Obama’s “Legislative” Strategy
"I Don't Mind A Parasite. I Object To A Cut-Rate One."
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According to our Constitution, the Congress is supposed to MAKE the laws; the President is supposed to “faithfully EXECUTE” the laws, and the Judiciary is supposed to INTERPRET the laws (in a constitutional and legislative context).

But now comes our President who believes his oath of office is not to “faithfully execute” (all) of the laws of the United States, but to SELECTIVELY execute those laws as he sees fit – be it for political purposes or otherwise.

This theme was the topic of the “Legalization by Edict” opinion written by Yuval Levin and published yesterday in the National Review Online. I found it to be an interesting read – and one which does a good job of articulating just what is going on with President Obama’s “phone and pen” strategy of “governing” this country – in particular as it relates to the current illegal immigrant situation. Here is the article in its entirety:

“Legalization by Edict
By Yuval Levin
July 29, 2014 12:00 AM

Many people in Washington seem to be talking about the prospect of the president unilaterally legalizing the status of several million people who entered the country illegally as though it were just another political question. But if reports about the nature of the executive action he is contemplating are right, it would be by far the most blatant and explosive provocation in the administration’s assault on the separation of powers, and could well be the most extreme act of executive overreach ever attempted by an American president in peacetime.

I am more open to some form of amnesty than most people around here, I suspect, though the form I could support (as part of a deal that included more serious border control and visa enforcement) would involve legalization short of full citizenship, for reasons well articulated by Peter Skerry….But the question of how to address the complicated problem of the status of the more than 10 million people who are in our country without legal authorization is a matter for the political system as a whole to address. That system has made several serious efforts to do so in recent years, so far without success. The most recent such effort (which resulted in a bad bill, in my view) took place while President Obama has been in the White House. He knows that as things now stand in Congress the question is not about to be resolved, and that the 2014 election is not likely to lead to its being resolved in the way he would prefer. Presumably this disappoints him. But the notion that the president can respond to a failure to get Congress to adopt his preferred course on a prominent and divisive public issue by just acting on his own as if a law he desires had been enacted has basically nothing to do with our system of government.

In one sense, the approach the president is said to be contemplating does fit into a pattern of his use of executive power. That pattern involves taking provocative executive actions on sensitive, divisive issues to isolate people he detests, knowing it will invite a sharp response, and then using the response to scare his own base voters into thinking they are under assault when in fact they are on the offensive. That’s how moving to compel nuns to buy contraception and abortive drugs for their employees became “they’re trying to take away your birth control.” This strategy needlessly divides the country and brings out the worst instincts of people on all sides, but it has obvious benefits for the administration and its allies. Liberals get both the substantive action and the political benefit of calling their opponents radicals and getting their supporters worked up. Obama’s legalization of millions would surely draw a response that could then be depicted as evidence of Republican hostility to immigrants, rather than of Republican hostility to illegal executive overreach that tries to make highly significant policy changes outside the bounds of our constitutional order.

But while the legalization now being talked about fits into that pattern in a sense, the sheer scope of its overreach would put it in a different category as a practical matter. That overreach is not mitigated but exacerbated by the fact that the president apparently intends to be selective: We are told he may offer effective legal amnesty to about half of the 11 or so million people who are here illegally. Which half? And why not the other? The president apparently intends to answer these questions based on criteria of his choosing, with no clear foundation in any particular statutory authorization or provision of law.

President Obama has long treated Congress with contempt, and has on many occasions taken executive actions that have bent or broken the limits of the executive’s discretion in our system. Perhaps above all, he has enforced Obamacare selectively — ignoring some clear requirements of law and conjuring up others that do not exist. These have been serious violations of his obligation to see that the laws are faithfully executed, and have caused serious problems for our system of government. They will leave the next president with a lot of damage to undo. But what the administration appears to be contemplating here is of a different scale and character. It is not selective enforcement of a new statute but rather just an action outside the law, in an arena in which the president himself has said unilateral action is beyond his authority and in which there is no case for extreme urgency.

White House officials clearly understand that such a move would invite a firestorm of opposition and criticism, and they appear to see that as an advantage. Maybe they’re right that such a step and its aftermath would work to their political benefit, and maybe they’re not. But surely it would all harm the country — dividing the public and debasing our system of government. It seems like just the sort of thing that a national leader would seek to avoid, rather than work to invite. Let’s hope the reports aren’t true.”

See: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/384008/legalization-edict-yuval-levin

I suspect that the reports ARE true – because that’s how this President does business. And in the end, the actions he takes provokes the opposition he deserves. The result is that this country and our system of government are the losers. After all, Obama can’t run for re-election anymore, and as the above points out, it leaves the next president “with a lot of damage to undo.” Will they be up to the challenge and be able to “fix” things? Not if they do business the way Obama does, that’s for sure.


Latest Activity: Jul 30, 2014 at 4:02 PM


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JimmyMack commented on Wednesday, Jul 30, 2014 at 17:24 PM

As Yogi Berra would say: This is dejavu all over again. Day in. Day out....

JimmyMack commented on Thursday, Jul 31, 2014 at 08:04 AM

Have you found me some heroin yet? If I am gonna have to keep readin this, and I am going to do that, then I needs me some heroin.

Webmeister: I am not endorsing drug use. I am making comment.

HMJC commented on Thursday, Jul 31, 2014 at 09:52 AM

Unfortunately we are screwed either way with immigration. If we provide amnesty we will spend billions of dollars to bring them into the fold and will exacerbates our already ridiculous social service programs.

If we send them home we pay for the plane ticket.. In situations such as this a cost benefits evaluation needs to be conducted to do what is best for ALL legal or born Americans. The immigration crisis has a huge potential that seems to already be broke. It is a Presidents solemn duty to do what's best for his country first as we have enough poverty of our own which should be addressed first.

JimmyMack commented on Thursday, Jul 31, 2014 at 11:42 AM

"It is a Presidents solemn duty to do what's best for his country first as we have enough poverty of our own which should be addressed first."

It also is Congress' solemn duty.

JimmyMack commented on Thursday, Jul 31, 2014 at 18:54 PM

The Republican Congress does NOTHING. BHO runs their uncompromising legislative paralysis via Executive Orders.

BHO ACTS. whether you like his orders or not. Congress does NOTHING.

OH yeah, they VOTE along partisan lines to take 5 week vacations.

JimmyMack commented on Friday, Aug 01, 2014 at 06:36 AM

"...BHO RUINS (not runs) their uncompromising legislative paralysis via EO's"

I can't spell. Ask Sebe.

shannalat commented on Friday, Aug 01, 2014 at 10:15 AM

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

The president should be the common sense voice to the senate and house. The way that the senate and house are now this is becoming a full time job.

sebekm commented on Wednesday, Aug 06, 2014 at 13:19 PM

But it is a job for which this president is ill-equipped to accomplish. To be a common sense voice one must HAVE common sense. Obama's common sense is so totally skewed that his actions harm more than they help.

To have civility in government, people must treat people with respect. When that happened years ago, things got done. Now - it's just a big food fight where scoring political points is more important than PRODUCTION. The solution is LEADERSHIP. When we have a leader in charge of this government, things will change. Not before.


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