Ever helpful to Democrats, the New York Times points out today that President Obama, by kicking up the volume on immigration, climate change and regulating the Internet, merely pays homage to President George W. Bush.
Although they do not present it this way, in some ways Mr. Obama and his aides are taking a page from President George W. Bush’s playbook after his own “thumping” in his final midterm elections. Instead of pulling out of the deteriorating war in Iraq, as Democrats interpreted Mr. Bush’s election mandate, he sent more troops. Democrats like Mr. Obama, then a senator, accused the president of defying the voters. In the end, the reinforcements and a strategy change helped turn around the war.
The analogy is fundamentally, fatally flawed.
Let’s posit that the American people, by their congressional votes in 2006, sent a message to end the Iraq war. If that were true, you could say that Bush ignored the voice of the people. Although you could as easily conclude that his actions were meant to end the war.
No matter how you read the public will, George W. Bush acted within his constitutional authority as commander in chief when he ordered the successful 30,000-troop surge in January 2007.
As commander in chief, it was Bush’s role to effectively prosecute the war in Iraq, a use of military force that Congress had decisively authorized — 297-133 House, 77-23 Senate.
However, what President Obama now endeavors to do — by distilling his party’s devastating midterm losses into a steroid shot for his agenda — flies in the face of that Constitution.
- He’ll use executive orders to usurp Congress’ Article I, Section 8, authority regarding immigration.
- He uses regulatory agencies like the EPA to go beyond anything Congress authorized with regard to environmental protection.
- He pressures a board of political appointees (the FCC) to rein in the same industry that allows most of us to watch his spellbinding YouTube videos, a move that would further focus power over information in the hands of people who devote their days to boiling down policies into concentrated power.
Nearly everything on Obama’s known agenda, as he waddles into the sunset, stretches or exceeds his constitutional authority.
Post-thrashing Obama ≠ post-thumpin’ Bush.