Congress Holds the Key

By Mass, Warren | The New American, May 21, 2012 | Go to article overview

Congress Holds the Key


Mass, Warren, The New American


Americans of all political persuasions await the November presidential election anxiously, and those committed to changing the agent of "Change" are among those weighing the significance of this election most heavily. Those who regard themselves as "conservatives," in particular, regard this as a "make-or-break" election, deciding whether the nation will continue along four more years of Obama-style socialism or what they anticipate will be a radical change of course to limited government, lower taxes, and fiscal responsibility.

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While the results of four more years of an Obama presidency are not difficult to project, the assumption that putting a Republican in the White House would be tantamount to a presidential U-turn is very likely false. The reasons why a Romney (or other GOP) presidency would not necessarily be a Republican's dream or a Democrat's worst nightmare are based on two distinct, but equally significant, factors.

The first factor is the lack of appreciable difference between the two major political parties and the second factor is the much overlooked, but potentially potent, powers given to Congress by our Constitution.

An historic commentary on the first factor was made by Georgetown professor and Bill Clinton's mentor Carrol Quigley in Tragedy and Hope: "The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to the doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can 'throw the rascals out' at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy."

While most people focus on the presidency as their best hope for turning things around, replacements for the "rascals" in office can best be accomplished in Congress, especially in the House of Representatives. The value of focusing attention on Congress goes beyond politics, however. The second factor is the much overlooked, but potentially potent, powers given to Congress by our Constitution. So important is the role of Congress, the Constitution begins in Article I, Section 1 by noting: "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives."

This wording should immediately preclude any and all attempts by the executive branch to legislate by executive order or the judicial branch to legislate from the bench through rulings that make law rather than judge the meaning of law presented to them in cases. However, should the President decide to legislate instead of execute law, and should the Supreme Court or other federal courts decide to legislate instead of judging case law, the Constitution provides Congress with recourse. …

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