The callousness of the Obama administration toward such concepts as constitutional government, liberty and the rule of law is on full display in two examples coming out of Washington DC.
In the first, the unconstitutionally seated director of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Richard Cordray, isn't letting the fact that the legality and constitutionality of his appointment is an open question keep him from trying to move - swiftly - to expand his power and the power of the CFPB.
In the second, Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Shultz says, in summary, that it's wrong for a religious group to try to impose its moral views on its employees, but right for government to impose ITS moral views on religion. Never mind the First Amendment, which pretty much explicitly says the opposite.
What matters to Corday, Shultz and the Obama administration, is power - accumulating more and more of it, and using it to force people to bend to the will of the state.
In that game, liberty is an afterthought.
Let's recap: Richard Cordray was nominated to head the CFPB, but the appointment required the "advise and consent" of the Senate, and the Senate had not yet signed off on his appointment. So Obama gave Cordray a "recess appointment" - even though the Senate was not in recess.
Further, as Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, recently noted, the legislation creating the CFPB "makes clear that only Senate confirmation of a Director – not a recess appointment – can activate the new powers of this agency to regulate consumer transactions with Main Street businesses.”
Cordray apparently doesn't think so - he's proposing new "rules" that would expand the CFPB's power. In this case, he wants the CFPB to have the power to regulate debt collectors and credit reporting agencies.
That's because the legislation passed by Congress - written by the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid - didn't spell out the rules governing the new CFPB, but rather, empowered the new agency to write its own rules. And the new agency, like all government agencies, believes its primary role is to grow, expand and gain power.
As Ed Morrisey writes at Hot Air today, there may be perfectly good reasons why Uncle Sam should regulate those industries - and if their business crosses state lines, it may be perfectly constitutional. But Congress, the representatives of We the People, should make that call, not the agency itself.
"[T]hat kind of direction should come from Congress, not from unaccountable bureaucrats issuing “rules” to expand their bureaucratic fiefdoms. In fact, that is exactly why we have a Congress and not just an executive branch — to ensure that the laws imposed on our nation come from the elected representatives of the people and not from self-appointed elites.
This demonstrates one of the most dangerous aspects of the 111th Congress and Barack Obama. Both the Dodd-Frank and ObamaCare bills created shells for power rather than laws for enforcing. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid filled both bills with ambiguities and assigned the executive branch agencies the task of specifying their own boundaries, which has the practical effect of not putting any boundaries on the executive branch at all. Phrases like 'The Secretary/Director shall determine' pepper both bills and punts the task of lawmaking to unelected bureaucrats — and in this case, to an administration all too eager to exercise diktat power over Americans.”
And then there is Debbie Wasserman Shultz, who appears to be incapable of making a rational argument in this video clip Morrissey spotlights today.
Says Debbie Wasserman Schultz: "Religious institutions shouldn’t be imposing their values, necessarily, on their employees who don’t necessarily subscribe to those values.”
She then defends government mandating that religious institutions follow the government's values.
While an employee can always seek a different job if they don't like the benefits plan provided by their employer, Morrissey notes that when it comes to "involuntary relationships — say, where government dictates its values to employers within the US through massive regulation" - "Debbie Downer totally down with that."
For Debbie Wasserman Schultz, liberty is just another impediment to the Obama administration's Big Government agenda.
While Debbie Wasserman Schultz appears clueless about the stupidity and illogic of her position, Morrissey nails her for it: "Going off onto a harangue about the evils of imposing one’s values while demanding compliance with a government mandate that forces religious organizations to subordinate their doctrine to the values of this President is about as good a demonstration of irony as one will see."
Somehow, I think, we'll see many more such demonstrations in the near future from this administration and its allies as they use the language of liberty to camouflage its destruction.
See more "Right Views, Right Now"