Saturday, July 16, 2011

Elective Monarchy

Lying in the weeds waiting for total meltdown of Congressional functionality is a plan to render Congress completely irrelevant and complete the transfer of all government power to the Executive Branch. Congress has already transferred its war-making power to the Executive, and has now found a way to transfer the rest of its power as well.

Since Congress does not have the courage to pass a budget, or to establish a debt limit for the nation, it proposes to have the President establish a debt limit by executive fiat. Congress will then pass a resolution disapproving that action and when the President vetoes that resolution his decree will become law. To say that that process is inconsistent with the process mandated by our constitution for establishing laws would be an understatement, but it seems this plan is receiving serious consideration.

It does effectively complete the process of creating an “elective monarchy.”

Having set this precedent, if the President later decrees something else to be law, Congress takes no action, and the President then claims that Congressional inaction gives his executive order the force of law, I don’t see how anyone could reasonably argue with that. If the Executive Branch began enforcing that new law, what could Congress or the Supreme Court do? No one would have “standing” to challenge the law in court, and if Congress passed a resolution disapproving the order, the President could simply veto it. No Congress will ever gather enough cohesiveness to override a presidential veto, and there you have laws being put in place by our new “elected monarch.”

Congress would no longer make laws, but would serve only as a rather ineffective check on laws made by the elected monarch, being able to block those laws on the rare occasions that it was able to put together a two thirds majority in opposition.

We’re already well on the way to that form of government. Our president can start wars whenever and wherever he wants. He can order people to be killed, including American citizens. He can run secret prisons and throw people into them without trifling with details like courts or warrants, all he has to do is label them as “supporters of terrorism.” He can listen to conversations of citizens and read their mail.

So this move would complete the process. Every two years we would elect a new Congress for purely ceremonial reasons, and every four years we would elect a new monarch to actually run the country. We could decide for ourselves whether we would have a king or a queen.


bartendercabbie said...

Sounds like Congress could go the way of the House of Lords. Pretty scary scenario.

bruce said...

This scenario looks pretty scary. And much of it has actually happened already.

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