What was the trigger that led Vladimir Putin think he could get away with what President Obama says is a “clear violation” of Ukraine’s sovereignty even after a 90-minute phone call in which “Obama . . . called Russia’s actions a ‘violation of international law’ and said they will lead to ‘greater political and economic isolation,’ according to the readout of the conversation from the White House Office of the Press Secretary.”
Consider that President Obama has unilaterally and unconstitutionally changed existing law with almost no pushback from Congress. How many times have we heard that he is acting like a “monarch” and a “dictator”?
“Following Obama’s radical State of the Union threats to bypass Congress and impose his unconstitutional agenda on America by decree, more than a few lawmakers in both chambers have expressed outrage and announced efforts to rein in the administration. Among other comments, Republican congressmen and senators said the ‘lawless’ and ‘imperial presidency’ of Obama must be restrained. Other legislators said the president was behaving like a ‘king’ or even a ‘socialistic dictator’ — and that the pledge to violate his oath of office and rule by decree needed to be urgently addressed.”
Congress blustered but hasn’t done anything to stop President Obama. Putin’s been watching and thinking to himself, “If President Obama can get away with it, why can’t I? No one’s stopping President Obama from being a dictator, so who’s going to stop me?”
It wasn’t that long ago that Attorney General Eric Holder informed state attorneys general that they did not have to defend state laws on banning same-sex marriages even though the laws were voted on by voters. The New York Times reported:
“Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Monday [Feb. 24, 2014] injected the Obama administration into the emotional and politicized debate over the future of state same-sex marriage bans, declaring in an interview that state attorneys general are not obligated to defend laws that they believe are discriminatory.
If the top law enforcement official says it’s OK to ignore established law, then why can’t Putin do the same even though the 1994 Budapest Memorandums on Security Assurances for Ukraine state that the Russian Federation reaffirmed its “obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except in self-defence or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations”?
Then there are the federal court decisions overruling state bans on same-sex marriage. In each case, the sovereignty of the states is being usurped by the national government.
What do you think Vladimir Putin said in defense of his actions against Ukraine in his 90-minute phone call? Here’s what I think Putin said to President Obama:
“Thank you for calling Mr. President. Your objection of what you describe as a “clear violation” of Ukraine’s sovereignty is nothing of the sort. In fact, I was following the lead of your Attorney General in overruling the sovereignty of the states that have their own elected officials and constitutions.
“In addition, I noted how your federal courts dismissed the will of the people in their votes on same-sex marriage.
“I’m something of a student of American politics and am aware of your Constitution’s Tenth Amendment and the principle of federalism that provides “that powers not granted to the federal government by the Constitution, nor prohibited to the States, are reserved to the States or the people.”
If it’s good enough for the President of the United States and the nation’s Attorney General to violate this most basic right, then I believe it’s within my right to do the same.
“Then there’s your own claims that you will do what’s necessary to force your agenda on the American people by ignoring the constitutional limitations on your power. I also noted that Congress has not done anything to stop your unconstitutional actions. Looks like I’m in good company.
“Again, thank you for the call. Say hello to Michelle for me. Do svidaniya.”
What goes around comes around. Obama and Putin are cut from the same imperial cloth.