Barack Obama is so divorced from reality and surrounded by “yes men” inside his White House cocoon that he doesn’t seem to grasp the consequences of his Administration’s capricious and constant disregard for the laws of the United States.
Perhaps Michael Cannon’s testimony in front of a congressional committee today will be sufficiently jarring to make him realize his potentially precarious position… but I doubt it.
During a congressional committee hearing about the constitutional limits imposed on the presidency and the implications of President Barack Obama’s disregard for implementing the Affordable Care Act as written, one expert testified that the consequences of the president’s behavior were potentially grave. He said that the precedent set by Obama could eventually lead to an revolt against the federal government.
On Tuesday, Michael Cannon, Cato Institute’s Director of Health Policy Studies, testified before a congressional committee about the dangers of the president’s legal behavior.
“There is one last thing to which the people can resort if the government does not respect the restrains that the constitution places on the government,” Cannon said. “Abraham Lincoln talked about our right to alter our government or our revolutionary right to overthrow it.”
The Founder’s Constitution—found online at the University of Chicago where Obama wasn’t a law professor (he was a mere lecturer, and an undistinguished one at that)—speaks quite clearly about our Right of Revolution.
What others called the right of resistance or the right of revolution is at bottom the natural right of preservation. The supporting case was developed with bold thought and cautious speech by John Locke, whose Second Treatise (no. 2) rightly was regarded by many of the Founders as a fit and necessary text for a self-governing people. An executive’s use of force without right left a suffering people with no choice: “cry up their Gouvernours, as much as you will for Sons of Jupiter . . .; give them out for whom or what you please, the same will happen. The People generally ill treated, and contrary to right, will be ready upon any occasion to ease themselves of a burden that sits heavy upon them.” Far from instigating “Civil Wars, or Intestine Broils,” his doctrine (Locke insisted) would have an opposite effect. The mischiefs concocted by “a busie head, or turbulent spirit” would not succeed in the absence of a general sense of being wronged. In fact the people were, if anything, too slow to resent transgressions. Moreover, a people well instructed in their rights would reduce the likelihood of civil commotions by disabusing would-be tyrants of their wicked fancies.
The American experience shows the colonials to have been quicker learners of Locke’s lessons than the ministers of George III. The complex of grievances and restless stirrings that agitated the Americans in the 1760s and beyond had sent their ablest men to their libraries and their writing desks. But by the mid-seventies events had reached a point where entreaties were futile and researches “among old parchments, or musty records” superfluous. “When the first principles of civil society are violated, and the rights of a whole people are invaded, the common forms of municipal law are not to be regarded” (Hamilton, no. 5).
No one with the least understanding of the horrors of an armed rebellion has any desire to engage in one. That fact stated, Americans have not purchased tens of millions of firearms and an estimated 50-60 billion rounds of ammunition in recent years because they intend to submit quietly to creeping government tyranny.