban’s release of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in Afghanistan in exchange for five high-level Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo Bay. Naturally, one rejoices at the release of an American solider after nearly five years of captivity in the savage hell-hole of Afghanistan. But as Rep. Howard McKeon and Sen. James Inhofe observed yesterday, “America has maintained a prohibition on negotiating with terrorists for good reason. Trading five senior Taliban leaders from detention in Guantanamo Bay for Bergdahl’s release may have consequences for the rest of our forces and all Americans.” Prediction: you’ll see many more Americans captured and held for ransom now that the Taliban knows our policy of not negotiating with terrorists implies that, if you push a little, we will happily negotiate with terrorists.
There’s also the little matter of how the transfer was arranged. As the Washington Post reports, “Lawmakers were not notified of the Guantanamo detainees’ transfer until after it occurred.” But, the report continues, “the law requires the defense secretary to notify relevant congressional committees at least 30 days before making any transfers of prisoners, to explain the reason and to provide assurances that those released would not be in a position to reengage in activities that could threaten the United States or its interests.” “The law requires.” Ha, ha, ha. This is King Obama we’re talking about, not you or me. Apparently, he can do whatever he pleases, from calling on the IRS to harass his political opponents to selectively enforcing to law to imprisoning video makers who are convenient scapegoats. But wait, there’s more.