This may come as a shock to anyone but Baby Boomers, but we used to have a class in school called Civics. We learned about the Constitution, the form of our government, the branches of government etc., and the underlying reasoning behind it all. The reason? To insure that we arrived as educated, aware adults, capable of voting with some understanding of who we are, and how things work.
To refresh us just for the purpose of this Blog, there are three branches of government: The Legislative Branch, the Executive Branch, and the Judicial Branch. They are SEPARATE, BUT EQUAL BRANCHES. That means that we are not one amalgam, with 3 subdivisions which people can cross-over at will in the performance of the prescribed duties and responsibilities. No one person wears all three hats. If serving, you are in one of those branches, and you do not cross over into the Constitutionally identified responsibilities of the others.
Each branch is also EQUAL TO THE OTHERS. No one branch is senior to the other two. The Legislative Branch, the Executive Branch, and the Judicial Branch are equally important and serve as a check on each other. In recent years, we have had challenges with one branch trying to assert seniority or supremacy over the other two. That makes for good drama. It also results in confusion.
So, Nancy, Nancy, Nancy, is it possible that you never took this class and yet somehow ended up the Speaker of the House–TWICE? Or is it possible that you know it, and you are still violating it? You are a very smart woman, Nancy Pelosi. You are also a cunning political animal.
Speaker Pelosi has twice become Speaker of the House–the second in line for the Presidency if a President falls. The Vice President is first. Should something happen to both President and Vice President, the Speaker becomes President. That position is a great accomplishment for any person, and I am not criticizing that she achieved that.
What I am challenging is this: Speaker Pelosi apparently thinks she also runs the Executive Branch, and that she is senior to the Judicial Branch as well. Here are 4 examples which lead me to believe that Nancy needs a Civics Lesson.
In 2007, Speaker Pelosi of the Legislative Branch–on her own authority and with the strong disagreement of the President in the Executive Branch–set up a personal diplomatic mission with Bashar al-Assad of Syria. She felt the foreign policy set by the President and his Secretary of State was not right, and she decided to engage in foreign policy talks of her own–thereby interfering in the foreign policy efforts of the Administration at the time. Foreign Policy is set by the President of the United States and his State Department. Both the President and the State Department are in the Executive Branch.
I know this seems remedial to some of you. But, apparently not to some Americans. The House of Representatives is in the Legislative Branch. So, Speaker Pelosi asserted the supremacy of the Legislative Branch, and inserted herself into the Executive Branch.
That’s bad enough, but she did it again. Last month, in 2019, after she once again became Speaker of the House, she disagreed with the President’s foreign policy decisions relevant to Syria and our military. So, she, and a few other legislators that she chose, initiated their own diplomatic mission to create their own foreign policy. In doing so, she usurped the authority of the Secretary of State and the President of the United States. Not good, Nancy. Remember the “separate but equal” stuff in the Constitution you swore to uphold and defend?
They first went to Jordan, thinking they would be welcomed. Instead, they were rebuffed when the King of Jordan informed them that he agreed with the current US foreign policy. The delegation returned home I believe, and I am quite sure that the Media did not cover that little fiasco.
There’s more. In the last week, she has really usurped the authority of both the Executive and the Legislative branches, as well as the constitutionally protected authority of We the People.
The Speaker of the House has apparently concluded that YOU should not choose the fate of the current and future presidents. She was asked why not let the people decide during the election? Why impeach when in a few months the American citizens will decide, as we have for over 200 years? Her response? That this was too dangerous or important to leave to the voters. After all, I guess she assumes we Americans of all parties are just too dim to be entrusted with an intelligent vote.
Then, just a few days later, after challenges occurred in the Impeachment Hearings and she was asked how the issues which were being taken to the courts relevant to subpoenas, executive privilege, witnesses, evidence etc. would effect the Impeachment timeline, she responded authoritatively that they (the small Intelligence Committee of the Legislative Branch) were not going to be delayed at all by pesky legal issues. (The word “pesky” is my choice of words and reveals my disdain for her disdain.) Point of fact, she said, they were not going to be at the “mercy of the courts.” They were just going ahead anyway–right now and in a hurry. (legal issues and precedents be damned.)
In those four examples alone, I find that Speaker Nancy Pelosi usurped the authority of the Executive Branch and the Judicial Branch. She apparently does not feel they are separate, let alone equal. She apparently feels they are all under her authority. One branch of government, all controlled by Nancy Pelosi.
And that, my friends, is a “fine kettle of fish,” as my educator father used to say. I believe you know all of this. You studied Civics. But, somewhere along the line we lost control of our government. Perhaps we put it on automatic while we were busy living our lives, working, playing, using social media to find out what the “jones’s” are doing. Perhaps we trusted we could let the Congress take care of our business.
Well, in my opinion, it is time to wake up. The Legislative Branch is clearly at war with the other two branches in a power struggle for supremacy. It’s time to give Nancy a Civics lesson to remind her of what she learned long ago, but apparently forgot. She is not going to run the Oval Office, the State Department, the Justice Department, the Defense Department, or the Courts. She can have opinions, and create laws that influence those areas, but she can not unilaterally, on her own authority, usurp the authority of those other branches.
That, Nancy, is the true definition of abuse of power.