Monday, February 21, 2011

Breaking: Leftist coup being staged... Milwaukee.


The world has finally completed it's journey to the Dark Side of the Weird.

Arabs are demonstrating in the streets for freedom and democracy (if the MSM is to be, you know...) and the hard left in the US, in the person of Wisconsin's public employees union, the state Democrats and the President, are attempting to overturn by force a democratically elected government.

...the President of the United States’ re-election campaign is involved in coordinating the protests in Wisconsin and are organizing similar protests in other States.

Um, my American chorus can correct me if I'm mistaken, but aren't there Big Rules about the President mixing it up in the outcome of state elections? Aren't they supposed to keep their noses out of it? Or at least try to be discreet about interfering in state politics...



Mark S. Abeln said...

The President can interfere as much as he wants, within the bounds of ordinary law -- they usually don't assassinate opponents, for example. The President is typically the head of his political party, so this kind of organizing is common.

Hank Rhody said...

I'll admit up front that I don't have all of this clear, but I don't think the president has done anything illegal yet. The question hinges on precisely what is "the president' reelection campaign".

Or rather, what role exactly Organizing for America has. It got it's start community organizing for the Obama campaign in '08. The Democrats, seeing a useful group, didn't disband it after the election, rather transferred leadership from the President-elect to the party. If that's actually what happened, then it's actions don't constitute the actions of a sitting president interfering in local state politics.

If you take the position that Mark does, that the president is head of his party (by no means unreasonable), then all of this is an extension of his will. On the other hand, I think the party apparatus in general is kept separate from the president's direct command, for legal reasons if nothing else. So Organizing for America involving itself in the Wisconsin budget doesn't necessarily implicate the President.

Legally, I know of nothing constraining the President from voicing his opinion on this sort of thing (however unstatesmanlike). Once he signs an executive order, or directs one of his departments to do something, or some such we get into legal problems. And yeah, if Organizing for America is still directly under his control, that's also trouble.

Now, as I stated above, commenting like he has is unstatesmanlike. In the brave days of old perhaps we'd have prominent Wisconsinites rebuking Obama. But the rights and prerogatives of states have been waning ever since the Civil War. So, for example the Federal Government has a Department of Education, despite said responsibility not being specifically granted to the federal government in the constitution, and therefore reserved for the states. Or the fact that Congress can affect state policy by offering grants with strings attached (you can have so many billion dollars for improving your roads if you lower the speed limit to 55). Or really any number of things.

John Yoo talks about it here:
He doesn't bring up any specific legal implications, and I expect he would know. Therefore I'm guessing Obama is clean, in a legal sense.

I'm not an expert on the the law, but I am a Wisconsinite myself. I've been following this.