Archive for Saturday, February 15, 2014

Saturday Column: November elections key to setting nation’s course

February 15, 2014


It is becoming increasingly clear that the upcoming midterm elections for the U.S. House and Senate, along with a number of governors’ races, are going to be far more important than most elections.

President Obama has made it clear he intends to use every possible means to bring about the “fundamental changes” in this country he pledged to make if elected to the presidency.

He has said he will try to work with members of Congress to hammer out his legislative agenda, but if he can’t get the action he wants, he will use his executive powers to make the changes he wants — changes and policies that fit into his grand plan for this country.

Past presidents have used executive powers, but not to reverse laws, violate Senate or House rules and perhaps violate the Constitution.

Regardless of the makeup of the next Congress, Obama could, and probably will, use his executive powers to try to do an end run around Congress and impose his will on the public. This is what he has been doing with the Democratic-controlled Senate and a Republican-controlled House.

Obama’s critics can complain about the president’s actions, his false or phony pledges, his double talk and deliberate misleading of the public relative to his signature legislation, the Obama health care plan.

But, so far, these critics have been unable to do much of anything other than talk about the situation. Little effective action has been taken to stop the president from imposing his dreams and changes on the American public, regardless of what those in Congress wish or what the Constitution may say.

It’s a dangerous situation and could set a precedent for future presidents if the public and Congress or the Supreme Court cannot, or will not, say the president has exceeded the powers of his office — or the laws of the land.

It is interesting to watch numerous Democratic Senate and House hopefuls and gubernatorial candidates try to distance themselves from the president and Obamacare. Also, it is interesting to note how, by executive action, Obama has pushed back various original deadlines and penalties in his health care law to dates that would come after this November’s elections or even after the 2016 presidential election.

Democratic candidates, many of whom were hard-core supporters of Obama in the 2008 and 2012 elections, now are trying to use various smokescreens to distance themselves from the president. The truth is, as has been shown in past elections, a candidate seeking office often has no hesitance in making voter-friendly pledges only to ignore these pledges once he is voted into office. Obama himself offers a good example.

Democrats seeking congressional seats or governorships now can claim they are not locked into and supportive of Obama’s plans, but until polls showed the president losing public approval, they were eager to use Obama’s coattails to try to get elected.

They want access to his campaign warchest and strategy, but they will try to convince the public they are not an automatic “yes” vote for anything Obama may wish. They want and need Obama’s vast campaign and demographic information, which is the most in-depth source of voter information from previous state and national political efforts and current measurements of the public’s likes and dislikes.

If Democrats are able to hold onto the Senate and strengthen their position in the House — or possibly beat the odds and win control of the House — there will be no stopping the “fundamental changes” Obama is committed to carrying out.

This is why the upcoming November elections are so important — to those who want to continue the fundamental change and the drift to socialism and a “nanny state,” as well as to those who oppose greater government control of the lives of all Americans, the loss of freedoms and a weaker, less prestigious nation.

All elections are important, but there are growing reasons that the upcoming November congressional and gubernatorial elections may be among the most important ever to the future direction of this country. Both sides, and the country, have an enormous stake in the election outcome.


Steve Jacob 4 years, 4 months ago

Tell me what "fundamental change" has happened in five years of Obama's presidency? He got the Affordable Care act early when he had majority in the House and Senate. And that's it. The gun companies got rich scaring the public when not one gun law has passed.

I think we know Obama has not been that good a president, but the Republicans have not helped. We could not even get an Immigration Bill passed that has some bi-partisan support on a non-election year.

Phil Minkin 4 years, 4 months ago

"Past presidents have used executive powers, but not to reverse laws, violate Senate or House rules and perhaps violate the Constitution." Does the writer have examples where this has occurred? " Or is he just using hyperbole and exaggeration as a scare tactic when he has no facts.

Scott Burkhart 4 years, 4 months ago

When a law has specific deadlines, the ACA does and has been held constitutional by the Supreme Court, there is no ambiguity where a President can use discretion in the enforcement thereof as he has sworn to do. To remove deadlines and change the law, by fiat, is unconstitutional and a violation of his oath of office. It is very dangerous territory to venture into. For example, let's say that a republican is voted into office in 2016. Rather than go to congress, he instructs the IRS to no longer "enforce" certain requirements of the law like the individual and company penalties for non-compliance. Then he tells insurance companies that "he" is granting them a waiver for 20 years on having to provide the health insurance that the law requires. A President is just no allowed to do this. No matter how justified he or she might think it is. The end never justifies the means.

Melinda Henderson 4 years, 4 months ago

"This is why the upcoming November elections are so important — to those who want to continue the fundamental change and the drift to socialism and a “nanny state,” as well as to those who oppose greater government control of the lives of all Americans, the loss of freedoms and a weaker, less prestigious nation."

How about let's remember that the November elections are also going to affect the composition of our state government. Here, let me help:

"This is why the upcoming November elections are so important — to those who want to continue the fundamental change and the drift to THEOCRACY and a “nanny state,” (we already are a "nanny state" and not the kind suggested in this editorial) as well as to those who SUPPORT (even though they deny it) greater government control of the lives of all KANSANS, the loss of freedoms and a weaker, less prestigious STATE."

Once again, when our elected representatives play politics with people’s lives, yet claim to follow Jesus, it’s time for them to get kicked out of their “temples.”

