Author Topic: Imperial, lawless Obama threatens more unilateral action  (Read 214 times)

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Offline happyg

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Imperial, lawless Obama threatens more unilateral action
« on: January 17, 2014, 06:08:35 PM »
This week, once again, we heard President Obama defiantly pronounce that he has no intention of letting a little thing like constitutional checks and balances get in his way and interrupt his royal prerogative.

"We are not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we're providing Americans the kind of help that they need," said Obama. "I've got a pen, and I've got a phone."

What other president has ever talked like this?

I thought Democrats had an aversion to "unilateral" executive action. Wasn't one of their pet peeves against President George W. Bush that he acted unilaterally in attacking Iraq? Never mind that this was a complete fabrication, in that Bush assembled the largest coalition of nations he could to join us in the effort.
Oh, this is different, you say, because Bush was allegedly acting unilaterally on the international stage? Well, apart from the fact that he wasn't, why should that bother liberals more than a president's acting unilaterally on domestic issues?

I'll tell you why: Liberals are more concerned about whether Leftist foreign governments like us than they are about whether a president is acting within the scope of his constitutional authority.

In Bush's case, even if the false allegations that he was "going it alone" had been true, he secured a joint resolution of Congress before commencing "shock and awe."

Before contrasting Bush's actions on foreign policy with Obama's on domestic policy, let's recall how Obama operated in a comparable foreign policy situation. When he decided -- unilaterally -- to take military action in Libya, he did not even bother to consult Congress, much less get its approval, before initiating his intervention. He was in constant contact with his fellow Leftists at the United Nations, however, consistent with his desire to please foreign leaders above complying with the Constitution.

For all of Obama's bellyaching during the 2008 presidential campaign about how much the United States was hated in the world by Muslims and non-Muslims alike under Bush, Obama has made things worse across the board.

How's that "reset" with Russia going, President Obama? Tell us again the juicy details of how you've incapacitated al Qaeda as it gobbles up formerly won cities in Iraq. Explain how our growing unpopularity in the Muslim world squares with your arrogant promise to heal those relations. Fill us in on the Saudi government's outright distrust of your administration. How about Britain? Germany? Israel?

Returning to the domestic front, Obama is continuing the pattern he has established throughout his time in office. In my first Obama book, "Crimes Against Liberty: An Indictment of President Barack Obama," I wrote, "The full strategy of using executive orders to circumvent Congress became clear following Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts" because much of his agenda remained stalled in Congress. "The New York Times reported Obama was planning on 'an array of actions using his executive power to advance energy, environmental, fiscal and other domestic policy priorities.' " Obama proceeded to act unilaterally to create a bipartisan budget commission, to reverse the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, and on a host of environmental regulations when Congress wouldn't pass his farcical cap-and-trade legislation, to name a few.

In my second Obama book, "The Great Destroyer: Barack Obama's War on the Republic," I related Obama's insolent threats to take executive action in his "next two years." "What I'm not gonna do is wait for Congress," he proclaimed in an interview on "60 Minutes."

This wasn't an idle threat. When the Senate wouldn't confirm his appointee to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau established by the Dodd-Frank law, he carved out a "special advisory role" and appointed anti-capitalist Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren to serve temporarily. Then, when the Senate balked on confirming Richard Cordray to head the CFPB, he took the unprecedented step of exercising the recess appointments power when the Senate was technically still in session.

When a federal judge struck down Obama's executive order forcing taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research, his National Institutes of Health essentially told researchers they could disregard the court's ruling.

It would take me thousands of words to describe the other unconstitutional actions he's taken, from his executive orders to facilitate "stealth land grabs" to his orders on offshore drilling to his 19 executive actions on gun control to his outrageous executive action to do an end run around Congress' failure to pass the Dream Act -- and on and on.

Obama is simply a lawless president who regards his own counsel higher than his duty to obey the Constitution. He believes that advancing his political agenda justifies ignoring clear limitations on his power.

In rationalizing these imperial outrages, Obama tells us that he is going to provide the American people with the help they need -- as if he is the sole arbiter of that, as if Congress is a potted plant and as if the Supreme Court is either impotent or a rubber stamp.

