Late Thursday night, less than a week before the Christmas holiday, the administration unilaterally delayed a Supreme Court-approved tax for a group of people deemed by unelected officials to be special. It is a violation of law. It may very well violate the equal protection clause in the 14th Amendment. It will create chaos in the insurance industry. It is, as has been widely reported, a maneuver of service to the president’s political goal of ensuring nervous Democrats in the Senate are placated.
Of course, Republicans are objecting to the move. But their objections are being dismissed as a reflexive response to a president they oppose merely attempting to make a law they abhor more stable. Is this a fair accusation? Of course not. Republicans object mightily to the Affordable Care Act, but they are demanding it be enforced by the executive as written because this is his constitutional mandate. That’s called consistency.
Contrast this behavior with the White House which appears to view the legislature as an institution devised to ratify the will of the executive or be ignored. President Barack Obama and his supporters profess fealty to the Constitution but view its dictates as mere guidelines which can be abandoned if they impede the fleeting political imperative of the moment. But we dare not call this lawlessness. That term might offend.