Speaker of the House John A. Boehner recently shocked many when he announced that he was planning a lawsuit against the president for abuse of power. There is a feeling by many that a harmonious working relationship between the branches of government has been seriously compromised in recent years. When Alexis de Tocqueville visited America in 1831 to perform an in-depth analysis of the American phenomenon, he was duly impressed by our well-structured, divided government with separation of powers.
The writings of the Founders of this nation certainly referenced the Bible frequently, but also paid great homage to the writings of Baron Charles Montesquieu, who wrote quite prolifically about political theories. One of his most well-known works is “The Spirit of the Laws.” In this book, he eloquently argues for the concept of separation of powers. That argument seems to emanate from the Bible’s book of Isaiah, 33:22, where it states, “The Lord is our judge [judicial branch], the Lord is our lawgiver [legislative branch], the Lord is our King [executive branch].” Certainly this system of government has worked extremely well for us in the past, helping to establish the United States of America as the most powerful nation the world has ever known within a relatively short period of time.
In order for a divided government to work, each branch must respect the other two branches. There have always been and always will be squabbles between the branches, but the big problem now is that the executive branch has decided to ignore anyone with whom it disagrees, including the U.S. Congress. Nowhere was this blatant disregard of Congress more clearly manifested than in President Obama’s inappropriate “recess” appointments of three people to the National Labor Relations Board. He redefined the word recess in order to appoint individuals who might have a difficult time obtaining congressional approval. This administration seems to have a penchant for redefining words to make them conform to its ideology. Obviously, if an individual can redefine anything any time he wants to, he can manipulate virtually any situation into a favorable position for himself. If he is clever and no one is noticing, he can fundamentally change the foundational fabric of a society.