Oath of office supersedes Obama’s wants

November 22, 2015

ObamaConstitutionIn the over two centuries since the United States established itself as a representative Republic, only 44 of its citizens have had the privilege, and the responsibility, to hold the position of chief executive officer.

And each on has repeated the same 35 words: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

It is the only oath of office that the Founders felt necessary to spell out specifically and is noted for focusing not on the person but on the Office and on the Constitution. That whoever was elected would be reminded that he was not there to be King, but rather caretaker. A keeper of an ideal far greater than any one person, ideology, or political agenda. To protect and preserve for future generations the freedoms and liberty paid for with the blood of patriots before.

And to back that up, the Founders placed immediately following the oath of office these next few words: “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States,…”

When held by the right person, it is a platform for greatness: Washington, Lincoln, Kennedy, Reagan. When occupied by another, a recipe for disaster: Buchanan, Johnson (Andrew), Nixon, Carter and most recently Barack Obama.

From the whopper “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan”, to politicizing tragedy for political agenda, to amassing more debt than any President in history, Mr. Obama’s actions are the antithesis of the “preserve, protect and defend” the Founders envisioned.

And yet, with all that, this week he still managed to set a new low.

In the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks, which themselves came in the aftermath of the bombing of a Russian airliner and suicide bombings in Beirut, Americans are understandably a bit jittery. And they have every right to be.

This January will mark the 2nd anniversary of their Commander in Chief referring to ISIS as a “jayvee” team that has since graduated to a varsity squad amassing the largest territory and flushest treasury than any terrorist organization in history.

Yet when questioned by reporters about his lack of strategy against ISIS, Obama chose instead to attack his political opponents for suggesting that in light of recent events, (and that one of the Paris terrorists appeared to have posed as a Syrian refugee), we might want to re-think bringing thousands into the United States.

The irony of the President mocking his political opponents as being scared of widows and orphans when his own policies and inaction have created untold more of them during his tenure may be beyond cruel, but it IS quintessential Obama. (Better to deflect and blame than accept and lead.)

Faced with that lack of Presidential prudence, the House of Representatives put forth a bill on Thursday to add additional safeguards to Obama’s plan. Prior to the vote, Speaker Paul Ryan asked a simple question: ”Don’t you think that common sense dictates that we should take a pause and get this right?” to which 289 (including 47 Democrats) answered in the affirmative.

Senate minority leader Harry Reid has already promised a filibuster in the Senate and the White House has threatened a veto should it make it past Reid’s obstruction.

Every President has a right to his own personal beliefs, he is not however entitled to ignore his oath.

As a self-proclaimed “constitutional law professor” Obama of all people, should understand that. But as it stands now, the best we can hope for is that somewhere there are 6 Senate Democrats willing to help the President understand.

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: A edited version of this column first appeared in the November 22, 2015 print edition of the Joplin Globe.

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