`Jonathan Turley, according to his bio, is ranked 38th in the top 100 most cited “public intellectuals” and the second most cited “law professor in the country.” He is ranked as one of the nation’s top ten military law attorneys. Turley has defended those you and I might view as defenseless, yet we support their right to be defended. He is a fierce civil liberties advocate on behalf of both sides of the aisle. Turley has supported Obama, agrees with him on many policies, but says the present “shift of gravity” in the Senate, Executive and Judicial branches has placed our republican system of government in a “very dangerous” situation. Here are snippets of Turley’s interview with Megyn Kelly of Fox News. Read the entire transcript and/or view the video at Real Clear Politics.
…We are turning a blind eye to a fundamental change in our system. I think many people will come to loathe that they remained silent during this period….
I’m afraid this is beginning to border on a cult of personality for people on the left. I happen to agree with many of President Obama’s policies, but in our system it is often as important how you do something as what you do.
And I think that many people will look back at this period in history and see nothing but confusion as to why people remained so silent when the president asserted these types of unilateral actions. You have a president who is claiming the right to basically rewrite or ignore or negate federal laws. That is a dangerous thing. It has nothing to do with the policies; it has to do with politics.
Megyn Kelly asks “What’s so bad that will come of this:
Well, you know, a system in which a single individual is allowed to rewrite legislation or ignore legislation is a system that borders on authoritarianism. I don’t believe that we are that system yet. But we cannot ignore that we’re beginning to ignore a system that is a pretense of democracy if a president is allowed to take a law and just simply say, ‘I’m going to ignore this,’ or, ‘I’m going to shift funds that weren’t appropriated by Congress into this area.’
The president’s State of the Union indicated this type of unilateralism that he has adopted as a policy. Now, many people view that as somehow empowering. In my view, it’s dangerous, that is what he is suggesting is to essentially put our system off line. This is not the first time that convenience has become the enemy of principle. But we’ve never seen it to this extent.
Kelly asks what can be done about it:
Part of the problem really rests with the federal courts. For the last two decades, federal courts have been engaged in a policy of avoidance. They are not getting involved when the executive branch exceeds its powers, they’re just leaving it up to the branches. And often they say Congress has the power of the purse, Congress can simply restrict funds.
But one of the complaints against President Obama is that very clearly dedicated funds in areas like healthcare, have been just shifted by the White House unilaterally to different areas. And the courts have adopted this avoidance policy.
I am astonished by the degree of passivity in Congress, particularly by Democrats. You know, I first came to Congress when I was a young page and there were people that fiercely believed in the institution. It didn’t matter what party held the White House. But what we’re seeing now is the usurpation of authority that’s unprecedented in this country. View Turley’s blog here.
How do cults become cults? The answer is nauseating: Perceived injustices, justifying the taking of what is not yours, promoting him/her who can give you more in exchange for your doing nothing. The end result is hidden from you. You’re not smart enough to figure it out. It will be devastating for those whom you are taking from, as well as you, the unjustified taker – but in the end, you the taker, will lose the most. Because of your ignorant support of lawlessness, you are culpable for the downfall of the shining city on the Hill. You are the incredibly stupid victim of a tyrant with a bright smile, a jaunty walk and no fear of baldly lying to the face of the world.
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