There are two approaches to governance.
- The first is to look to the Constitution and design a legislative agenda that achieves the desired effect and is compliant with the Constitution.
- The second is to pass legislation that achieves the desired effect and then challenge people to stop it when it isn’t compliant with the Constitution.
President Obama has chosen the second method.
His attitude toward what would become his approach was revealed in one of his first meetings with Congressional leaders in January of 2009, he:
…left no doubt about who’s in charge of these negotiations. “I won,” Obama noted matter-of-factly, according to sources familiar with the conversation.
He has basically said to the American public:
I have the power and I’m going to do what I want and you just try and stop me.
Glenn Reynolds writes in today’s USA Today:
But, in fact, there’s a common theme in all of these scandals: Abuse of power. And, what’s more, that abuse-of-power theme is what makes the NSA snooping story bigger than it otherwise would be. It all comes down to trust.
It is true. The President and his government are abusing their power…and our trust. Obama isn’t a leader; he is a Chicago mobster, ruling by fear, intimidation and thuggery.
- I’m going to capture all your data, just try and stop me – I won.
- I’m going to use government agencies like the IRS and the EPA to punish my political enemies, just try and stop me – I won.
- I’m going to restrict your Second Amendment rights, just try and stop me – I won.
- I’m going to change your health insurance, just try and stop me – I won.
- I’m going to tax you and redistribute your money to “green” companies run by my donors, just try and stop me – I won.
- I’m going to use the DOJ to track journalists that report unfavorably on me, just try and stop me – I won.
- I’m going to whitewash the deaths of four US citizens in Banghazi because that would have hurt my reelection, just try and stop me – I won.
- I’m going to promote abortions and fund Planned Parenthood, just try and stop me – I won.
Well, you get the idea.
Two years ago this month, I wrote a piece on the left’s concern over Bush using the political philosophy of the “unitary executive” while ignoring Obama’s actions (and this was after only 2 years in office):
Remember when President Bush was being pilloried by the Democrats and the leftist “civil rights” cabal about “unchecked” executive authority, calling him the unitary executive or the “Imperial President”? Remember the choice words that they had for Karl Rove, Donald Rumsfeld and the President? Here are a few reminders if you don’t:
All these declarations echo the refrain Bush has been asserting from the outset of his presidency. That refrain is simple: Presidential power must be unilateral, and unchecked.
But the most recent and blatant presidential intrusions on the law and Constitution supply the verse to that refrain. They not only claim unilateral executive power, but also supply the train of the President’s thinking, the texture of his motivations, and the root of his intentions.
They make clear, for instance, that the phrase “unitary executive” is a code word for a doctrine that favors nearly unlimited executive power. Bush has used the doctrine in his signing statements to quietly expand presidential authority.
So what are we to make of this? Critics will say that it is just what Bush was doing, and in many cases, they would be right. The difference is this: Obama ran on being the anti-Bush, the “post racial/post partisan” unity candidate. Nancy Pelosi promised the most ethical Congress ever. Obama promised transparency and openness, what we have experienced is quite the opposite.
Unless you are a blind partisan, which most of Obama’s most ardent supporters are, you can see that the President is a charlatan, a fraud and a liar. This administration is two things, 1) it is the most disingenuous and deceptive administration since the Nixon administration and is 2) the most incompetent since the Carter administration, a very, very dangerous combination for America.
Funny, I don’t hear the same concerns today. Drudge sums it up nicely with these headlines:
Like I’ve said, I guess it depends on whose ox gets gored.