Last week, when President Barack Obama spoke to the National Council of La Raza, he said something that should alarm every American. He confessed that he’d like to “bypass Congress and change the laws” on his own. He added, “Believe me; the idea of doing things on my own is very tempting. I promise you.”
He doesn’t need to promise us. We believe him, because we’ve been watching his rogue behavior since the moment he entered office.
Way back in February 2010, even The New York Times unveiled his modus operandi, in its report “Obama Making Plans to Use Executive Power.” It summarized, “With much of his legislative agenda stalled in Congress, President Obama and his team are preparing an array of actions using his executive power to advance energy, environmental, fiscal and other domestic policy priorities.”
Obama’s unauthorized war in Libya was just one more wayward decision in a long line of executive-power-run-amok choices, taken despite the fact that top Pentagon lawyers considered his unilateral Libyan invasion to be illegal “hostilities.” And according to congressional testimony, his own lawyers in the Office of Legal Counsel were asked to soft-pedal their views so as to curb any further violation allegations.
What alarms me is that these perversions of power are coming from not only the highest office in the land but also Obama’s advisers and team (including his lawyers). In his speech to the National Council of La Raza, the president also explained that he was taking his cues from others: “I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own.”
Of course, Obama knew that to do so at the outset of the debt debates would have ensured his political downfall. On the other hand, swooping down in the last hour on Capitol Hill from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. with his Democratic majority in the Senate to save the economy from hopeless partisan gridlock would surely put him on the front page of Savior Daily!
Speaking of the press, what’s equally tragic is that the Obama-mania media are jumping on the executive-power runaway express. Just this past Thursday, CNN’s website ran an article by Jack Balkin, a constitutional law expert at Yale, titled “3 ways Obama could bypass Congress.” (Do you think CNN would have extended the same clemency from Congress to former President George W. Bush?)
As The New York Times reported at the beginning of last year, Obama’s exploits to bypass Congress are intended to “advance energy, environmental, fiscal and other domestic policy priorities.” We now can add America’s border problems to those, as Obama also elaborated last week that the temptation to bypass Congress includes “not just immigration reform.” No wonder the crowd began to chant “Yes, we can!” (Tragically, it seems that too many citizens want a Fuhrer more than they do a president.)
Do we really want a power-hungry rogue president who continually is tempted to bypass Congress? Will we continue to allow unilateral power to our president to follow his own political whims and desires? Do we want a supreme leader who constantly seeks ways to justify dodging our bicameral government — the very checks and balances of our republic? When he avoids Congress, is he not also trampling on the Constitution and its mandates for separation of powers and teamwork among our three branches of government?
Has the president forgotten his oath of office, “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”?
Mr. President, I strongly suggest you meditate upon the legal genius of Joseph Story, a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1811 to 1845 (appointed by President James Madison). Justice Story wrote: “The duty imposed upon (the president) to take care, that the laws be faithfully executed, follows out the strong injunctions of his oath of office, that he will ‘preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.’ The great object of the executive department is to accomplish this purpose.”
Wow, how Justice Story’s words fly in the face of President Obama’s thoughts about bypassing Congress.
No wonder Thomas Jefferson passionately proclaimed: “I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution … taking from the federal government the power of borrowing.”
God, lead Obama not into doing-things-on-his-own temptation.