An End Run Around the Constitution
Remember when George W. Bush was "shredding the Constitution"?
As a senator and presidential candidate, [President Obama] had criticized George W. Bush for flouting the role of Congress. And during his first two years in the White House, when Democrats controlled Congress, Mr. Obama largely worked through the legislative process to achieve his domestic policy goals.
But increasingly in recent months, the administration has been seeking ways to act without Congress. Branding its unilateral efforts “We Can’t Wait,” a slogan that aides said Mr. Obama coined at that strategy meeting, the White House has rolled out dozens of new policies — on creating jobs for veterans, preventing drug shortages, raising fuel economy standards, curbing domestic violence and more.
Each time, Mr. Obama has emphasized the fact that he is bypassing lawmakers. When he announced a cut in refinancing fees for federally insured mortgages last month, for example, he said: “If Congress refuses to act, I’ve said that I’ll continue to do everything in my power to act without them.”
Aides say many more such moves are coming. Not just a short-term shift in governing style and a re-election strategy, Mr. Obama’s increasingly assertive use of executive action could foreshadow pitched battles over the separation of powers in his second term, should he win and Republicans consolidate their power in Congress.
Congress is as much a part of the Constitution as is freedom of speech and the Commerce Clause. Yet Obama is willing to do an end-run around the representatives of the people. Isn’t that what Democrats have accused corporate interests of doing? Bribing Congress and ignoring it both result in a less representative government. But since he’s a Democrat, then it’s OK with those Occupy Wall Street types.
And the media, predictably, are defending him.
Mr. Obama got fed up, finally, last fall, according to Mr. Savage’s article, and the result was the “We Can’t Wait” project, which has led to dozens of executive actions on a range of issues, including jobs for veterans and fuel economy standards.
Unlike the Bush/Cheney team, Mr. Obama did not take office with the explicit goal of creating new powers for the presidency. That was not part of his agenda. Moreover, his executive actions often are more modest in their effect than the White House’s public relations team might admit.
Government by executive order is not sustainable in the long-term. Nor is it desirable, whether you agree or disagree with those orders. But in this particular case, there may be no alternative.
"He didn’t mean to, but this nasty ol’ Congress just won’t bow down and do his bidding, so there may be no alternative." I would remind Democrats that there are more Republicans in Congress precisely because he got his way so much when Democrats had bigger majorities. By doing an end-run around Congress, he’s trying to nullify the results of the last mid-term election; your votes.
For the Left, it’s not so much about principle as it is about politics.
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