8 Times Barack Obama Abused His Power To Appease His Base
Joe Biden, now all in for 2020, has his sights set on Donald Trump. With daily attacks, he’s lobbing any accusation he can against Trump in the hopes that such attacks will get traction. His latest attack is to claim that President Trump has abused his powers. “There’s only one thing that stands in our way. It’s our broken political system that’s deliberately being undermined by our president to continue to abuse the power of the office,” Biden claimed, calling Trump “the only president who has decided not to represent the whole country. He has his base. We need a president who works for all Americans.”
Has Creepy Uncle Joe forgotten that thanks to Trump, African-American unemployment is at an all-time low? So is Hispanic unemployment. Last I checked, African Americans and Hispanic vote overwhelmingly Democrat. Women also vote more Democrat, but are thriving in the Trump economy. Looks to me as though Trump has been working for all Americans—even those not in his base.
But what really got me about Biden's comments was the part about Trump allegedly abusing power. President Trump has spent much of the past two years trying to undo Obama’s abuses of power—which Obama did, not in the best interests of the whole country, but for the benefit of his base. Has Biden forgotten Obama’s presidency or is he just a bad liar? Many of these abuses should have resulted in Obama’s impeachment. Unfortunately, Republicans in Congress didn’t have the guts to impeach him, but they tried everything they could to reign in his pseudo-dictatorship. Two pieces of legislation were drafted in order to stop his abuses and force him to follow the law. Obama threatened to veto both bills rather than risk any limits on his ever-expanding legislative authority.
Below are 8 examples of Obama doing exactly what Joe Biden just accused Donald Trump of doing.
8. The illegal firing of an inspector general
As a U.S. senator, Barack Obama co-sponsored the 2008 Inspector General Reform Act, which protected inspectors general from being fired without cause. As president, Obama violated this law when he abruptly fired the inspector general of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) Gerald Walpin without notice or providing the legally mandated explanation for the firing to Congress. Obama did this to protect Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, an ally of Obama, whom Walpin had been investigating for misusing federal funds, and had discovered a cover-up of sexual assault allegations by minors against Johnson.
Obama fired an inspector general to protect a friend of his who was accused of sexual assault and tried to cover it up with hush money that came from federal grant money. If Joe Biden doesn’t consider that an abuse of power, what exactly is the standard?
7. Obama’s failed “green energy” loans
Obama was so committed to creating a new “green economy” that he earmarked $80 billion for clean energy loans, grants, and tax credits as part of his economic stimulus for green energy companies in a highly politicized process benefiting companies that supported him.
We all know how that turned out.
At least fifty Obama-backed clean energy companies went bankrupt or found themselves in major financial trouble. The most well-known example is Solyndra, which received more than a half-billion dollar loan despite the fact the Department of Energy (DOE) knew they were on the verge of bankruptcy.
Both Barack Obama and Joe Biden were personally involved in the decision-making process to determine who got loans. DOE officials were concerned that their involvement was putting taxpayer dollars at risk. And a lawsuit from companies that were passed over for loans alleging that only donors to Obama and other Democrats were getting these loans, and that Obama’s DOE transferred proprietary technology from their companies to Obama cronies who were awarded the loans.
6. Claiming executive authority to unilaterally raise taxes
When it comes to taxes, Obama was always looking for ways to raise them. Even though Congress must approve of any tax increases, and any revenue-generating legislation must originate in the House of Representatives, Barack Obama was very interested in raising taxes via unilateral executive action.
“He believes he can rule by executive fiat and that the restrictions and limitations in the Constitution on the executive can just be ignored or shrugged off,” said Hans von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation. “The president has no authority to raise taxes whatsoever. Only the House of Representatives can originate bills for raising taxes, and this would be just the latest unilateral, abusive, and unconstitutional action of the president.” Obama never actually attempted raising taxes via executive order, but the fact that Obama considered it is disturbing enough.
