President Donald Trump is badly served. Judging by events, he has little to no control over some cabinet-level officials whose job it is to represent the executive power which the Constitution vests in the Position of President of the United States.
Many people act under the misapprehension that cabinet and other members of the executive body are constitutionally authorized to take upon themselves responsibility for their use of executive power.
But the Constitution says nothing that countenances this abuse. Its framers deliberately disdained to establish a plural executive. They did so to allow the representatives of the people, and the people themselves, to hold the president responsible for the deficiencies and abuses of executive power.
The president is always accountable for them. This was one of the provisions by which the generation that first ratified the Constitution emphatically rejected the much-abused nostrum of monarchical regimes that “the king” (i.e., the chief executive) can do no wrong.
Of course, if some civil officers of the U.S. government badly disobey or disserve the president, he can and should take the initiative to remove them from office. But if he neglects or refuses to do so, the U.S. Constitution vests Congress with the power to take the initiative from him. If it has the political will to do so Congress can remove any such officers (except the president himself) by marshaling the simple majority the Constitution requires in both Houses for each to play its part in doing so.
All this came to mind as I listened to Ambassador Nikki Haley (who, by the way, is doing a fine job at the United Nations) address President Trump’s critique of the timing of Blasey Ford’s sexual assault accusation against Judge Brett Kavanaugh. I was struck by her somewhat formulaic insistence that “they have to take the politics out.” His insistence ignores the gist of President Trump’s reasoning. In an interview with the Hill.TV this week, he said:
…The Democrats have had this letter for three months. They could have brought it up at the hearing during, you know, in course during the hearing. Dianne Feinstein knew all about it, and if she knew about it, that meant [Charles] Schumer knew about it. And every Democrat knew about it.
The president reasonably assumes that Dianne Feinstein withheld the letter from the Senate’s confirmation hearings with the permission and co-operation of Kavanaugh’s accuser. But a little yeast leavens the whole loaf.
It’s disingenuous to pretend that sly political calculation played no part in this delay. It’s also, therefore, too late to demand that senators should not be playing politics. That train is long gone. Finally, since Professor Ford is a highly educated professor of psychology, it makes no sense to believe that she is naïve about the incendiary political implications of her actions.
In the context of the rest of her well-tempered answer to the interviewer’s question, Ambassador Haley’s failure to articulate the president’s reasoning appears to be a relatively minor deficiency. It surprises precisely because her words and actions usually reflect Trump’s thinking so well. She also has political experience that should make her especially sensitive to her boss’ political acumen.
Cabinet-level officers require this sensitivity more than those at other levels. Given the comprehensive nature of their responsibilities, they should represent and properly address the political dimension of the president’s responsibilities better than other members of his executive body.
Yet President Trump has experienced willful misunderstanding and resistance, in various degrees from his cabinet officers. He is also plagued by credible reports of politically motivated and orchestrated resistance at lower levels of what U.S. law expects to be the non-political bureaucracy.
Properly understood, these are not just problems for President Trump. They are symptomatic of a serious challenge to the sovereignty of the American people, a challenge rooted in the ever-growing elitist arrogance of civil officers of the United States. The evidence suggests that this arrogance has reached the level of perjurious attacks on the Constitution they swear to uphold.
President Trump is no longer a private person. He speaks and acts with the sovereign constitutional consent of the American people. All elements of his executive body, be they political appointees or more permanent civil servants, are obliged by the Consitution to defer to his judgment and decisions until, through their representatives in Congress or their votes, the people decide otherwise.
If they are unwilling to do so, any contrary actions they undertake aren’t just “resistance to the president.” They are resistance to the Constitution, and to the people whose authoritative voice informs and substantiates its authority.
Most Americans who voted for President Trump profess to care deeply about the Constitution. Even if they have never done so officially, they are committed in their hearts to the duty all American citizens should avow — to uphold, protect and defend the provisions and principles of the Constitution. Many political, corporate and societal leaders in this country do not. They subscribe to globalist, socialist, even communist, totalitarian agendas that strike at the core premises of America’s constitutional self-government— of, by and for the people.
If the Democrats regain control of either the House or Congress in this year’s midterm elections, they will undoubtedly do everything in their power to subvert the result of the 2016 election, gutting the Constitution in order to do so.
The GOP’s leadership pretends to oppose this war against our constitutional republic. They pretend to respect the pro-American, pro-Constitutional mandate voters in an electoral college majority of the states supported in the last presidential election.
At election time, the GOP leadership professes to share that majority’s commitment to the premises and principles of just government, set forth in the American Declaration of Independence, the Constitution’s framers self-consciously sought to implement. But what do they effectively do as Democrats rally their supporters to eviscerate the Constitution, and push insistently for a range of issues that abandon the principles that are its indispensable foundation?
Though elected on a platform of respect for those principles, the GOP leadership temporizes, equivocates, compromises, delays and otherwise slyly betrays the national constituency that rightly sees the declaration’s principles to be essential to our identity as a people.
These GOP leaders seem bent on aiding, abetting and co-operating with forces in the executive branch that have abandoned the oath to support and defend the Constitutional self-government of the people of the United States. Why else have they failed to impeach and remove Rod Rosenstein, Robert Mueller and all their so-called “Deep State” apparatchiks, working to nullify the sovereignty of the people of the United States?
To thwart this uprising against the Constitution, American voters of good must stage an uprising of their own come Nov. 6. They must respond to the ongoing elitist rebellion against the Constitutional authority of the American people, with an electoral uprising of their own.
Whether or not they are wholly satisfied with the Trump administration, they must work and vote as if this were already a presidential election year. For the people’s mandate in the 2016 election truly is at stake in it.
Moreover, the results of the election are likely to affect the meaning (or irrelevance) of all our elections hereafter. Their addiction to the Machiavellian politics of character assassination proves that the Democrats, and any of their covert allies in the government or the GOP, look to a future in which our elections have no more authentic meaning than they have ever had in other totalitarian, party-dictated, socialist police states.
These elitist totalitarians are already acting to denature all the God-endowed obligations, responsibilities, and rights that support and justify our claim to sovereignty as a people. If they succeed, the new totalitarian elitist rule—technologically better armed and more powerfully consolidated than any aristocratic, oligarchic or despotic regime in human history—will be unmasked as its replacement.
Americans who care for the God-endowed, unalienable right of self-government (liberty) that we have heretofore enjoyed as a people, need undoubtedly to remember that this November’s election could determine its fate. If the Democrats and their totalitarian elitist fellow-travelers prevail, the sovereignty of the American people will surely and finally perish at their hands.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.