The Imperial iPhone Presidency
Obama, discarding once and for all any pretense of respect for the Constitution and the limits it places on the chief executive under the Separation of Powers doctrine, infamously declared in January of this year, “I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone…And I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward.” Those are not the words of a president in our constitutional republic; those are the words of a petty tyrant.
Obama has made good on his promise though. In violation of the so-called Affordable Care Act, the very law that he championed and was passed on a strictly party-line vote without a single Republican in support, Obama has unilaterally delayed and changed provisions of the law dozens of times. He extended deadlines, granted waivers to the politically-connected, and laughed off his promise that no federal taxpayer dollars would be used to fund abortions.
In a blatantly transparent move to gain more Hispanic votes for Democrats, Obama has refused to enforce our immigration laws even as hundreds of thousands of illegals poured over the border from Mexico, including tens of thousands of children he willingly used as pawns in his political game. Not until word started leaked out about many of these children dying during the journey, or being physically and sexually assaulted, or sold into slavery, did Obama even make a pretense of stemming the tide of illegals.
Even now, as Obama brags that the rate of illegal border-crossers has slowed (which has more to do with the cyclical slowing of migrants during the dangerous, scorching summer months, than it has to do with any enforcement effort on his part), he is promising de facto amnesty for illegals. Initially warning that he would enact amnesty by the end of summer if Congress did not pass a “comprehensive” immigration bill, Obama bowed to pressure from terrified Democrat senators in vulnerable states, and now promises to delay action until after the election. In other words, he’ll still break the law, but he’ll wait until voters can’t punish his party.
In a private, off-the-record meeting with illegal immigrant “rights” activists, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough promised angry Hispanic Democrat lawmakers and immigration lobbyists that Obama would take action “of a significant scope,” according to Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), after the mid-term elections. Democrats, having failed to pass comprehensive immigration reform in Obama’s first term, despite having a supermajority in the House and filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, are suffering the wrath of activists now demanding Obama pay up for their support, even if it means breaking the law.
Obama has also made an end-run around Congress when it comes to “global warming,” attempting to force through economy-killing environmental measures under the auspices of an addendum to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Control. In essence, Obama is trying to use coercion (to “name and shame,” as the NYT put it) to form a “politically binding” agreement among nations that were signatories to that treaty, and in doing so Obama claims to no longer need to ratification of the Senate as required by the Constitution. The cheerleaders of such lawlessness have referred to it as “political magic,” making no attempt to hide the fact that the Obama administration is “trying to move this as far as possible without having to reach the 67-vote threshold.” Political magic? Political witchcraft.
Despite the fact that Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution vests the power to declare war solely in the power of Congress, Obama this past week declared war on ISIS and declared the power to do so with or without the approval of Congress (to be fair, there has been no official Declaration of War since WWII, but Obama made his claim to fame on vilifying “Bush’s illegal war”).
The absolute, utter, unbridled hypocrisy of this claim, from a man who spent the better part of the last decade calling George W. Bush a warmonger who tarnished respect for America, is too brazen to be understated. And yet the same boot-licking Obama sycophants who called Bush a “war criminal” are now cheering on Comrade Obama’s new war. They also seem perfectly comfortable with the fact that Obama, the guy that won a Nobel Peace Prize before he had time to get comfortable in his Oval Office chair, has, with the bombing of ISIS in Syria, now bombed seven different countries during his presidency (Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, and Iraq). Unlike that “cowboy,” George W. Bush, Obama has not even bothered to seek the authority of the United Nations (not that I give a rip about that pathetically corrupt den of tyrants and despots), much less the United States Congress.
The lawlessness of Obama has become so obvious that even those that agree with his political aims worry about the precedent such usurpation of power sets for future administrations. Speaking earlier this year before the House Judiciary Committee, George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, a self-described liberal, issued the following warning:
“The danger is quite severe. The problem with what the president is doing is that he’s not simply posing a danger to the constitutional system. He’s becoming the very danger the Constitution was designed to avoid. That is the concentration of power in every single branch.
"This Newtonian orbit that the three branches exist in is a delicate one but it is designed to prevent this type of concentration. There are two trends going on which should be of equal concern to all members of Congress. One is that we have had the radical expansion of presidential powers under both President Bush and President Obama. We have what many once called an imperial presidency model of largely unchecked authority. And with that trend we also have the continued rise of this fourth branch. We have agencies that are quite large that issue regulations. The Supreme Court said recently that agencies could actually define their own or interpret their own jurisdiction.” (House hearing, December 3, 2013)
Republicans, afraid to offer much criticism of Obama lest they be branded as racists (and knowing the sympathetic Obama media has, and will continue to, cover up, misdirect, and obfuscate the myriad Obama scandals and constitutional violations), have seemingly gone into a prevent defense leading up to the mid-term elections. They seem to be banking on the fact that Obama’s horrifically incompetent foreign policy, the continued sluggish economy, high unemployment, and the botched roll-out of ObamaCare, plus millions of Americans either losing their insurance coverage just before the elections or seeing their premiums drastically increase, will be enough to turn voters against the Democrats.
There may be some logic to that; after all, when your enemy is shooting himself in the foot you don’t take away the gun.
However, one thing is for certain; if Republicans do take back the Senate and retain firm control of the House, they had better use every tool at their disposal to shut down the lawless, imperial Obama presidency for his last two years. Obama will never again face the voters, and after this midterm election no longer has to worry about the political ramifications for himself or his party of any action he decides to take. We’ve seen what he is willing to do even when it will damage his party. What will he be willing to do when he no longer has to consider such risks?