Michael Schaus

The Republicans introduced (and passed) a bill that would require the President of the United States to enforce laws as they are written. Republican Trey Gowdy summarized the sentiment behind the bill nicely when he explained that Congress passes laws… Not suggestions. The bill is in response to the President’s most recent unilateral changes to Obamacare. But, the fact that it takes a literal “act of Congress” to make the President do his job, is not really the point of this article. I’m afraid it is far more basic than that.

Representative Sheila Jackson, a Democrat from Texas (yes… Texas has a few Democrats), argued in opposition to the bill. And her overall point – that forcing the President to follow the Constitution is somehow unconstitutional – was not the most impressive moment of her deliriously liberal tirade. Instead, what really caught attention, was her assertion that our Constitution was over 400 years old.

This, of course, is news to everybody… Including the people that ratified the Constitution 227 years ago.

Um… First of all: “How well it is, that we’ve lasted some 400 years operating under the Constitution…” Really? “How well it is”? (Grammar check, please. And what is she wearing? Is that a British Colonial uniform?)

Then again, what’s a couple centuries, give or take? Especially for a Political Science major from Yale. (Yeah… She’s a graduate of Yale. There’s probably an article to be written about the intellectual decline of higher education – but that’s not this article.) Not only does Sheila get the age of our founding document embarrassingly wrong – but what exactly is unconstitutional about passing a law requiring the President to faithfully execute his responsibilities as outlined under the Constitution? I agree the law is mildly redundant… But, c’mon: What else is Congress supposed to do when a President changes laws without their consent, and judges refuse to give Congress “standing” to take him to court?

“That’s what the opportunity of Democracy is all about” she explains. Of course, we’re not a Democracy. And maybe, if she had ever read that “400 year old” document she’s referring to, she would have known that. But, I guess we’re expecting too much when we ask our elected leaders to understand rudimentary 8th grade history.

Michael Schaus

Michael Schaus is communications director at the Nevada Policy Research Institute and is responsible for managing the organization’s messaging with the public, the media and NPRI’s membership.

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