President Obama’s bizarre press conference on Friday produced a number of memorably loopy moments, but none surpassed this alleged Constitutional scholar’s discovery of the “consultation with business leaders” clause in the Constitution, which gives Presidents limitless power to break the law, provided some unspecified number of business leaders approves.
This is the same press conference where Obama compared the controversial universal domestic surveillance programs of the National Security Agency with his wife checking up on him to make sure he did the dishes, yes. This is the press conference where he invented a new “core al-Qaeda” subdivision, never mentioned once during his endless “al-Qaeda is on the run” football spiking over the death of Osama bin Laden during the 2012 campaign. Detroit is dead after struggling with a fifty-year case of terminal liberalism, and al-Qaeda has America on the run, but rest assured, bin Laden sleeps with the dishes.
Nevertheless, the stuff about the Business Leader Clause was more significant. It’s a real window into the way this lawless President views his limitless executive power, and the servile relationship of the American people to their wise ruling class. The old chestnut about conservatism versus liberalism asks if we are a people with a government, or a government with a people. But to Barack Obama, America is an almighty White House with a vestigial legislature, hot-wired to a few big cities, isolated in a dark sea of ignorant flyover-country child-citizens who must occasionally be told fanciful things to keep them under control.
This is what the President said, on the subject of his illegal modification of the Affordable Care Act to roll the employer mandate back by a year:
With respect to health care, I didn’t simply choose to delay this on my own. This was in consultation with businesses all across the country, many of whom are supportive of the Affordable Care Act, but — and who — many of whom, by the way, are already providing health insurance to their employees but were concerned about the operational details of changing their HR operations if they’ve got a lot of employees, which could be costly for them, and them suggesting that there may be easier ways to do this.
Now what’s true, Ed, is that in a normal political environment, it would have been easier for me to simply call up the speaker and say, you know what? This is a tweak that doesn’t go to the essence of the law. It has to do with, for example, are we able to simplify the attestation of employers as to whether they’re already providing health insurance or not. It looks like there may be some better ways to do this. Let’s make a technical change of the law.
That would be the normal thing that I would prefer to do, but we’re not in a normal atmosphere around here when it comes to, quote- unquote, “Obamacare.”
We did have the executive authority to do so, and we did so. But this doesn’t go to the core of implementation.
No, he does not have the executive power to rewrite laws on the fly. Absolutely nothing in the Affordable Care Act gave the Administration the power to move the mandates, or grant special ruling-class benefits to the high-paid members of Congress and their staffs, who whined that they can’t possibly survive under the rules that will be applied to private-sector America. But it’s okay, don’t worry about it, because Obama consulted with “businesses all across the country, many of whom are supportive of the Affordable Care Act.”
In other words, he talked to his big-bucks donors – the same sort of people he looted the Treasury to subsidize during his green energy debacle – and they said they wanted some breathing room, so he rewrote the law on the fly. It’s not as if he could have gone through the regular legislative process, because the gigantic majority of Americans who do not like ObamaCare one little bit – currently polling well above 60 percent – have representation there. Uncomfortable questions might have been asked. Those who remembered Obama’s shrieking “sequestration” theatrics might have asked if dumping another $12 billion in debt on the taxpayers by delaying the mandate was something American can “afford.” You can bet your bottom dollar that if Republicans proposed a $12 billion pro-growth tax cut, Obama would howl at the top of his lungs that we can’t possibly afford it.
If Obama was actually serious about the new Consultation With Business Leaders clause to the Constitution, it would be incredibly convenient to the next Republican president, who could erase ObamaCare, lower taxes, and do many other vitally necessary things for America by convening a meeting of business leaders and securing their approval. But of course, everyone knows this amazing new executive power will disappear, along with all of Obama’s other new powers, as soon as the Oval Office is occupied by a Republican.
The support or opposition of select top-shelf members of the business community is not enough to create or alter legislation under the American system of government. They have to work through their representatives in Congress, just like everyone else. There is a system of government in which powerful, politically-connected business leaders have a direct hand in legislation, as the normal boundaries between State and industry are dissolved in both directions, and the ruling Party controls all. That system is called “fascism.” It is profoundly disturbing to hear an American president flirting with it, even if he’s just a desperate politician looking for a way to paper over his failures.
That wasn’t the only time Obama blurred the distinction between State and industry in his remarks on Friday. Like all socialists, he’s very fond of appropriating the language of capitalism to push his ideas. In this case, he compared the disastrous ObamaCare launch to a few glitches that a company like Apple might encounter when rolling out a new iPod. But to complete that analogy, your new iPod would have required a second mortgage on your house to purchase, and it would electrocute you while you were doing the dishes.
Most importantly, the purchase of an iPod is not mandated by law. You don’t have to pay a special tax/penalty if you refuse to buy one. And if iPods were mandatory, designed by the same geniuses who inflicted ObamaCare on us, just imagine how expensive they would be, and how poorly they would perform. This is not at all an analogy defenders of the Affordable Care Act, or any other socialist disaster, should make. It reflects worse on their schemes, the more you think about it. If ObamaCare was a private sector product, released by a company of which Barack Obama was the CEO, he’d be facing massive lawsuits for fraud, if not jail time.
The legitimacy of our government rests upon the rule of law. The President doesn’t get to ignore laws he doesn’t like, not even when they’re named after him. If the government is not bound by law, we aren’t a representative republic any more, or even a constitutional democracy. We’re a dictatorship, in which the dictator occasionally holds ludicrous press conferences to keep his poll numbers from tanking. Why should any citizen of the United States obey a law the President will not obey?