2014 was a bad year. For everyone. This years winners and losers lists should only feature losers… and we’re all on that list.
Much of the reason for our very bad year resides in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Normally, when someone complains about the President as the example of all that is wrong in Washington, D.C. – I disagree. Generally, when there are major problems in Washington, the President is only a small part of a much larger problem… because in the past, the real power laid in the House of Representatives.
That is, it did… until the rise of little king Barack Obama.
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As 2014 dawned, Obama promised — to Republicans, threatened — to take a new path.
He did, by using executive fiat to confer quasi-legal status on millions of illegal immigrants, to reshape relations with Cuba, and to make a climate deal with China, among other actions. As 2015 arrives, Obama and his Democratic supporters are drawing one key lesson from the experience: take executive action, make it broad and far-reaching, and do it sooner rather than later.
For example, Obama famously delayed his immigration action until after the midterm elections. The Democratic candidates he sought to protect lost anyway. Some of the president’s supporters argue that putting the action off actually made things worse by discouraging Hispanic support at the polls. Don’t look for Obama to opt for delay again.
To understand how badly the President has damaged our political system, one needs only to understand two things – first, the Republican Party holds more seats in the Legislature than they have since before WWII. That’s almost 100 years of American history — our nation has only existed for some 240 years — so it’s been a while for the GOP. However, while the GOP should theoretically have more power than they’ve wielded in 100 years… the second issue is that they are virtually impotent to stop the President from doing whatever the hell he wants. Seriously.
If President Obama chooses to use Executive Action to rewrite or radically change our laws (something he has already proven willing to do), then all he needs is 34 Senators to give him the cover to do that… and President Obama should have no problem finding 34 Democrat shills to do this for him.
As long as Obama can get 34 Democrats to support him in the Senate, his executive action will stand.
Over at USA Today, William Jacobson covers a lot of ground as he explains the many ways the Obama administrating railroaded the Constitution in 2014.
Yet the most long-lasting damage may be the Obama administration’s cavalier attitude towards constitutional separation of powers.
Three areas of the Obama administration going it alone stand out: Immigration, Obamacare and the environment. Immigration is perhaps the most dramatic example.
At every level, the Obama administration has signaled that going it alone is the only way to get things done.
But that is not how our constitutional system is set up. The Framers understood the threat of an overreaching executive who wants to be king not president.
The Obama administration’s relentless expansion of executive power through extra-constitutional means only further fuels the public’s distrust of government. If 2014 was a referendum on Obama, 2016 may be a referendum on whether the public wants the federal government, particularly the president, to live within constitutional boundaries.
Will our next president be a king, queen or a constitutionally-limited president? That is the question for 2016.
Years from now, history may look back at the Obama Presidency as the turning point in American history – the era the USA shifted from Constitutional Republic to pseudo-Democratic Dictatorship.
American voters have handed the GOP a historic opportunity. The GOP can stop the President’s illegal actions. The question is: does the GOP have the testicular fortitude to stand in the gap and risk the ire of the media and the political establishment to do so? If the Republican Party chooses to fight back against Obama, they will be risking their own handles on political power. They have to decide if they’d rather let Obama do his thing and allow GOP to play it “safe,” or if they’ll fight him tooth and nail and risk losing their newfound leadership in Congress.
I’m a hopeful realist. I see a light in the distance, but I know that the current crop of GOP leadership is as bad as the Democrats, so I think, sadly, we have a tough year ahead of us. In fact, when it’s all said and done, 2015 may even make 2014 look good.
And that would be very bad…
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com