Obama's overreaches would be just as outrageous if he were providing Americans with what we need, but he is doing the opposite as he is systematically destroying the country.

What a nightmare!

Offline mountaineer

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Re: Imperial, lawless Obama threatens more unilateral action
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2014, 02:58:19 PM »
Is Barack Obama an imperial president?
President Obama’s use of executive action to get around congressional gridlock is unparalleled in modern times, some scholars say. But to liberal activists, he’s not going far enough.
Christian Science Monitor
By Linda Feldmann | Christian Science Monitor – 1 hr 29 mins ago

Ju Hong's voice rang out loud and clear, interrupting the most powerful man in the world.

"You have a power to stop deportation for all undocumented immigrants in this country!" the young South Korean man yelled at President Obama during a speech on immigration reform last November in San Francisco. Waving away security guards, Mr. Obama turned and addressed Mr. Hong, himself undocumented. "Actually, I don't," the president said. "And that's why we're here."

"We've got this Constitution, we've got this whole thing about separation of powers," Obama continued. "So there is no shortcut to politics, and there's no shortcut to democracy."

The reality isn't so simple. Obama, a former constitutional law professor, was once skeptical of the aggressive use of presidential power. During the 2008 campaign, he accused President George W. Bush of regularly circumventing Congress. Yet as president, Obama has grown increasingly bold in his own use of executive action, at times to controversial effect.

The president (or his administration) has unilaterally changed elements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA); declared an anti-gay-rights law unconstitutional; lifted the threat of deportation for an entire class of undocumented immigrants; bypassed Senate confirmation of controversial nominees; waived compliance requirements in education law; and altered the work requirements under welfare reform. This month, the Obama administration took the highly unusual step of announcing that it will recognize gay marriages performed in Utah – even though Utah itself says it will not recognize them while the issue is pending in court.

Early in his presidency, Obama also expanded presidential warmaking powers, surveillance of the American public, and extrajudicial drone strikes on alleged terrorists outside the United States, including Americans – going beyond Mr. Bush's own global war on terror following 9/11. But more recently, he has flexed his executive muscle more on domestic policy.

In the process, Obama's claims of executive authority have infuriated opponents, while emboldening supporters to demand more on a range of issues, from immigration and gay rights to the minimum wage and Guantánamo Bay prison camp.

To critics, Obama is the ultimate "imperial president," willfully violating the Constitution to further his goals, having failed to convince Congress of the merits of his arguments. To others, he is exercising legitimate executive authority in the face of an intransigent Congress and in keeping with the practices of past presidents.

The course of Obama's final three years in office, in which he has promised continuing assertive use of executive action, will be shaped by this debate.

The tug of history

On the eve of Obama's fifth State of the Union message, on Jan. 28, the president faces a steep challenge. His job approval has plummeted to the low 40s, following the disastrous rollout of his health-care reform and public outrage over massive data collection by the National Security Agency. Unemployment is falling steadily but remains high, at 6.7 percent.

"We're 4-1/2 years into an alleged recovery, and most Americans still think we're in a recession," says William Galston, a Clinton White House veteran and scholar at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

Even though Obama will never face the voters again, he has plenty of incentive to boost his game. Now he's playing for his legacy, and the judgment of the history books. Politically, he's playing for the final national election of his presidency – next November's midterms, in which Democratic control of the Senate is at risk. Reclaiming the House from the Republicans is close to impossible. Divided government is Obama's near-certain reality for the rest of his presidency.

Still, keeping the Senate in Democratic hands remains critical to Obama's legacy: It will allow him to confirm presidential nominees – including most judges, who have lifetime tenure – with a simple majority after Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid engineered a rule change last November.

Restoring public confidence in Obama's trustworthiness and competence as an executive is also critical, as the president tries to move beyond the "Obamacare" fiasco and National Security Agency snooping. Republicans are already firmly lashing the health reform's woes to Democratic candidates' necks. But nothing will impress voters more than a sense that their personal financial situation is improving. Cue Obama's focus on what he calls "the defining challenge of our time," growing inequality and a lack of upward mobility. It will be a central theme in the State of the Union message, including a call for Congress to boost the federal minimum wage.

