Time and time again, President Obama demonstrates his contempt for the Constitution and for the American people, whose integrity and will must be subordinated to his personal prerogative and hijacked sovereignty.
Obama has admitted on several occasions that he had no authority to act unilaterally, via executive order, to grant amnesty to millions of immigrants who came here illegally, so his doing so is, in his own opinion, flagrantly illegal.
Daily he proves to us that his words mean nothing. They are utilitarian tools to serve his political purposes. When traveling the country to rally support for the DREAM Act, he confessed that he had no power to pass it on his own, but shortly thereafter, on the heels of his failed efforts to secure sufficient congressional support for this legislation, he issued an executive order implementing provisions of the act anyway.
His action wasn’t nuanced or diluted in any way to create even an arguable distinction between his fiat and the provision that Congress explicitly had rejected. Not in the slightest.
It is not as if this lawless dictate, which Obama pretended to issue as an act of compassion, was of minimal consequence. Many have convincingly argued that it led to the southern “border invasion” we experienced a few months ago.
But Obama’s current action would go much further — which is hardly surprising, considering that he never seems to be brought to account for his abuses of power. One could say that the recent congressional elections held him to account, but he is doing his best to show that the electorate and the rule of law have no hold on him. He is above the will of the people. He soars above the Constitution. He is a law unto himself.
This executive order could protect up to 5 million people from deportation and possibly grant them work permits. Other than certain fringe Constitution-disrespecting progressive law professors, no one seriously believes that Obama has the authority to do this, even under the rubric of “prosecutorial discretion.” Even liberal MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell couldn’t find a single Democrat who could cite any authority for this act.
In attempting to rationalize every one of Obama’s serial outrages, liberal politicians and pundits invariably draw arrows from their bloated moral equivalence quivers. “President Obama is doing nothing other than what Republican presidents have done in the past,” they say. “Why didn’t you conservatives complain then?”
A number of discriminating writers have conclusively put the lie to this specious claim. Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush issued executive orders concerning immigration, but their actions were in furtherance of implementing legislation passed by Congress. Obama’s order is in direct contravention of Congress’ express will on the matter. It was fashioned out of whole cloth, and no amount of leftist spin can change that inconvenient truth.
In seeking to justify the unjustifiable, Obama doesn’t just say — dishonestly — Republicans did it first. He makes an even more absurd and equally contemptible argument. He says he really regrets that members of Congress forced his benevolent executive hand on this, for if they had fulfilled their own duty to pass immigration reform legislation, he wouldn’t have been compelled to act. So he’s issuing the unlawful order under duress — with a legislative gun to his head? Seriously?
Tell me why such Orwellian canards don’t disturb rank-and-file Democrats or people in the liberal media who purport to respect the Constitution. Can anyone on the face of the earth point to a single provision in the Constitution that says the principle of separation of powers will be suspended and congressional authority subordinated to that of the president anytime a president, in his sole and absolute discretion, decides such because Congress hasn’t yielded to his legislative demands?
Have some among us become so cynical as to believe that our Constitution’s framers distributed federal power among three branches and imposed an intricate system of checks and balances as a matter of mere whim? Forbid that abominable thought. This structure, often attributed to French philosopher and lawyer Montesquieu, was believed fundamental to establishing and preserving our individual liberties — perhaps more fundamental than even the very Bill of Rights. In Federalist No. 47, James Madison wrote, “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”
Would-be dictators and bullies must be opposed, resisted and defeated. It will not be acceptable for Congress to sit on its hands after Obama’s usurpation. It must act not as a matter of partisan competition but on behalf of the Constitution itself and the sovereignty of the American people, which it has a sacred duty to safeguard.
Now that Obama is declaring war on the Constitution and attempting to further emasculate Congress, it must draw and use every weapon in its constitutional arsenal to nullify Obama’s action — and to deter future tyrants from following his disgraceful example.
David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. His latest book is “Jesus on Trial: A Lawyer Affirms the Truth of the Gospel.”
Sign up to the Human Events newsletter