Pols Should Realize That Sharing Is Caring
When the framers devised a governing system, the one thing they feared the most—and sought to avoid at all costs—was allowing any one entity to gain or control too much power.
The reason being, in the words of James Madison, was found within human nature — that the acquisition of power typically leads to wanting more power. So why not use the same principle in trying to ensure that one group doesn’t get more power: in Madison’s words in Federalist 51, “ambition must be made to counteract ambition.”
Since the mid-term election, when the people (well, not all the people) spoke and made their choices on our representatives, the battle between two of the major branches of government, at both the national and state level, has ensued even before these new officials have been sworn into their office.
At the national level, President Obama’s address regarding immigration policy has stirred the pot for discord with the opposition, while meeting with favorable reviews by most members of his own party and those seeking the change in law.
Republicans responded by issuing their own assessment of executive action: Speaker John Boehner declared Obama’s order was “damaging the presidency itself,” while incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that upon taking over in January, the newly elected GOP majority “will act” against the president.
Both sides are at a tug-of-war when it comes to immigration policy, with no clear sense of resolution coming to the forefront unless one side — or both, in an ideal situation — realizes that a compromise may be the best for resolving the issue.
As a responding salvo from one end of Pennsylvania Avenue to the other, Republicans filed suit against the chief executive’s order.
At the state level, Governor McCrory’s decision, along with two of his predecessors, to sue the state legislature over the appointment power of a commission is a similar fight between branches of government when it comes to who gets to create and execute the laws.
In filing the legal action, McCrory believes that “citizens and voters must be able to distinguish which branch of government is responsible for making the laws and which branch is responsible for carrying out the laws and operating state government.”
In this case, it’s Republican versus Republicans fighting each other over the issue of who has control over the commission.
Both situations call into question the notion of “separation of powers,” or what some of us remember from civics class as “checks and balances.” Rather, it is more like “separate institutions sharing power.”
And unless you’re in kindergarten, sharing is a trait that those with power aren’t accustomed to — thus the reason why the Framers enforced the principle of sharing, whether those with the power want to or not.