Eleven years ago, like every citizen elected to serve in Congress or any person appointed to any federal position, I swore an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic.”
I’ve always thought it significant that the Founders included domestic enemies in that oath of office. They thought liberty was as much at risk from threats within our borders as from outside, and French political thinker and historian Alexis de Tocqueville agreed with that warning.
In the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the greatest threat to our nation was clear - and foreign. While Islamic terrorism still represents the greatest external threat to America and American lives, the avowed program of the Obama regime has changed the picture in a fundamental way.
For the first time in American history, we have a man in the White House who consciously and brazenly disregards his oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution. That’s why I say the greatest threat to our Constitution, our safety and our liberties, is internal. Our president is an enemy of our Constitution, and, as such, he is a danger to our safety, our security and our personal freedoms.
Barack Obama is one of the most powerful presidents this nation has seen in generations. He is powerful because he is supported by large majorities in Congress, but, more importantly, because he does not feel constrained by the rule of law. Whether he is putting up the weakest possible defense of the Defense of Marriage Act despite the Justice Department’s legal obligation to support existing law; disenfranchising Chrysler and GM bondholders in order to transfer billions of investor dollars to his supporters in the United Auto Workers; or implementing yet a third offshore oil-drilling moratorium even after two federal courts have thrown out two previous moratoriums, President Obama is determined to see things done his way regardless of obstacles. To Mr. Obama, the rule of law is a mere inconvenience to be ignored, overcome or “transcended” through international agreements or “norms.”
Mr. Obama’s paramount goal, as he so memorably put it during his campaign in 2008, is to “fundamentally transform America.” He has not proposed improving America - he is intent on changing its most essential character. The words he has chosen to describe his goals are neither the words nor the motivation of just any liberal Democratic politician. This is the utopian, or rather dystopian, reverie of a dedicated Marxist - a dedicated Marxist who lives in the White House.
Because of the power he wields over budgets, the judiciary, national defense and even health care, his regime and his program are not just about changing public policy in the conventional sense. When one considers the combination of his stop-at-nothing attitude, his contempt for limited government, his appointment of judges who want to create law rather than interpret it - all of these make this president today’s single greatest threat to the great experiment in freedom that is our republic.
Yes, Mr. Obama is a more serious threat to America than al Qaeda. We know that Osama bin Laden and followers want to kill us, but at least they are an outside force against whom we can offer our best defense. But when a dedicated enemy of the Constitution is working from the inside, we face a far more dangerous threat. Mr. Obama can accomplish with the stroke of his pen what bin Laden cannot accomplish with bombs and insurgents.
Mr. Obama’s actions, not just his words, show the threat he poses. A level of government deficit spending unheard of since World War II and trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see represent an unacceptable threat to our economic security and our children’s future. Mr. Obama could be the first president to guarantee that the next generation of Americans has a lower standard of living than their parents.
Mr. Obama’s most egregious and brazen betrayal of our Constitution was his statement to Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican, that the administration will not enforce security on our southern border because that would remove Republicans’ desire to negotiate a “comprehensive” immigration bill. That is, to put it plainly, a decision that by any reasonable standard constitutes an impeachable offense against the Constitution. For partisan political advantage, he is willfully disregarding his obligation under Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution to protect states from foreign invasion.
There is no higher duty of the federal government and our elected representatives than to protect our nation from invasion. Multiple reports and testimony before Congress by U.S. law enforcement and intelligence officials have stated that a porous border with Mexico is “a path” terrorists will use if they can. Some would-be terrorists, including at least one associated with Hezbollah, already have. Recent reports of contacts between Hezbollah and Mexican drug cartels make it all but certain that terrorists intent on destroying us will come across our southwestern border. Therefore, it is of utmost importance for the administration to do everything in its power to keep Americans safe. Our safety is not a bargaining chip for another amnesty - or for any other political objective whatsoever.
Mr. Obama’s refusal to live up to his own oath of office - which includes the duty to defend the United States against foreign invasion - requires senators and representatives to live up to their oaths. Members of Congress must defend our nation against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Today, that means bringing impeachment charges against Mr. Obama.
Tom Tancredo is a former member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and five-term member of Congress from Colorado. He serves as chairman of the Rocky Mountain Foundation.