Early in the new year, White House officials were cautiously optimistic that the December budget deal may signal new momentum toward bipartisan cooperation, at least in future budgetary and fiscal matters. Republicans would rather keep the spotlight on Obamacare woes than risk public blame for another government shutdown or more brinkmanship over the debt ceiling, which the Treasury Department says will be reached in late February.

But one point is certain: It's a new day for Team Obama. John Podesta, former chief of staff to President Clinton and a turnaround artist, has put on his cape and swooped into the West Wing for a one-year tour as a counselor. The president has also brought back the highly regarded Phil Schiliro to oversee the continuing health-care rollout and made deputy communications director (and Capitol Hill insider) Katie Beirne Fallon his legislative affairs director.

But it's the arrival of Mr. Podesta that has Washington buzzing. He ran the Obama transition after his first election and then repaired to his think tank, the Center for American Progress, resisting entreaties to join the administration. Most important, his passion is climate change, and he's a big believer in executive action – by the president himself, as well as via agency rules and regulations.

"I think [White House officials] were naturally preoccupied with legislating at first, and I think it took them a while to make the turn to execution. They are focused on that now," Podesta told Politico last year before agreeing to his new White House gig. "They have to realize that the president has broad authority, that he's not just the prime minister. He can drive a whole range of action. They always grasped that on foreign policy and in the national security area. Now they are doing it on the domestic side."

The (un)limits of executive power ....

Continue reading Christian Science Monitor article at Yahoo
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Offline mountaineer

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Re: Imperial, lawless Obama threatens more unilateral action
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2014, 03:00:56 PM »
And they don't even pretend they aren't the imperial presidency. In fact, they brag about it:
White House warns Obama could go around Congress
Associated Press
By PHILIP ELLIOTT | Associated Press – 2 hrs 6 mins ago..

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will work with Congress where he can and circumvent lawmakers where he must, his top advisers warned Sunday in previewing Tuesday's State of the Union speech.

Obama faces a politically divided Congress on Tuesday and will use his annual address to demand expanded economic opportunity. Absent legislative action, the White House is telling lawmakers that the president is ready to take unilateral action to close the gap between rich and poor Americans.

"I think the way we have to think about this year is we have a divided government," said Dan Pfeiffer, a longtime Obama adviser. "The Republican Congress is not going to rubber-stamp the president's agenda. The president is not going to sign the Republican Congress' agenda."

So the White House is eyeing compromise on some priorities, Obama advisers said. But the president is also looking at executive orders that can be enacted without Congress' approval.

"The president sees this as a year of action to work with Congress where he can and to bypass Congress where necessary," White House press secretary Jay Carney said.

The act-or-else posture bristled Republicans.

"The president has sort of hung out on the left and tried to get what he wants through the bureaucracy as opposed to moving to the political center," said Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the GOP Senate leader.

Added Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.: "It sounds vaguely like a threat, and I think it also has a certain amount of arrogance."

With campaigns for November's election on the horizon, there's scant reason for the White House to be optimistic about Republican support for measures to revive a bipartisan immigration bill that has passed the Senate, an increased minimum wage or expanding prekindergarten programs.

Republicans looking to wrest control of the Senate and keep their majority in the House instead want to keep the focus on the struggling economy and Obama's stewardship of it. The GOP is pinning hopes that voter frustration remains high and punishes Democrats on the ballot for Obama's tenure.

"His economic policies are not working," said Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

The White House has been signaling to Republicans that it would not wait for Congress to act. It also is betting Obama's backers will rally behind his plans.

"When American jobs and livelihoods depend on getting something done, he will not wait for Congress," Pfeiffer wrote in an email to Obama supporters Saturday.

Following the speech, Obama will travel to Maryland, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Tennessee to promote the proposals he introduces Tuesday evening.

Pfeiffer appeared on CNN's "State of the Union" and "Fox News Sunday." Carney spoke with ABC's "This Week." McConnell was interviewed on Fox. Paul spoke with CNN and NBC's "Meet the Press." Cruz spoke to CBS' "Face the Nation."
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