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by
Bryan Preston

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August 15, 2013 - 11:40 am

I began developing a thesis after last year’s presidential election, which is that President Obama has hacked our constitutional system of checks and balances. He worked the way conventional hackers do, finding and exploiting a hole or vulnerability in a system in order to defeat it. The vulnerabilities that Obama is exploiting are, on the one hand how dependence on government empowers Democrats and breeds more dependence on government, and on the other hand the means by which the Constitution spells out discipline for presidents who break the law. If presidential misbehavior rises to the level of “high crimes or misdemeanors,” the House must draft articles of impeachment, but the Senate must try and convict the president.

In current circumstances, the House under Republican control could draft a warehouse full of impeachment articles, but they will go nowhere because the Senate under Democrat control will never try or convict him. Of anything. Ever.

And in current circumstances, Obama need not care that his approval rating on the economy is so low. He has made himself the guarantor and defender of government largesse, and has built out his base by building up the nation’s welfare rolls to a historic high. Bad economies used to end American presidencies. But this bad economy only makes Obama’s hold on his voting base stronger.

So Barack Obama can do whatever he wants, and each day he pushes the limits on his power. Obamacare does not allow for delays in its funding mechanisms, but Obama delays it anyway, saying “In a normal political environment, it would have been easier for me to simply call up the speaker and say, you know what, this is a tweak that doesn’t go to the essence of the law. . . . It looks like there may be some better ways to do this, let’s make a technical change to the law. That would be the normal thing that I would prefer to do. But we’re not in a normal atmosphere around here when it comes to Obamacare. We did have the executive authority to do so, and we did so.”

There is, as George F. Will notes today, nothing in the Constitution that allows a president to do this. Obama is saying that it’s legal because the president is doing it, which is Nixon on steroids. Obama knows that the media will not call him on it, court rulings against him are increasingly meaningless, and the opposition party is either neutered or complicit.

Obama is threatening to raise taxes without an Congressional input. So far, there isn’t much meaningful opposition. Obama is threatening to legalize millions of illegal aliens quite outside the law and the legislative process if Congress continues to be “dysfunctional,” by which means that it doesn’t do exactly what he wants, when he wants it. It’s no empty threat; he actually did the same thing on a smaller scale last year, and instead of sparking a firestorm of controversy costing him the election, it brought out more voters to re-elect him. His latest threat gets backing from someone who should be railing against it and warning Obama of dire consequences, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio. Rubio has made himself a handmaiden to and co-conspirator in Obama’s grand hack.

What Obama is doing overall is suspending the Constitution piecemeal and making statutes passed by Congress irrelevant. But it’s more than that. He’s making Congress itself irrelevant along with the courts, and hauling all meaningful power into his own hands.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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All Comments   (9)
All Comments   (9)
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Obama is exactly like Trayvon Martin. Both escalating in their criminal behaviors.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Supreme Court has made it difficult to take Obama to task. Who has the "standing" to request an immediate ruling? Assuming someone has standing and the court rules what Obama is doing is unconstitutional, then it would be hard for the Senate to ignore impeachment proceeding if Obama continued to violate the Constitution. The DC circuit rules that way on Yucca Mountain this week, but the Supreme Court really needs to get involved.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
That's one of the most outrageous things to happen lately, yes. If the President flagrantly breaks the law and Congress just as flagrantly refuses to check him how can citizens not have standing to see it corrected? Of what use is the law if there's no way to enforce it?
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Majority voted for amorality. We got O who is amoral.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's not just Obama, though. If the country elected proper representatives to serve in Congress they'd have put Obama in jail by now, or at the very least out of office. Obama is just the latest (and admittedly the worst) expression of a systemic failure of the American people to govern ourselves.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
The American people could stop this without firing a shot. Simply vote out virtually every incumbent of both parties and elect people that will actually uphold the Constitution. They choose not to.

This is what Frankline meant when he said we had "A republic, if you can keep it". The US Constitution is as close to perfect as a governing document can be but in order to function properly it absolutely requires an electorate made up of reasonably informed and involved citizens who value laws and liberty over "any means necessary" and class warfare. We don't have that now. We haven't had that for quite a while and I don't see it coming any time in the near future. It's possible the American experiment has failed.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
So, what would you have us do? Should we find a few good men, or many as the case may be, hogtie them and sentence them to four years in Congress? It seems like the choices we get at the voting booth are between Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dumb. The really good people, the ones that would make the best Congress-Critters are busy running their own businesses and lives. I know this is what the Founding Fathers wanted, (not the hogtie part), good people taking a little time out of their lives to help out, but it seems like the only ones going into politics nowadays are the ones that can't make it on the outside. Slowly but surely, groups like the Tea Party are finding these types of good people and getting them to run but it is an uphill battle.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's true that as soon as legislating became a full time job things started rolling inexorably downhill, and the interpretation of the commerce clause to mean "the feds can do whatever they want" added a lot of grease to an already slippery slope.

What would I have us do? I honestly have no idea, hence my despair. I'm just raising the possibility that this country (in fact ANY country) might simply lack the character required to make the Constitution work.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
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