Scott Burkhart 4 years, 4 months ago

This president has breached very dangerous constitutional areas of the law. Regardless of whether you voted for or against Barack Obama is immaterial. We never want to move the presidency toward a despotic tyranny. What if he were to declare martial law and suspend elections? What then? Will those of you that supported him in the minor transgressions speak out when it becomes something "big" or do you hate the "right" so much you will follow this President wherever he leads? This is not an uncommon pattern. Tyrannical leaders of the past surrounded themselves not with people of integrity but with people that would move an agenda forward without question. Eventually the people throw off these despots one way or another. What is left are the questions, "Why didn't we speak up? Who could have seen this coming? How did this get so far out of control?"

The powers that this president accumulates will pass to the next. Do you want the next president using the same unconstitutional powers to ignore established laws?

Cille King 4 years, 4 months ago

"According to an article in The Boston Globe, Bush has claimed the right to ignore more than 750 laws enacted since he became president. He has unilaterally overruled Congress on a broad range of matters, refusing, for example, to accept a requirement for more diversity in awarding government science scholarships. He has overruled numerous provisions of congressional appropriations bills that he felt impinged on his executive power. He has also overruled Congress’s requirement that he report back to it on how he has implemented a number of laws. Moreover, he has refused to enforce laws protecting whistle-blowers and providing safeguards against political interference in federally funded research. Bush has also used signing statements to place severe limits on the inspectors general created by Congress to oversee federal activities, including two officials who were supposed to inspect and report to Congress on the US occupation of Iraq."

Beator 4 years, 4 months ago

So if Bush did it, Obama can?

Domestically we face a constitutional crisis with a president who doesn’t believe he must adhere to our fundamental system of governance. If you have some time, take a read through or refresh yourself on the “Spirit of the Laws” by Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu in 1748.


Thomas Bryce Jr. 4 years, 4 months ago

"Mr. Bush Broke all records, using Signing Statements to challenge about 1,200 sections of bills over his eight years in office, about twice the number challenged by all previous presidents combined." Christopher Kelley- Poli-Sci Prof.- University of Miami. It is not a matter of if Bush did it , Obama can. ALL presidents have this option. It is hypocritical to complain about a Democratic President Doing what a Republican President did but with, what is obviously, much more restraint than any of his Republican Predecessors.

Beator 4 years, 4 months ago

It is wearying to catalogue President Obama’s lawlessness – his systematic, blatant violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws (you know, those statutes that Congress writes) be faithfully executed. But this last Obamacare rewrite is especially worth noting.

I am not just talking about the president’s (latest) illegal waiver of the employer mandate, which yet again delays (this time, to 2016) the requirement that businesses with 50 to 99 employees must provide Obama-certified coverage or pay crushing fines – a desperate political calculation to accommodate Democrats who face angry voters this November. I am talking about the other bomb administration officials dropped in announcing this unconstitutional edict.

So Obama has unilaterally legislated illegal conditions on the illegal waiver. To wit, employers will be required to certify to the IRS, under penalty of perjury, that the waiver was not a motivating factor in the company’s hiring and firing decisions.

Chris Stirewalt quips, “To avoid ObamaCare costs you must swear that you are not trying to avoid ObamaCare costs.”

Thomas Bryce Jr. 4 years, 4 months ago

You are welcome. It Started with James Monroe, our 5th President(1817-1825). All Presidents, Republican or Democrat, have had this option for almost 200 years now.

Paul R Getto 4 years, 4 months ago

The battle continues. Will the AmeriKKKan Taliban, including the Kansas chapter, gain more momentum, or is the public getting tired of the Insane Klown Posse? Turnout will be the key. The R's want a low turnout.

William Enick 4 years, 4 months ago

Just imagine if he reversed Citizen's United... re-established Glass-Steagall... Sent Jamie Dimon to prison for fifty years... Created environment protections like the Native Americans have...oh sorry...had- like when changing nature you must consider the effect(s) it will have on the next 7 generations...repealed NAFTA...repealed the laws that mandate profit making as a paramount, or an absolute (like breathing)... that trumps the health and well being of the population and the condition of planet Earth... legalized several drugs so that the population would have to consider what effect it would have on one's health and future well being and pay that price when no violence or any other crime has been perpetrated...and bailed out the American Tax Payer through the IRS right at the same amount of cash that was used to bail out Wall Street. Sure would lock in a Democratic majority in the House and Senate and seal a victory in the White House for the next twenty-five years...of course this would just be the beginning then... I voted for him hoping he would start something. Like a revolution.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 4 months ago

The nation and the state of Kansas can begin by eliminating the ALEC party from congress and state legislatures. 33 years of ALEC subverting the GOP has proved to be nothing but a financial disaster backed by the New World Order Global Economy. 20 million less USA jobs is a poor result.

What’s The Matter With Kansas Schools

ALEC Right Wing Party is posing as the republican party which is fraudulent representation of the GOP. Rather than serve the public interest, ALEC champions the agenda of corporations which are willing to pay for access to legislators and the opportunity to write their very own legislation behind closed secret doors.

ALEC helps surrogates and lobbyists for corporations to draft and promote bills which:

• gut environmental laws

• create a regressive tax system

• eliminate workers’ rights = lower wages

• undermine universal and affordable health care

• privatize public education

• chip away at voting rights.

United States of ALEC

John Birch Society Celebrates Koch Family For Their Role In Founding The Hate Group

James Howlette 4 years, 4 months ago

This just in: Dolph really doesn't like Obama.

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