Give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union
By David Swanson, January 28, 2010
Those are the words used in Article II Section 3 of the US Constitution. The president is also to “recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” Why does this not come up in Article I with all the other supreme powers of our Commander in Chief? Well, because only the military has one of those, and Article I is devoted to the most powerful branch of our government, the Congress.
The president is supposed to inform Congress on how things are going in his work of executing the laws they pass. We didn’t hear much of that on Wednesday. President Obama did not mention his ban on prosecuting torture, his advisors’ claims that he has the power to torture, his use of rendition, his removal from the Constitution of the right to habeas corpus, his list of Americans to be assassinated, his warrantless spying, his protection of Bush, Cheney, and gang from exposure or prosecution, his continuation of illegal wars, his use of unmanned drones to assassinate and slaughter, or his assertion of the power of aggressive war in a Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. All of that went without saying.
And how’s the bailing out of Wall Street billionaires going? Obama asserted that he hated it but was doing it because it needed to be done even if unpopular. He bragged more than once through the speech about doing unpopular things, as though democratic representation was the new enemy. Thankfully, there wasn’t the same level of fear mongering about Terrorists that we’d grown used to in these speeches from Bush. But Congress cheered for the president ignoring the public and even cheered for the president unconstitutionally ignoring Congress. The whole room cheered when Obama said this:
“[T]he cost of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will continue to skyrocket. That’s why I’ve called for a bipartisan, Fiscal Commission, modeled on a proposal by Republican Judd Gregg and Democrat Kent Conrad. This can’t be one of those Washington gimmicks that lets us pretend we solved a problem. The Commission will have to provide a specific set of solutions by a certain deadline. Yesterday, the Senate blocked a bill that would have created this commission. So I will issue an executive order that will allow us to go forward, because I refuse to pass this problem on to another generation of Americans.”