Appealing to the Wrong Authority

The conservative media got all excited this week about Speaker Boehner's speech rebuking Obama's recent executive actions regarding immigration. I was a bit surprised, as only a couple weeks prior they were all excited about the prospect of replacing him, but I get it. You work with what you've got. 

So, I watched Boehner's speech in it's entirety, which is asking a lot from me, honestly.

The first 10% of the speech was an appeal to the legislature to stand up and defend the constitution.

The middle 85% was a thoughtful and coherent exposition of the law put forth in the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights that covers lawmaking authority, separation of powers, and other elements of the highest law of our land that the President is currently trampling over.... JUST KIDDING! The bulk of his speech was not an appeal to the law at all. He didn't quote a single passage. Instead he quoted Obama 22 times (presumably from a small red book), selecting past statements that seem to rule out his current executive actions as impermissible according to some unspecified principal of constitutionality. 

All Boehner really accomplished in his speech was to accuse Obama of hypocrisy. Which, in this brave new world of absolute moral and legal relativism, is the only sin one can actually commit anymore. 

Good job, John-Boy. You've pointed out something that the rest of us have known since 2008. Way to go. 

The real problem here is this: If, in a complete crisis of Constitutional Law and Order in the federal government, the Speaker of the House is incapable or unwilling to invoke even a single phrase of the Constitution or Bill of Rights is his rebuke, then he doesn't care about the Constitution any more than the President does. No, Boehner uses The Constitution!™ like Dr. Pavlov used his bell to make the dogs drool on command. And, look! The "conservative" media are drooling for him! Never mind that the principal appeal of his rebuke was to hypocrisy and not unlawfulness. Hypocrisy is not a crime. Remember?

When you put this in a historical context, Boehner is actually trying to control Obama in the same way that the High Officials and Satraps controlled King Darius. Specifically, Boehner is acting on the notion that Obama is a de facto King, and that the only law that the King must obey is his own prior kingly pronouncements. So, he appeals to the King using the King's own words. 

Stated otherwise: Obama doesn't have to obey the constitution because the the Constitution is the inviolate law of American government, but rather because Obama said that he must obey it (his word is law). If Boehner believed otherwise, he would have appealed to the Constitution itself, and not to he words of the King. 

But, who are we kidding? Few in Washington actually believe that they have to obey the Constitution anymore. Besides, for guys like Boehner, being seated in the court of the King is a better gig than being a humble steward of the Republic.