As we approach the Fourth of July and contemplate its glorious significance, recent events have brought into sharp relief the precarious condition of America’s unique liberty tradition.
Our Constitution is the best written guarantor of human liberty in human history, but its safeguards do not make it completely bulletproof against systematic assaults undermining its integrity.
In a little more than three years in office, President Obama has distinguished himself as the Great Destroyer of our liberties through a comprehensive set of policies that are at war with the American idea and are succeeding in fundamentally transforming America, in fulfillment of Obama’s promise.
Just in the past few weeks, we’ve witnessed multiple body blows against our freedoms, in areas ranging from immigration to “Fast and Furious” to Obamacare to the economy to race relations to state sovereignty to our very social compact itself.
We’ve just learned that in this poisonous political climate Obama has fostered, even Chief Justice John Roberts, conservatism’s latest great hope for restoring America’s high court to a posture of judicial restraint, has reportedly succumbed to liberal media and presidential bullying to undermine the Constitution in the name of protecting it.
After admitting he had no constitutional authority to change immigration law unilaterally, Obama issued an executive order effectively blocking deportation of so-called “Dreamers,” as many as 800,000 young illegal immigrants. It’s one thing for a president to act in an area over which Congress has authority but hasn’t yet spoken. It’s another for him to take executive action in direct derogation of Congress’ explicit pronouncement — such as its multiple rejections of the DREAM Act.
When Justice Roberts joined with the liberal justices on the Arizona immigration law case to validate Obama’s war against that state — and others — for trying to protect its borders and preserve its state sovereignty, the gleeful, ball-spiking administration went to town. The Supreme Court obliterated three of the four provisions of the statute and emasculated the only one it did uphold by extracting its enforcement teeth.
Obama lurched into immediate action to rub Arizona’s nose in the dirt. It broke seven cooperative agreements with local law enforcement authorities to police illegal immigration; it announced that the Department of Homeland Security would severely limit the cases in which it would enforce the law; and it established a hotline and encouraged citizens to tattle on law enforcement officers for any instances of racial profiling. It is despicable for the federal government to turn citizens against their states and gin up racial tensions in the process.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Eric Holder has notoriously played the race card elsewhere, not just in calling Americans cowards on race but in accusing congressional investigators of pursuing him over “Fast and Furious” as a way to get at President Obama because they are both African-Americans. Despite the fact that Holder was caught in two lies to Congress and has wrongfully withheld thousands of legally discoverable documents, President Obama invoked executive privilege on his behalf to shield him from having to turn over further incriminating evidence.
Of course, the granddaddy of Obama’s recent attacks on our liberty is Obamacare, which has been a disgraceful fraud from the beginning. Though he told us that nearly 50 million Americans were without health insurance, a closer examination revealed that the number of American citizens who wanted to procure health insurance coverage yet couldn’t afford it was closer to the neighborhood of 10 million. Obamacare will not bend the cost curve down but bend it upward, dramatically. It will reduce, not increase, access to and the quality of care. It will further smother small businesses with a tsunami of new regulations and some 20 new taxes. It will destroy the doctor-patient relationship and preclude most people from retaining their plans.
Then Justice Roberts, who was said to be exceedingly concerned with maintaining the integrity and image of the court, reportedly caved to political pressure and changed his opinion and then engaged in contorted reasoning to rationalize the perverse and dangerous result his vote delivered. His ruling doesn’t merely validate the unconstitutional monstrosity known as Obamacare; it opens the door for a horrifying expansion of power under the congressional taxing authority, notwithstanding elitist apologists who sanguinely assure us the consequences of the ruling are limited.
Justice Roberts apparently forgot that his first duty is not to protect the “image” of the court but to protect the Constitution, of which the court is the primary steward.
Whether or not he intended to, Justice Roberts breathed new life, for now, into the Great Destroyer, making November that much more important. If the tea party was taking a brief nap — as some have suggested (but I don’t believe) — the federal government has awoken it with an ear-piercing alarm that will not quit ringing before Election Day.
On this Fourth of July, let’s truly reflect on America’s Constitution and its liberty and redouble our resolve and commitment to recapturing both.