Progressive Democrats Are Staging an Intervention

Progressive Democrats Are Staging an Intervention

( – Leading up to the election, Democrats and the media believed that a big blue wave was coming. In its supposed wake, there would be a Congress dominated by Democrats and a US Democratic president empowered to pass the most progressive agenda in American history. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) even discussed publicly how the party would move far-left legislation quickly through the House and into law. Unfortunately for them, it wasn’t meant to be.

Their dream agenda of free college, student debt elimination, the Green New Deal, strengthening Obamacare, and ending the 2017 tax cuts is now far-fetched. Instead of picking up seats, Democrats lost seats to Republicans. They have the smallest majority in decades. Additionally, it appears the US Senate will likely remain in Republican control.

Last week, moderate Democrats staged an intervention and said that the fault of the party’s losses was at the feet of the far-left. They blamed talk of socialism and defunding the police as the primary culprits.

The most progressive wing of the party didn’t take it lying down. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) blamed moderates as the problem and said if the party took her lead, they would win more seats.

Now, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) staged a public intervention of her own. In a Washington Post op-ed on Wednesday, November 11, she introduced an idea that Republicans and conservatives have feared for many years. A Biden administration may consider Warren for Treasury Secretary. Based on her ideas, that may not fare well for her in a Republican-led Senate.

Ignore the Constitution

The US Constitution creates the process by which the country should be governed. Congress passes laws, the executive branch executes the laws, and the judiciary ensures the laws are Constitutional and fair. Yet, Warren has a different idea.

The senator believes that voters gave Democrats a mandate. That’s a smack in the face of reality. However, her proposed recommendations are as well.

Since Congress will be deadlocked and not much will get done over the next few years, Sen. Warren advocates that the executive branch bypass Congress. Using executive orders and federal agencies’ power, the senator is advocating for a system of government that was never intended by the founding fathers. The Supreme Court has overruled executive orders many times when the executive branch created laws in violation of its Constitutional role.

Perhaps most troublesome are her proposals to cancel student loans to the tune of billions of dollars and declare a climate crisis to enact the Green New Deal. There is no record of Congress ever authorizing such an action. However, Warren believes that taking these actions will immediately free up money into the economy while helping those who struggle with student loan debt, as well as create green jobs and clean the atmosphere.

Could a President Bypass Congress to Enact Student Loan Elimination and the Green New Deal?

While her hypothesis may or may not be true, a president doesn’t have authority without the weight of law from Congress to enact such policies. Furthermore, it could lead to other ideas of how to improperly use the federal government for other liberal wish lists without the consent of the people through their elected representatives. More to the point, it could also incentivize conservative presidents in the future to do the same thing, creating a vicious cycle that repeats every four or eight years. In any case, it’s a bad precedent and shouldn’t be considered.

While many of Warren’s other ideas are also suspect, there may be enough room in existing law for a president to use executive orders to carry out Congress’s intent. However, it’s always dicey. Executive orders come and go with new presidents and do not have the weight of the law behind them.

If Senator Warren wants these actions, perhaps she should convince Congress to pass legislation. After all, that’s how the system is designed to work. Unfortunately, she knows the far-left agenda won’t pass, and this is the only course of action Democrats can take to accomplish their goals. If attempted, get ready for a lengthy court fight.

Don Purdum, Independent Political Analyst

Copyright 2020,