Congress? What Congress?

When the Constitution was written, the federal government was composed of three branches so that no one branch could ever take over and assert tyrannical power.

This was the idea of checks and balances that was so crucial in getting the individual states to agree to band together in this new Union.

Each branch of the government on its own is powerful, but held in balance by the other two branches.

And Congress was so powerful that our ancestors felt the need to break it further into two chambers, the House and the Senate, with members of the former being directly elected by voters and members of the latter being appointed by the leaders of the individual states.

The notion behind the different methods of choosing the chambers was that the House would be more responsive to the people themselves, but the Senate would be the repository of political wisdom, being chosen by states for their knowledge, experience and ability to represent the states’ broader interests.

When the 17th Amendment changed that and made senators subject to popular vote, Congress lost a crucial edge and became even more of a privileged country club on the Potomac than it ever was, filled with useless sock puppets like Barbara Boxer and Al Franken who are only there to carry a spear for their party.

But I never until recently thought that Congress as a whole would simply volunteer for oblivion.

Obama’s repeated declaration that he would use his pen and his phone to go around Congress and the Constitution effectively eliminates any role for Congress, which under the Constitution has the sole lawmaking power, and replaces it with rule by executive order, a concept based in a loose interpretation of the vague phrase “executive power” in Article II, Section I, Clause I.

Don’t pass a law the White House wants? Obama’s got his pen.

Pass a law Obama doesn’t want? He’s got his veto. Override the veto? He’s still got his pen.

Don’t approve of his appointment to head the Department of Widgets and Whosits? He’ll just appoint them with an executive order.

Think the Texas prairie chicken doesn’t deserve to be declared an endangered species, especially since it would block development of natural resources? Too bad, Obama’s got his phone with the EPA on speed dial.

Think your vote saved veterans’ pensions? Guess what, Obama’s cutting them anyway.

The lack of outrage over Obama’s power grab is stunning.

If the Congress will no longer stand up for the people, perhaps it’s time the fat cats in Washington get taught a lesson.

State legislatures should take the lead in wiping every congressional law off the books — total nullification.

If the members of Congress won’t fight to preserve our Constitution, then let federal law collapse with the Congress.

It’s time for states to stand up and reassert their authority. If Congress is stepping aside, we the people have to step in.

Obama has created this constitutional drama. He is using the lingering bad economy his policies have created in the same way Hitler used the more obvious but equally manufactured Reichstag fire, as a phony crisis to justify his stealing of power.

It’s up to the states now to stop Obama before this nascent tyranny gets any further.