Monday, January 30, 2012

The short answer? YES.

The question:  "Shouldn't (the) President honor a subpoena?"
There has been considerable evidence in recent months that President Obama, like President Nixon before him, sees himself as above the law.  Take a look, for instance, at the “recess appointments” he made while the Senate was NOT in recess. Of course, this follows the appointment of numerous “czars” to create policy for the administration...

But the president’s response Thursday to the hearings in an obscure Georgia court where his presidential eligibility was being challenged suggests that the imperial Russian title (a derivative of the Roman Caesar) ...should be reserved exclusively for Barack Obama — “the man who would be czar.”

In short, the president simply did not show up in response to a subpoena to answer questions about whether he is eligible to appear on the ballot in the state of Georgia for re-election to the office he currently holds.
Perhaps it's reasonable to suggest a President cannot be expected to be dragged personally into legal minutiae, lest this become a standard political tactic. But let's be clear, here: the President not only declined to answer in person a valid summons from a member of the judicial system, his legal team unilaterally deemed it unworthy and thus simply refused to cooperate:
The so-called “birthers” finally got their day in court, and the president decided he just couldn’t be bothered. Too busy being president, as his attorney argued.  That attorney, Michael Jablonski, responded to the legal challenges of several Georgia voters by just plain refusing to participate in the court proceedings. He announced that he and his client, the president of the United States, would simply “suspend further participation” in the Georgia court case and that President Obama would ignore a subpoena to appear.
When President Nixon threatened to ignore court orders, he was threatened with impeachment. It doesn’t matter what the topic at hand is in the courtroom — when the court summons you, it behooves you to appear. This is not less true in the case of a president, the man who is responsible for enforcing the laws of the nation, but more so — for if the president thumbs his nose at lawful courts hearing lawful pleadings, then his legal authority is undermined and so is the rule of law.
Nor can the president rightfully decide to ignore this particular case because he and his attorneys think it has no merit. That is the judge’s decision, not theirs.
Precisely.  This is why there is separation of powers between branches of the Federal Government, and between the Feds and the States.   NO ONE should be able to individually decide the limits of their own accountability.  Period.

I would love to see this nose-thumbing result in Obama's exclusion from the Georgia ballot (an outcome he's been cautioned is possible).  The usual suspects will charge racism, political foul play, ad nauseum.  But the reality is that, by showing contempt for the legal method of addressing grievances (and determining the truth of them), he has shown himself unfit for office, regardless of eligibility.

Let the games begin...

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