5. Unconstitutional recess appointments
Biden’s speech in Pittsburgh yesterday was given before labor activists, a constituency Barack Obama abused his power for in order to protect their interests over the rest of the country’s. When Obama made a number of controversial picks for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), he was unable to get them through the Senate. So, in January 2012, he declared his nominees appointed to the Senate via recess appointments. The only problem was the Senate was not in recess at the time. This tactic itself was so controversial that experts on both sides of the aisle were deeply concerned about the precedent Obama was setting.
The legitimacy of Obama’s illegal NLRB appointments was fought in the courts. A federal appeals court overturned the appointments a few days after his second inauguration, declaring, “Allowing the president to define the scope of his own appointments power would eviscerate the Constitution’s separation of powers.” The United States Supreme Court ultimately took up the case, and unanimously agreed Obama abused his power.
4. Illegally reinterpreting Title IX
As I’ve mentioned before, when Obama unilaterally redefined Title IX to include “gender identity” he grossly abused his power in order to appease a tiny fraction of the population (.58 percent) at the expense of the rights and privacy of women and girls nationwide, and threatening educational institutions at all levels with the loss of Title IX funding if they didn’t comply and allow boys to share bathrooms, locker rooms, and dorm rooms with girls, as well as allow boys to play on girls sports teams.
This was an egregious abuse of power, according to Mario Loyola, a senior fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Law. “In order to ‘change the law,’ the Obama administration simply pretends that a 1972 act of Congress means whatever the latest progressive fashion trend requires it to mean—even though not a single member of Congress in 1972 would have supported the new ‘interpretation,’ much less voted for a law expressly stating what the Obama administration now claims the law says.”
3. Federal land grabs
In an effort to cement his environmental legacy, Obama used the final weeks of his presidency to create more federally protected national monuments than any other president—expanding the amount of federally protected land and water by over 550 million acres. This raised serious questions that he was abusing the Antiquities Act in order to impose extreme environmental restrictions on public land. While any president has the authority to declare national monuments, the Antiquities Act dictates that these monuments must be “confined to the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected.” That is not what Obama did. Many of these declarations faced local opposition, but Obama was far too concerned with his legacy to take into account the concerns of those impacted by his actions.
2. DREAM Act via executive order
When the DREAM Act was unable to get through Congress, Barack Obama issued an executive order creating DACA, an executive branch version of the DREAM Act. Obama had changed U.S. immigration law via executive pen to appease his pro-open borders base. Obama had previously acknowledged that he didn’t have the power to unilaterally create immigration law, but he did anyway, knowing very well it was unconstitutional.
1. Illegal fixes to Obamacare
Obama’s domestic policy legacy depended heavily on the success of Obamacare. As problems with the law piled up, Obama began to make changes to Obamacare without the consent of Congress. By the start of his last year in the White House, “at least 43 of the changes to the Affordable Care Act [had] been made unilaterally by the Obama administration.” Obamacare was, for the most part, unpopular during Obama’s presidency. People weren’t happy with their higher premiums, higher deductibles, and crappy coverage, but the Democrat base wanted Obamacare because they believed Obama’s lies about it making coverage more affordable, and Obama was hoping to prevent electoral losses by simply rewriting the law to fix it. But, even former DNC Chairman Howard Dean wasn’t convinced Obama had the legal authority to change Obamacare on his own. And experts were sure he didn’t. According to Eugene Kontorovich, a constitutional law professor at Northwestern University School of Law, Obama’s fixes exceeded “the president’s discretion in implementing the law and amounts to legislation from the White House. The president has no constitutional authority to rewrite or unbundle statutes, especially in ways that impose new obligations on people, as the fix does.” UC Berkeley law professor John Yoo wrote that Obama’s fixes amount to “a suspension power that the Framers consciously rejected by including the Take Care Clause in Article II of the Constitution.”
Obama was so committed to his own dictatorial power, that when House Republicans attempted to make legislative fixes to Obamacare they were met with veto threats from Obama.
Sorry Joe, I won't let you get away with your lies.
Matt Margolis is the author of The Scandalous Presidency of Barack Obama and the bestselling The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. His new book, Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama's Legacy, will be published in July 2019. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis