- Phil Schroeder
Here's a rare political post (and if you want to take a look at my current stance on politics, look here).
I tend to be optimistic, but I'm becoming more pessimistic daily about what I perceive as an imbalance in our nation's longstanding separation of powers. It seems to me that we are losing our governmental checks and balances. I realize presidents have long used executive orders and other executive branch jiggery-pokery to tweak and adjust things that were rightly in the domain of the Congress. So I don't claim that President Obama is doing anything new, necessarily. But there's a different tone and certainly more volume these days surrounding this. In recent years we've heard, over and over, variations on this refrain: "If Congress won't act, I will". Whenever I hear that, I wonder: didn't the President, don't all presidents swear to faithfully execute their office, and isn't the executive branch's job to correctly and fully enforce the laws of the land? A president can't make laws on his or her own, or ignore laws unilaterally . . . can he?
Donald Sensing writes on this here: Why the law does not matter to Obama. Part of his post is excerpted below (bold emphasis mine).
The goal of the entire Democrat party is to be the permanent, sole political authority in the country. This is the actual transformation that Barack Obama promised to great applause in his 2008 campaign. And we are getting transformed good and hard:Is Sensing on to something here?[I]nstead of the new birth of hope and change, it is the transformation of a constitutional republic operating under laws passed by democratically accountable legislators into a servile nation under the management of an unaccountable administrative state. The real import of Barack Obama’s political career will be felt long after he leaves office, in the form of a permanently expanded state that is more assertive of its own interests and more ruthless in punishing its enemies. At times, he has advanced this project abetted by congressional Democrats, as with the health-care law’s investiture of extraordinary powers in the executive bureaucracy, but he also has advanced it without legislative assistance — and, more troubling still, in plain violation of the law. President Obama and his admirers choose to call this “pragmatism,” but what it is is a mild expression of totalitarianism, under which the interests of the country are conflated with those of the president’s administration and his party. Barack Obama is the first president of the democracy that John Adams warned us about.Obama can do this not because the Constitution or law authorize it. Most definitely they actually prohibit it. He is getting away with it because there is no one who can stop him and almost no one who wants to stop him. No one, and I mean absolutely no one, in the Democrat party is in the slightest interested in reining in Obama's expansion of executive diktat because they know what few of the rest of us are awakening to: the Democrats are never going to lose that executive authority again. Let me be clear, with a promise to elucidate another day: there is never going to be another Republican president. Ever.
The media will not examine Obama's imperialist manner because they do not want to. They agree with it. The courts are literally unable to enforce their rulings contra this administration; Obama ignores them at will and without consequence. The Republicans are dominated by the Political Class and lack the numbers, influence, collective will and ideological conviction to rein in the administration even if they had the ability to do so, which they don't.
For example, immigration:...after Congress had unequivocally rejected another piece of immigration reform, the so-called DREAM Act, that the president had supported, he simply instituted it unilaterally, as though he had the authority to declare an amnesty himself. He then did away with criminal-background checks for those to be amnestied, also on his own authority.This is a president who knows that he does not need to make anyone "happy," that there in fact is no political base that must be appeased or pleased - where else will the base go? The president of the United States is now quite literally a dictate-er: he orders what he wishes and implements what he chooses.
There is no check or balance any longer, not even the Congress's power to control the federal purse. There is no federal purse to control. There are only years-long series of continuing resolutions and special appropriations, all funded with trillions of dollars of borrowed fiat money that no creditor anywhere in the world expects will be repaid. President Obama has a government credit card with no debt limit. The power to spend is the power to control, and that is what he is doing.
This is an honest question. Forget who you voted for or who I voted for: is this a problem? Or is it just overstated here? It feels like a problem to me and, Sensing's prophecy about Democratic hegemony as far as the eye can see notwithstanding, if I was an Obama supporter I'd like to think I would still be uneasy with this, because someday someone will take power who I didn't vote for.
Also, do you agree with Sensing that the Republicans will never again hold the Presidency?
I'm very interested in your thoughts, particularly if you are a supporter of the President.
[Hat tip: Neo-NeoCon]