This is the stuff that is scary. That is, the fact that the current sitting president has been, and evidently will continue to, enact Executive Orders which circumvent the congressional process of legislation. In this most recent case, since the Senate did not pass a recent cyber-security infrastructure bill, Mr. Obama is considering an executive order to achieve the specifics of what he wanted within the failed bill.
Senate Republicans last week blocked a bill (S. 3414, Public-Private Partnership To Protect Critical Infrastructure) backed by Obama which the Republicans, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups said would establish standards that would be a back door to government regulation of companies.
In April, the House of Representatives passed a bill (H.R. 3523, Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) that some say threatens the privacy of consumer data.
The House bill (passed) and the Senate bill (presently blocked) are both rationalized by cyber-security counter-terrorism surrounding the nations infrastructure such as the Internet, power grids and water treatment plants.
The presidential executive order being considered would ‘encourage’ operators of key facilities to adopt standards, have the Homeland Security Department coordinate that process, and require existing regulators that oversee infrastructure to make cybersecurity a focus.
So, in other words, the government can do it better than private industry. All for our own ‘security’ and protection, of course.
When excuses for government tentacles to spread into industry are wrapped in words and phrases like ‘security’, and ‘for our own good’, or for ‘safety’, and ‘terrorism’, etc., then it makes for a more difficult argument to otherwise convince the gullible that it may ultimately be a bad thing.
The reason I even bring this up is to highlight the fact that we seem to be living in a very different country than once was. Technology has changed things, for sure, and government is taking full advantage where it can. We do live in an increasingly dangerous world, but how much government intervention do we really need to save us from ourselves? At what point will government be so intertwined in our lives that we will be hopelessly trapped? Is our constitutional method of legislation broken to the point where a sitting president can simply continue to executive-order his own laws and mandates? How is this possible? I suppose that it is possible because too many are silent and do not express their opinion – perhaps out of fear of criticism or political correctness.
This country’s history is steeped in disagreement, argument, and conflict, but it is a necessary part of the process of freedom. When the people are taken out of the equation (by their own silence or by legislation/executive-order without concern or challenge by the people themselves), we live in very dangerous times indeed.
Food for though I suppose.