If you have some familiarity with the federal government, you probably believe the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office registers inventions found to be truly new and ensures symbols chosen to represent companies, organizations, etc. are protected as trademarks.
You probably also think the Justice Department enforces the law, the Internal Revenue Service collects taxes fairly, the Department of Health and Human Services administers the Obamacare law approved by Congress, the Department of Education monitors compliance with school reform laws and the Interior Department protects endangered animals.
Why would you think that? You're wrong on all counts.
Well, what do the agencies listed above do? Whatever President Barack Obama tells them to do - whether that is lawful, constitutional or not.
You're probably aware of controversy over the Washington, D.C., professional football team, the Redskins. The name should be changed because it is disrespectful toward Native Americans, some say.
Frankly, I can see the critics' point. "Redskin" may well be offensive to some Native Americans. But what business is that of government?
Obama does not agree. This week the Patent and Trademark Office announced it is removing the team's trademark protection of the term?"Redskins." Why? Because, the feds say, the term is "disparaging."
Rest assured bureaucrats at the Patent and Trademark Office are not stupid enough to take such action without getting the OK from the White House. Of course, if public opinion turns against the agency, someone there will be hung out to dry. No one at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW will admit having a hand in it.
Enforcing political correctness is not the PTO's job, of course. Check the federal statute books. You won't find that in there anywhere.
That has never stopped Obama, of course:
So, what's wrong with doing what Obama thinks is the right thing? A couple of things: The Constitution and Congress. Constitutional guarantees such as freedom of speech and equal protection under the law are trampled by Obama's imperial policies. And why do we even have Congress if the executive branch chooses which laws it will follow and which it will ignore?
Does anyone still recognize the difference between government of, by and for the people and a monarchy?
Well, Congress does. And while the Republican-led House of Represent-atives often balks at Obama's kingly behavior, the Senate does not. Democrats - or, more precisely, Majority Leader Harry Reid - run the Senate. It has become no more than a rubber stamp for the president.
Do you agree with Obama? Think about this: Eventually, a Republican will become president. How will the Obama-era precedents feel then?
Myer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.