WASHINGTON — President Obama and the Democrats are in a state of deep denial about the message the voters sent to Washington in the midterm elections.
All the exit polls of Americans coming out of the nation’s voting places forcefully said the economy and jobs were their No. 1 concerns.
They have been voters’ top concerns for the past six years of this underperforming, uneven, job-challenged economy. And it’s one of the chief reasons why voters put Republicans in charge of the House in 2010, and why earlier this month they put the GOP firmly in control of the Senate.
Yet Obama has shown no sympathy for the message voters sent to Washington, insisting that the economy is doing just fine under his presidency and that the American people should have rewarded him and his party, instead of punishing them by putting the GOP in charge of Congress.
Instead, he’s stubbornly ignoring their complaints and has staked out a far-left agenda on issues that appeal to the narrower, liberal base of his party.
No sector of the electorate gets more of his attention and favoritism than radical environmentalists. Last week, he pledged to veto the Keystone XL pipeline that the GOP plans to send to his desk, despite the thousands of jobs it would create and its popularity in the polls. And after 31 House Democrats voted for its completion.
The voters who threw the Democrats out of power on Capitol Hill were not demanding draconian government regulations on the environment. Neither were they calling for strict new regulation of the Internet, which seems to be working just fine without government intervention.
Nor were they urging Obama, by the stroke of his pen, to unilaterally authorize the legalization of illegal immigrants without Congress’ approval — an issue that polls show is way down the list of the voters’ foremost concerns.
Yet these are among the issues Obama has put at the very top of his post-election list and that have drawn all of his attention since the congressional elections.
First came his imperial proposal to put the unregulated Internet under federal regulatory control for the first time in its spectacular job-creating history.
He has already heaped a mountain of new government regulations on most of the economy — from health care to financial services to energy production. So now he’s set his sights on the last remaining sector in our economy that has succeeded because it’s been free of such regulation.
Notably, Obama’s meddling drew a brusque Government 101 reply from the Federal Communications Commission’s chairman, a Democrat, that the FCC is an independent agency that doesn’t take orders from the president. So bug off.
Then came the thorny climate change agreement he signed with China at last week’s economic summit that would impose new and costly regulations on America’s energy industries and businesses in general, drive up utility rates and kill jobs.
In his announcement, Obama said nothing about what the administration’s broader climate change agenda would cost U.S. taxpayers. But The New York Times revealed that just for starters he intends to dish out $3 billion to help “the world’s poorest (countries) adapt to the ravages of climate change.”
But wait, there’s more. Now he’s preparing an executive order to prevent 5 million undocumented immigrants from being deported, among other immigration reforms.
Needless to say, such dictatorial actions would create a constitutional crisis that would ignite a roar of disapproval from Congress — and not just from the Republicans, either.
Under the Constitution, only Congress has the authority to enact our immigration laws, and it specifically contains the admonition that the president “shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”
Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has warned the president that taking such action would be like “waving a red flag in front of a bull.” And House Speaker John Boehner warned that Obama will “burn himself” if he tries to usurp Congress’ legislative powers.
Obama’s intentions, widely reported in the past several weeks, have draw opposition from academic scholars, and even from some of his own supporters in the news media.
In an article in the Texas Law Review that warns of the dangerous precedent Obama would be setting, University of St. Thomas law professor Robert J. Delahunty and University of California at Berkeley law professor John C. Yoo write:
“Can a president who wants tax cuts that a recalcitrant Congress will not enact decline to enforce the income tax laws? Can a president effectively repeal the environmental laws by refusing to sue polluters, or workplace and labor laws by refusing to fine violators?”
In a lead editorial Tuesday titled “Stumbling
Alone,” the arch-liberal Washington Post urged Obama against taking unilateral action on immigration — recalling his reluctance three years ago when he admitted that “doing things on my own is very tempting.”
“But that’s not how our democracy functions. That’s not how our Constitution is written,” Obama said then.
If he moves ahead with his attempt to find loopholes in the Constitution in order to write his own laws, “he is likely to prove his point: Unilateralism will not make the system work,” the Post said.
Worse than that, he would be treading on dangerously unconstitutional ground that would ignite a far larger war between the White House and Congress than we’ve seen thus far.
That Obama has said he is tempted “to do things on his own,” and now — in the wake of the voters’ utter rejection of his policies and his party — that he is planning to do just that, reveals a president who has trouble with democracy itself.
Americans sent a clear and unmistakable message to the president and the Democrats to focus on creating jobs, boosting stronger economic growth and raising incomes.
Obama’s answer is to thumb his nose at the election’s results and press ahead with a big-government, anti-job, anti-growth, unconstitutional agenda that entirely ignores our nation’s most urgent needs.