Ron Paul to Congress: Stand Up to the Imperial President!

by Ron Paul

Last week the US Senate took a break from debating the phony cuts known as “sequestration,” for Senator Rand Paul to hold a 13-hour filibuster to force the Obama administration to state whether it believes the President has the right to kill American citizens with drones on US soil. I find it tragic that there has to be a discussion on an issue that should be so self-evident.

However, feeling the pressure, the administration finally said “no,” but in language so twisted that no one should feel in the slightest bit reassured. According to Attorney General Eric Holder, the president does not believe he has the right to use the military to kill an American who is “not engaged in combat on American soil.” Left undefined is how the administration defines “combat.” As constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley wrote last week, “one can easily foresee this or a future president insisting that an alleged terrorism conspiracy is a form of ‘combat’.”

The administration’s outrageous response to the most serious Constitutional question of all — when a government can kill its own citizens — is clear evidence of an executive branch out of control.

Many of the drafters of the Constitution envisioned the presidency as an office with very limited powers, but even the most dedicated proponents of a strong presidency at the time would be shocked to see the concentration of power in the modern presidency.

Today the presidency is viewed as the center of the federal government, with each successive administration expanding the power of the executive at the expense of Congress and the people.

Ironically, some of the worst offenders are those who campaigned promising to reverse the power grabs of their predecessors. For example, candidate George W. Bush campaigned on a “humble foreign policy,” but as president he attacked Iraq based on his own administration’s lies and claimed the right to indefinitely detain anyone he deemed an “enemy combatant.”

Candidate Barack Obama promised he would reverse his predecessor’s constitutional abuses. Yet not only has President Obama not closed Guantanamo Bay, he reportedly holds weekly meetings in the oval office to draw up “kills lists,” uses drones against American citizens, and routinely sends the US military into combat abroad without even consulting Congress!

The modern use of “executive orders” also usurps the lawmaking function of Congress. The most notable recent example was President Obama’s January series of executive orders on gun control, but unfortunately there are countless other examples over the last several administrations.

Ultimately, the fault for the expansion of presidential power lies with Congress. Too many members of Congress are all too eager to avoid responsibility for controversial actions, preferring to “pass the buck” to the president. For example, Congress no longer declares war, but instead passes an “authorization of force” telling the president he can go to war when or if he wants!

On domestic policy, Congress passes large, vaguely-worded pieces of legislation and leaves it to the president and the bureaucrats to fill in the details. Many members of Congress score points with their constituents railing against “the faceless D.C. bureaucrats” while never mentioning that they voted for the law that gave the bureaucrats their power!

Last week, a group of “fiscally conservative” senators even tried to give President Obama more authority over spending as a part of sequester replacement that would have “required” Obama to decide where to reduce spending and where to increase it. They want to restrain the president by giving him more authority?

Growth of executive power is a threat to liberty. Fortunately, Congress can restrain the executive simply by exercising its constitutional powers. The American people must demand that Congress stop passing the buck on its foreign and domestic policy responsibilities. If the people care about liberty, they will demand their representative stand up to the imperial president. Let us hope last week’s filibuster will give Congress the backbone it needs to do its job.


  • Lower taxes, less handouts, less government telling people what to do with their money.

  • Lower taxes, less handouts, less government telling people what to do with their money.

  • That said I don’t think RP is perfect on economic theory by any means.. He’s more in line with Hoppe than with someone who I think truly is objective and empirical like David Friedman (especially when it comes to immigration/open borders) – but if you’re the devout statist your comment portrays, I wouldn’t expect you to know such things.

  • Please elaborate! As a former Econ major I am quite confused by your comment – Perhaps you mean GW Bush & Obama are the same economically.. sure you might get a little tax break here or there but in the grand scheme it’s such a negligible amount.

  • I dont get why so many people love Ron Pauls economic policies but hate GW Bushes. Its not like they are 95% the same thing or anything…

  • I dont get why so many people love Ron Pauls economic policies but hate GW Bushes. Its not like they are 95% the same thing or anything…

  • Are you upset with how this country is being run and want your voice to be heard? Here’s an idea: Starting April 1, 2013 Do nothing. Sit at home and chill. Don’t work, drive, eat out or spend money at all! Stock up on a month’s worth of supplies, like food, medications – and do nothing. If more than half the United States does this all at the same time, can you imagine the sort of response that would be triggered? Search “Operation Inaction” here on YouTube and pass it on!

  • French Canadian

    Ron Paul is so right about that. And this is the reason why people don’t have faith in governments anymore.

    George Noory: People Don’t Trust Gov’t Anymore

  • THE TRUTH ABOUT RON PAUL ————–> watch?v=yzqv-7ErwcI

  • Rand Paul for President 2016! RandPaulPres2016

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  • It is a victory, but it will not stop the abuse of power. It opened a lot of peoples eyes to how serious the situation has become. The biggest thing it did is make Rand Paul a much more “electable” candidate for 2016.

  • Rand really represented us here! Thank you Rand!

  • it is seen vs unseen. In 5 y it will look like a waste of time but it is possible that they would do it if Rand didnt make a fuss out of it.

  • the point was that it took so long to get a response from the administration for such a simple question, and paul was willing to stand there until some transparency was achieved.

  • well, is it still o.k. for a government to murder someone at all? even if their own citizens they murdered are tried by a jury of their peers? It’s still murder. still appreciate this. Thanks for the uploads every week.

  • I was hoping he was going to say he was proud 🙂

  • Hey, that was some pretty funny stuff Mr. Paul! You were just joking about all that stuff, right? RIGHT?

  • Ah Yup, and if they find you an enemy combatant, You are no longer an American Citizen…Thus they can Drone you…Just Sayin…

  • In reality, what did Senator Paul actually accomplish?
    The administration confirming that they would not use the military to assassinate peaceful US citizens on US soil.
    Is this really a victory?