Yes, I realize Obama doesn't allow prior statements to constrain new actions…
…but should he try to use the 14th amendment to get around the separation of powers — and that trial balloon has been floated, and is garnering agreement from at least one former lawyer best known for a shrill wife and for slipping a bent cock into the mouth of an eager young intern before blowing a load on her dress — this bit from the Treasury General Counsel, George Madison, is going to be difficult to walk back.
Not that the President won’t of course. Just that it will add to the surreal nature of the last two + years should the Messiah choose to go that route:
Treasury’s General Counsel George Madison submitted to the New York Times today the following letter to the editor:
July 8, 2011
The New York Times
620 Eighth Avenue
New York, NY 10018
To the Editor:
Contrary to Professor Laurence Tribe’s assertion (Op-Ed, July 8), Secretary Geithner has never argued that the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution allows the President to disregard the statutory debt limit. As Professor Tribe notes, the Constitution explicitly places the borrowing authority with Congress, not the President.
The Secretary has cited the 14th Amendment’s command that “[t]he validity of the public debt of the United States… shall not be questioned” in support of his strong conviction that Congress has an obligation to ensure we are able to honor the obligations of the United States. Like every previous Secretary of the Treasury who has confronted the question, Secretary Geithner has always viewed the debt limit as a binding legal constraint that can only be raised by Congress.
George W. Madison
Of course, Obama has dismissed wishes of generals and other counsel, so — if he senses the American people might be willing to go along with his “emergency measures” to save them — I expect he’ll at least suggest that such a walkback is possible.
At which point, it’s time to pull out the tri-pointed hats and the black powder.