When I went to law school, my relationship to the Constitution of The United States changed forever. For me, the Constitution became equivalent to biblical scripture for others. It was the foundation of our society, the laws which we created to make sure we lived together peacefully, the document that that guided justice throughout this land. (*play cheesy patriotic music in the background here*) It helped me form beliefs in what the United States is and can be. It has a “sacred text” feel to it for me, and it’s not something I appreciate others using as toilet paper or the butt of bad jokes. Them’s fighting words.
So, needless to say, the recent three card monty our Vice President has been playing with the balance of power in the government drives me insane.
I’ll admit that I have been turning off the news frequently, because whenever another story come on about the Justice Department debacle, the polticization of every thing in DC under this current administration comes out, it makes me crazy. I can feel my blood pressure escalating and I want to scream. Yet, up until today, I’ve held my tounge, so to speak. I haven’t wanted to weigh in because I wasn’t sure once it started, I could stop, or be rational because this issue is very emotional to me.
Ok- so rant is forthcoming- you’ve been fairly warned….
The Constitution was designed to separate us from the English, where the Divine Right of power and government is God given to the Royalty. This means Gordon Brown, while taking over as Prime Minister, still has to seek Her Majesty’s permission to form a government. Quaint, but it still means the Queen holds the cards- while she may never choose to do so, what would happen if she refused to give permission?
In this Country, our forfathers were fed up with one person holding all the cards. Of rules and decisions subject to the arbitrary fiat of one person- the monarch. That’s why they created the structure of government we have. Three branches, all equal in power, serving as checks and balances against one another. It’s worked great up until recently.
I heard an interview the other day on Fresh Air where an author was discussing how the Vice President was a strong believer in an Imperial Presidency. He wants the President to be the King, and he wants to be the Prime Minister. Well, now all the silliness going on in Washington makes sense. Our President has been the figure head of State, and the VP has been the Prime Minister.
The problem with this is that as a result, the VP doesn’t believe that the executive branch is subject to the rule of law under the judicial or legislative branches. He thinks as VP, he sits in both the legislative and executive branches of the government, so he can cherry pick his powers and responsibility off the limbs as he sees fit- like a kid sitting in a peach tree and selecting only his favorites to gorge down, with juice dripping off his chin.
I find this utterly appalling. This is sacrilege to the Constitution, and if memory serves, both he and The President took a solemn oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States when they were inaugurated. The Constitution, as I stated earlier, is like a sacred text to this Country, and having anExecutive branch who is treating it as nothing more than a mere inconvenience is something we have got to stop taking lying down.
It is unbelieveable to me that we would allow a President to face impeachment over a marital indiscretion, yet we would allow the current President and Vice President to continually violate their oaths of office to uphold the Constitution as written, not as they think they can circumvent it. I know, we’re all trying to concentrate n the political campaign, and hope the rest of this goes away as soon as possible. Yet they are continuing to damage the separation of powers that is pivotal to the design of our government; they are setting precedent for future presidents, and if we don’t make vociferous objections to this now, I am not sure what’s going to be left.
I am sure writing this means that the CIA and FBI are going to put me on their “To Watch” list – and guess what- Fine With Me. I may be a mother in the suburbs, and no one probably cares too much about what I have to say on this issue anyway. But as someone who has been to law school, as someone who has been taught to defend the rights of others, even if we don’t agree with them personally, I have to say soemthing.
I am a First Amendment absolutist. Yes, there are time, place and manner restrictions on free speech. And as appalling as I find racists, the ingnorant, the merely silly, I would defend the right of their free speech to the end. While I might not agree with the ideas, our Country was founded on the principals that we all had a right to voice our opinions, however right or wrong they are. And that includes the current Executive Branch of Government. But they also took an oath of Office to uphold my rights to do the same thing. I’d like to hold them to that promise.