“We don’t mind the Republicans joining us. They can come for the ride, but they gotta sit in back.” –President Barack Obama, October 2010
Thwarting the People: Enacting a Dictatorship
When Obama complains about Republican lawmakers’ thwarting of him, he fails to recognize that these lawmakers are the representatives of “We the People” and that he is disrespecting the American public by going around their representatives.
“I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone,” Obama said back in January of 2014, as he threatened to go around “Republicans.” With this utterance, Obama is threatening an ongoing dictatorship over the people, if their representatives do not comply with his demands. He is a Caesar who would abolish our Republic.
Claims of Prosecutorial Discretion
Obama’s first claim to legitimacy, when it comes to his dictatorial rule by pen and phone, is that he is exercising “prosecutorial discretion.” One example is that he chooses not to prosecute illegal aliens under sixteen. But the problem is that there is no basis in law for a presidential power to use prosecutorial discretion across an entire class of individuals, such as all illegal aliens under sixteen years of age. This presidential discretion is a power to be exercised only on a case-by-case basis, lest the president run afoul of the Fourteenth Amendment guarantee of equal protection, under law, for all classes of people.
Another exercise of dictatorial power on the part of Obama has been his use of the executive-branch bureaucracy to rewrite rules and regulations to conform to whatever statutes he would like the Congress to pass. Then he has the desired law tailored to be implemented administratively. In the past, all rules of the executive branch have required a legal basis somewhere among the laws passed by the people. President Obama now claims that he has discretion to write new rules as he sees fit.
The president is not supposed to take a statute written for Congressional approval and, when Congress does not pass it, institute it anyway. Obama has taken the parameters of such statutes, in some cases, and rewritten enforcement rules of existing law along those exact parameters. This is unconstitutional on the face of it. But, in the meantime, he gets his way, to the detriment of the rule of law. The president, according to the Constitution, is not above the law, but we now have a president who acts as if he is.
Also, Obama’s altering of existing rules, by tightening some and loosening others, even if basing them on actual law, is problematic. This is because such behavior creates a basis for endless incremental alteration. These encroachments ultimately reach the point where they become too extreme. And, eventually, certain businesses or citizens find their business models or property rights have been made illegal, in direct contravention to the intent of the people as enacted by law.
The Executive Order
Many of President Obama’s dictates have been in the form of executive orders. The executive order is not even mentioned in the Constitution. All presidents have issued executive orders, the first one to call it that being President Lincoln. But executive orders are extra-Constitutional and have no power to make new law.
Presidents have used these orders, historically, to clarify policies based upon existing law or to instruct the government on how to implement a law. The issuing of an order should be no more than an effort to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,” in accordance with Article Two, Section Three, of the US Constitution.
The Congress might make a new law, and the president might then assign specific departments to implement parts of that law, within whatever discretion the law gives him, but never in a manner that would go against the law as written. Obama’s use of these “executive actions” to create new laws out of whole cloth has been alarming. Executive orders are, properly, only clarifications of Congressional actions.
Checks and Balances
President Obama has, in the main, used various administrative methods to turn his executive branch into a dictatorial powerhouse. And the danger, under his administration, is that more dictatorial laws are being created than can be legally challenged in a timely manner. It is a classic Cloward-Pivan approach to overwhelming a system with much more than it can easily handle. The aim of doing this is to break the system, making it useless for all intents and purposes and thus causing many to lose faith in it.
Even if the courts hold against President Obama, it then becomes the province of the chief executive—Obama himself—to enforce what the courts have ruled. This is a Catch-22 of sorts, but for the fact that the Congress does have the power of the purse to defund the president’s dictates or, ultimately, the power to impeach the president for not upholding his oath of office from Article Two, Section One, Clause Eight, of the U.S. Constitution, to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
All checks and balances with respect to presidential power become unenforceable, now and in the future, if this president goes unrebuked. And, if the Congress will not act to do so, the rebuke must come, ultimately, from the people! At this writing, there have been thirteen rulings by the Supreme Court—and there will be more to come—against this rogue president who has utterly disregarded the people’s laws.
Hope for Change
The question is this: Will President Obama—perhaps out of worry that he might be impeached—show respect to the rulings of the highest court in the land? Or will he continue to trample the Constitution, thus challenging the Congress to fire him or the people to give the Senate to the Republicans?
The Constitution depends on having honorable leaders who will follow it. Hopefully, the next president will be such a leader—one who comes “not praise Caesar, but to bury him.”
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com