The imperial President
By Mark Alexander
According to a source within the Secret Service, Barack Obama refers to himself as "The Bear" when diverting from a planned security route for "meet and greet photo ops." He announces such departures by saying, "The bear is loose!"
Now, I'm sure it's only coincidence that "The Bear" is also the mascot of the former Soviet Union, and now the Russian Federation. While it would be more fitting if Obama referred to himself as "The Red Squirrel," his wishful "bear" reference certainly reflects the tyrannical "rule of lawlessness" that now defines his presidential modus operandi. Obama's administration is now defined by his litany of lies and legacy of scandals, most notably this incomplete list of ignominy: The failure of his so-called "economic recovery plan, his unparalleled foreign policy malfeasance, his "Fast and Furious" gun control play, his long list of ObamaCare lies, his IRS Enemies List, the dramatic resurgence of al-Qaida, the Benghazi cover-up to protect his 2012 re-election bid, his hollow "Red Line" threat to Syria, the "Russian Spring" in Crimea, the Middle East meltdown in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Jordan and Israel, the disintegration of Iraq, and now, of course, the VA death panels cover-up and the immigration crisis on our southern border.
He has certainly earned the public opinion title of "worst president since WWII," which has negated the smidgeon of good faith he once held with congressional Republicans, and also most of that extended him by all but the most leftwing congressional Democrats.
So what's Obama to do?
Having lost control of the House in 2010 and having failed to recover it in 2012, and the pending threat of losing Democrat control of the Senate, Obama has launched, in earnest, a campaign to completely bypass Congress through executive and regulatory diktat, a bold and lawless endeavor unmatched in its unconstitutional offense, except perhaps by Franklin Delano Roosevelt's despotic regime.
The range of his executive and regulatory edicts has been very broad, from 19 executive orders constricting Second Amendment rights, to regulations supporting his "war on coal" and avoiding the Keystone XL pipeline.
But the most notable abuses have included his repeated rewrites of the so-called "Affordable Care Act," in order that it not wound the re-election campaigns of his congressional Democrats.
Now, Obama is increasingly audacious in the exercise of these unlegislated diktats.
In November of last year, he pretended to be constrained by law in acting on immigration reform, saying, "If, in fact, I could solve all these problems without passing this through Congress, then I would do so. But we're also a nation of laws. That's part of our tradition."
But a few months later, Obama proclaimed, "Where Congress isn't acting, I'll act on my own." He complained that "we can't wait" for Congress, and bragged that he's "getting things done" by disregarding Rule of Law and the separation of powers set forth in our Constitution.
"[W]e are not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we're providing Americans the kind of help that they need," he brazenly declared. "I've got a pen ... and I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward."
These are the words of a despot, and now define Obama's standard operating procedure, whether secretly ordering the "Taliban Five" terrorist trade for an Army deserter, or choking the economy with his executive and regulatory orders, ostensibly to halt "global warming."
Though Obama claims to be a "professor of constitutional law," a genuine constitutional scholar, George Washington University's Jonathan Turley, a self-acknowledged liberal Obama supporter, has offered severe criticism of Obama's abuse of executive orders and regulations to bypass Congress.
According to Turley, "I think that he has crossed the constitutional line. ... When the president went to Congress and said he would go it alone, it obviously raises a concern. There's no license for going it alone in our system, and what he's done, is very problematic. He's told agencies not to enforce some laws [and] has effectively rewritten laws through the active interpretation that I find very problematic."
"What's emerging," Turley notes, "is an imperial presidency, an über presidency, as I've called it. ... Obama has repeatedly violated this [separation of powers] doctrine in the circumvention of Congress in areas ranging from health care to immigration law to environmental law. We are in the midst of a constitutional crisis with sweeping implications for our system of government. ... We are now at the constitutional tipping point for our system."
Reread those words for their full effect...
In his 1973 volume, The Imperial Presidency, noted liberal historian Arthur Schlesinger, a key adviser to John F. Kennedy, outlined the extreme danger to Liberty posed by lawless executive overreach. At that time, his focus was on Richard Nixon, but his warnings, like those of Turley, have far more application to Barack Obama.
So, with 30 more months of Obama's escalating assault on Liberty, what now? Make no mistake -- this "lame duck" is anything but.
Turley advises, "If balance is to be reestablished, it must begin before [Obama] leaves office, and that will likely require every possible means to reassert legislative authority. No one in our system can 'go it alone' -- not Congress, not the courts, and not the President."
As the ever-erudite Dr. Charles Krauthammer notes, "[Obama's] gross executive usurpation disdains the Constitution. It mocks the separation of powers. And most consequentially, it introduces a fatal instability into law itself. If the law is not what is plainly written, but is whatever the president and his agents decide, what's left of the law? ... This president is not only untroubled by what he's doing, but open and rather proud. As he tells cheering crowds on his never-ending campaign-style tours: 'I am going to do X -- and I'm not going to wait for Congress.' That's caudillo talk. That's banana republic stuff. In this country, the president is required to win the consent of Congress first. At stake is not some constitutional curlicue. At stake is whether the laws are the law. And whether presidents get to write their own."
Of course, I think the good doctor would agree, given his sterling psychiatric credentials, that the rise of Obama's imperial presidency was entirely predictable, given that he is a textbook case study in Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Speaking in Texas recently, Obama's egomaniacal arrogance shined through with his lavish first-person references -- "I," "me" and "my" (199 times in all) -- when outlining upcoming plans to unilaterally dictate "immigration reform" and additional "economic measures."
Last week, he made clear his intent to unilaterally advance his populist "class warfare agenda" to "help working Americans ... when Congress won't act." In his latest weekly address, Obama insisted, "So far this year, Republicans in Congress have blocked every serious idea to strengthen the middle class."
That lie earned him a stern rebuke from even The Washington Post's Fact Checker, as did his earlier claim that Republicans "have filibustered about 500 pieces of legislation that would help the middle class," about which The Post concluded, "On just about every level, this claim is ridiculous." But for Obama's sycophantic legions of useful idiots, fiction trumps fact.
So what can Republicans do?
Plenty, if they are willing to fight fire with fire, and they better start igniting those precedents now. It's going to take more than a threat of a lawsuit from House Speaker John Boehner.
House Republicans can use their control of the budget to defund enactment and enforcement of Obama's lawless orders and regulations. Indeed, if they fail to do so, then they violate their own oaths "to Support and Defend" our Constitution, and Rule of Law becomes gravely imperiled by rule of men.
Of course, if Republicans don't act, and we continue racing down this imperialist path to tyranny, there are tens of millions of American Patriots who understand our options.
Having recently celebrated Independence Day, I invite you to re-read the Declaration of Independence. This remarkable treatise on Liberty as "endowed by our Creator" addressed an imperial executive who willfully violated that endowment "which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitled" all people.
Our Founders outlined the "injuries and usurpations" committed by the executive, "all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States." They noted, "He has refused his Assent to Laws ... He has obstructed the Administration of Justice ... He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance."
There are undeniable parallels between the imperial powers which gave rise to the American Revolution and the imperial presidency which now threatens the Liberty our Founders, and generations of American Patriots since, have defended with their "lives, fortunes and sacred honor."
Obama now jokes about his lawlessness: "It is lonely, me just doing stuff. ... I'm just telling the truth now. I don't have to run for office again, so I can just let her rip."
In other words, short of rigorous intervention by Congress, this gets much worse before it gets any better.
Mark Alexander is the executive editor of the Patriot Post.