The PJ Tatler

Obama Plans to Continue Hacking the Constitution with Executive Orders

It was obvious after his re-election that Barack Obama had a choice in front of him. He and his party control the White House and the Senate but not the House, so moving divisive legislation through Congress was going to be tough. He could try using the bully pulpit to persuade Americans that his agenda is right, or he could simply deem his policies to be the law of the land. Trying to persuade Americans tends to be difficult and cuts into the golf and skeets activities, while exposing Obama to legitimate criticism that he is the Campaigner-in-Chief. Plus, when he actually explains what he thinks, he reveals himself to be a far leftist ideologue, and most Americans are still not on board with much of what he wants to do.

So, Obama is going the royal route: L’etat, c’est Barack.

President Obama is considering a series of new executive actions aimed at working around a recalcitrant Congress, including policies that could allow struggling homeowners to refinance their mortgages, provide new protections for gays and lesbians, make buildings more energy-efficient and toughen regulations for coal-fired power plants, according to people outside the White House involved in discussions on the issues.

The moves underscore Obama’s increasingly aggressive use of executive authority, including 23 administrative actions on gun violence last month and previous orders that delayed deportations of young illegal immigrants and will lower student loan payments.

These and other potential actions suggest that Obama is likely to rely heavily on executive powers to set domestic policy in his second term. One White House official said that while the president does not see the actions as substitutes for more substantial legislation, he also wants to move forward on top priorities.

The Constitution was set up with its system of checks and balances precisely to slow down the ambitious executive. As a former constitutional law adjunct part-time professor, Obama knows this. He also does not like it, and has criticized the Constitution for limiting government’s power to act, particularly in regard to the government’s power to confiscate and redistribute wealth and force “social justice.” Note what he said in this 2001 radio interview.

[A]s radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states cant do to you. Says what the Federal government cant do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that.

So Obama understands what the Constitution is for. He just doesn’t like what the Constitution is for. And is planning to override it.

Hackers tend to find and exploit weaknesses in the systems they attack. Obama is doing this with the Constitution. The weakness he is exploiting is the divided Congress, with the Senate in the hands of someone he controls. With the Senate in his pocket he is practically impeachment-proof; Harry Reid will not allow any serious investigation of Obama action or policy to go forward. Harry Reid is Obama’s backdoor. The Constitution is compromised.