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Wednesday, Jun 25 2014 11:01 PM

ANGELO HADDAD: Congress has gone AWOL from its duty to defend Constitution

The Eagles co-founder Glen Frey's song "I've Got Mine" aptly describes so many of our political leaders. They keep thinking it's okay, "Now that I've got mine."

So many of the leaders we send to Washington succumb to the seductive aphrodisiac of power, prestige and privilege and get caught up in the elitist mindset that permeates the beltway culture. They become beholden to their party's political agenda and to their major campaign contributors -- often at the expense of the nation's best interests. They are AWOL (absent without leave), deserting their sworn duty to uphold the Constitution. They are silent and sit idly by while the president usurps and perverts his executive privilege and betrays his oath of office by his lawless disregard of the Constitution that he swore to uphold. Congress has acquiesced its balance of power among the three co-equal branches of government, ceding it to the president, essentially making his presidency an imperial one. In doing so, they have relegated themselves to impotent bystanders unworthy of the dignity and respect their office affords.

The Obama administration has a "get out of jail free" card by virtue of the myriad scandals it has created -- each one being supplanted by a new one, thereby being ignored or minimized by a sycophantic national media short circuiting just and final resolutions. Consider:

* The "Fast and Furious" guns-to-Mexican-drug-dealers scandal resulted in the death of border patrol agent Brian Terry in December 2010 and was exacerbated by Attorney General Eric Holder's continued "stonewalling" of department records.

* The September 11, 2012 Islamic terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, took the lives of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Diplomat Sean Smith and Navy Seals Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty. But President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice repeatedly lied to the American people, and to Muslim audiences as well, claiming an anti-Islamic video was responsible for the attack, knowing full well otherwise.

* The IRS targeted conservative groups then cast the blame on "lower level rogue agents." IRS official Lois Lerner was held in contempt of Congress by failing to testify during her congressional hearings. Most recently, her subpoenaed e-mails have suddenly disappeared from her computer hard drive as well as those of six other key IRS officials.

* The disastrous Obamacare roll out last October revealed the president had lied about the key elements of the program. According to the Aug. 13, 2010 national register, thousands of currently insured people would lose their coverage yet, he promised on numerous occasions afterward that, "If you like your health plan you can keep your health plan. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Period!"

* This month, the president circumvented Congress by authorizing the release of five U.S.-hating terrorists from Guantanamo Bay Detention Center in exchange for the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl without the consent and knowledge of Congress.

* Most recently, the president's failure to secure the border was exacerbated by his "Dream Act" executive order, which our Central American neighbors have taken as a green light to come here illegally. Thousands of Latino children are pouring in, many with infectious diseases, causing our Border Patrol agents to serve as caregivers rather than as law enforcement and having to fly them to former military bases at taxpayers expense.

The fact that there has been no effort by Congress to consider impeachment proceedings in light of some of the above malfeasance by the president indicates Congress lacks the moral conviction and gumption to say, "Enough is enough!" Congress is not alone in their dereliction of duty as they are hampered by a complacent national medical obsessed with deflecting criticism of the president they helped elect. Republican leadership is reluctant to chastise the president and his administration for fear of being demonized by the Democrats and the media -- a la Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, and the tea party. They have opted for a "go along to get along" mindset as a workable path of least resistance "now that I've got mine."

Angelo A. Haddad is a lifelong Bakersfield resident, insurance and financial Adviser, retired commander in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve and Eucharistic Lay Minister at Trinity Anglican Church.

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