Special to The Sun
Last May, President Obama delivered the commencement speech at Ohio State University. Among his remarks, we find the following: “Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems. Some of these same voices are also doing their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices.”
This is obviously a multi-layered comment, but the ultimate message is loud and clear. In the same way a skilled magician makes his deceptive move while spectator attention is focused elsewhere, we are urged to “pay no attention to the tyranny lurking around the corner.” If we perceive shadowy outlines of tyranny nearby, we as citizens are duty bound to sound the alarm and pass the word. If the tyrannical works get gummed up as a result of citizen outcry, bad for the tyrants, good for the people.
On July 2, the eve of the celebration of American independence, President Obama slipped a remarkable presidential announcement into a plain-vanilla governmental blog. The president, by fiat, is enacting an amendment to a federal statute, the “Affordable Care Act,” (ACA) otherwise known as Obama Care. This legislation, contained in a bill that exceeded 2,000 pages in length, was passed in a “hurry-up” session using a host of back-room legislative razzle-dazzle maneuvers. An overwhelming majority of Americans urges Congress to slow down and give us a chance to read the bill before it was hurried through on the eve of congressional recess.
The President, Speaker of the House of Representatives and Senate Majority Leader bulldozed through all opposition insisting “We can’t afford to wait. We have to act now.” The speaker famously admonished, “Let’s pass the bill, then we can see what’s in it.”
In the aftermath of the hasty passage of this bill, as the speaker predicted, we are seeing its frightening profile as the reality of what threatens to be “the new normal” looms above us all. There’s no need, and no room, to present a catalog of all the broken promises. A few will illustrate the point: If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor. This act will reduce healthcare costs around the country. This is not a tax. This will reduce the national deficit. This will be good for the middle class … etc.
As the passage of time and the light of day expose many of these promises for the fabrications they are, we can see and hear nuts and bolts of Obama Care shaking loose and piling up around us.
Democratic congressional leaders tell us unless additional money can be squeezed out of the pockets of American taxpayers, Obama Care will be “a train wreck.” We see powerful labor unions, who gladly served as part of the battering ram that forced the bill through, appearing stunned and betrayed when they belatedly “discovered” how Obama Care will actually work in real life.
This is the chaotic backdrop to the president’s announcement of July 2 which brings us back to the advisability and being on the lookout for tyranny. The president’s decision to unilaterally rewrite Obama Care doesn’t occur in a vacuum.
This is a president who, by word and deed, has demonstrated an alarming lack of commitment to the Constitution of the United States.
He has, by presidential fiat, enacted immigration legislation when he couldn’t get his way through the lawful legislative process. He has shown utter disdain for the Constitution by making illegal recess appointments. He has thrown the protective cloak of executive privilege around the Attorney General who refuses to provide Congress with the information needed for lawful oversight. And the executive branch, on his watch, has pursued policies of intimidation, falsification, distortion, waste, misinformation and corruption.
And now, the president realizes Obama Care can’t be implemented as drafted and hastily passed. And so, he decides to redraft it, amend it and pass the amendment by presidential fiat. Moreover, he has issued a warning threatening to veto any effort to extend the same consideration to the average citizen that his presidential amendment extends to corporations.
The dangerous tendencies we are witnessing now are the very dangers our founding fathers sought to avoid by establishing a government based on a system of checks and balances.
No matter how benevolent a tyrant may believe he is, he can only get his way at the expense of the people’s liberty.
For all our sakes we must be ever watchful of the tyrant lurking around the corner. I’m Hink and I’ll see ya.
MIKE HINKLE is a retired
attorney and Edmond resident.