By Ryan McNeely
Kathryn Jean Lopez of National Review tweeted this column by Charles Krauthammer and asks, “Who Made the Administrators Legislators?” In a long piece that decries everything from the $20 billion BP escrow fund to TARP, Krauthammer concludes:
Everyone wants energy in the executive (as Alexander Hamilton called it). But not lawlessness. In the modern welfare state, government has the power to regulate your life. That’s bad enough. But at least there is one restraint on this bloated power: the separation of powers. Such constraints on your life must first be approved by both houses of Congress.
That’s called the consent of the governed.
It’s hard to know where to begin here. First, Krauthammer and National Review didn’t utter a peep of protest when George Bush’s DOJ was issuing secret legal opinions that argued that laws against torture were irrelevant and that the Geneva Conventions — ratified by legislators — were “quaint”. In fact, they actively supported such actions using utterly twisted ends-justifies-the-means rhetoric and basically told Congress to take a hike.
But setting this aside, who did make the administrators legislators? Well, the Senate GOP Caucus did, by basically grinding all Senate business to a halt:
In other words, the Republican party — which overwhelmingly lost the last two elections — has orchestrated a grand strategy to cripple the Congress and prevent legislating. They won’t lay out an agenda for the upcoming November elections. They claim that regardless of the results of those elections, they will only accept conservative policy “compromises.” They won’t even permit the staffing of the Federal Reserve during a major economic crisis. They are, in essence, arguing that Congress should do nothing.
Ironically, in the tweet immediately following a link to Krauthammer’s piece, Lopez says, “every democrat and retiree, especially, should be pressured to agree to not be lame” and links to this pledge by Rep. Top Price that demands that Congress literally not even hold a session after the midterm election before the new Congress is convened. So if Lopez and Krauthammer want to speculate about why it is that the Congress seems to be increasingly irrelevant to policymaking, they should start by taking a long, hard look in the mirror.