What can you even say at this point? Here is a man who, as a lame duck president, is openly vowing to thwart, ignore, and bypass Congress whenever possible. Here is a man whose administration has made more than two dozen on-the-fly changes to a law duly passed by Congress, without offering even the faintest sniff of a compelling legal justification for some of the most brazen alterations. Here is a man who asked for new lawyers when he didn’t like his team’s legal analysis regarding the limits of his power in unilateral foreign interventions. Here is a man who ordered an executive action for which he’d explicitly stated he didn’t possess the authority 15 months earlier. This is a man who leftist law professor Jonathan Turley describes as “the president that Richard Nixon always wanted to be.”
President Obama has worked for years to convince the American people that congressional Republicans are unworthy of his consideration and beneath the dignity of presidential compromise. But the newest Fox News poll tells us that whatever voters think of the Republicans in Congress, they overwhelmingly want Obama to do his job and work with his rivals to govern. Obama’s increasing insistence on using executive orders to legislate, re-writing some existing laws and simply ignoring others, got failing grades across the board. Some 74 percent of the registered voters surveyed said the president using executive orders to get around Congress is not how things are supposed to work in our republic. That includes 54 percent of Democrats. Even when asked to set aside their views on how the government is supposed to work, by a wide margin (60 percent to 37 percent) voters still disapproved.
Why does Obama persist in flouting or dictating laws when voters are opposed to the practice? Some have posited that it is a result of Obama’s famously insular nature. But what National Journal’s Ron Fournier has called Obama’s “white flag syndrome” does have its upside. The president has kept his foundering health law lurching forward by using executive orders to delay particularly damaging or disruptive components and done so without having to alienate the liberal base that launched him into the White House and continues to fund his hugely expensive grass-roots and community organizing efforts. Democrats in the poll approved of Obama’s constitutional circumventions by a 66-31 percent margin.
Employers generally get to decide, within the broad latitude of the law, how to run their businesses. The IRS has never had the power to demand a sworn explanation for decisions about manpower or staffing levels.
This arbitrary expansion of IRS power creates an ugly precedent. There exists no authority for it anywhere in Obamacare. Congress has never granted such authority. But then, Congress also didn’t create authority for the arbitrary Obamacare deadline-change that supposedly justifies it.
Each executive power-grab creates a precedent for another. Obama isn’t just making up the rules as he goes, he’s also making up new rules that govern how the other made-up new rules apply.
At this point, it probably would not have mattered even if members of Congress had read Obamacare. It isn’t actually a written law – it becomes the law whenever Obama decides, and with whatever changes he chooses.
Congress long ago ceded too much authority to the regulatory apparatus of the administrative state, but this is different. This isn’t the executive branch writing rules to fill in the details of vague legislation—say, the 1,000-page Volcker Rule arrived at years after the passage of the Dodd-Frank banking “reforms.” This is the executive branch affirmatively re-writing law…
What the administration is doing now is unilaterally changing a law four years after its passage to try to delay its economic and political pain past a congressional election…
Why did anyone sit down and bother to write this stuff in the bill? Just think of all the lawyering and negotiating that went into the provisions of the employer mandate—the careful definition of terms, the precisely calculated fines—only to be cast aside with a dismissive wave of the hand from on high…
What makes the president’s cavalier treatment of the legislature’s handiwork in this instance so remarkable is that Congress did his bidding. It passed the law he desperately wanted. Yet he still treats it as a series of suggestions and little more.