Jonathan Turley on Obama’s executive overreach: We’re at a constitutional tipping point

posted at 11:21 am on February 27, 2014 by Allahpundit

Via the Free Beacon, a snippet from the latest House hearing on O’s duty to faithfully execute the laws. These Turley clips always get attention because it’s gratifying to see at least one scholar willing to challenge the Unicorn Prince on his “virtuous” power grabs, but the whole point of his testimony, really, is to challenge Congress and the courts, not Obama. I think deep down he’s a fatalist about Obama’s overreach, and rightly so; the reason we have separation of powers, after all, is because we expect each branch to try to expand its authority. That’s what human beings handed power do. You don’t contain them by asking them to be more modest, you contain them by pitting them against other parts of the government which, in theory, will push back to rein them in. Turley’s real problem isn’t with O’s behavior, which is rational and in line with our cynical expectations for state actors clothed in authority. His problem is with the other branches, especially the courts, for refusing to provide the checking and balancing they’re supposed to.

“My view [is] that the president, has in fact, exceeded his authority in a way that is creating a destabilizing influence in a three branch system,” he said. “I want to emphasize, of course, this problem didn’t begin with President Obama, I was critical of his predecessor President Bush as well, but the rate at which executive power has been concentrated in our system is accelerating. And frankly, I am very alarmed by the implications of that aggregation of power.”

“What also alarms me, however, is that the two other branches appear not just simply passive, but inert in the face of this concentration of authority,” Turley said…

“The fact that I happen to think the president is right on many of these policies does not alter the fact that I believe the means he is doing [it] is wrong, and that this can be a dangerous change in our system,” he said. “And our system is changing in a very fundamental way. And it’s changing without a whimper of regret or opposition.”

Whatever they end up doing about it — and the House GOP, at least, is trying to do something — they’d better do it soon. “I believe that your response has to begin before this president leaves office,” Turley says, not only because allowing these power grabs to calcify as acceptable precedent is dangerous but because he knows that some GOPers will grow more sanguine about executive prerogatives once a Republican is back in the White House. He wants the party that’s out of power now on record in their opposition precisely because they won’t be out of power forever.

The other key takeaway here, which you already know but which our trusty media seems not to, is that congressional gridlock is neither new nor an excuse for the president to unilaterally suspend laws that are politically inconvenient to him. If you’re a reporter, watch this. The truth may surprise you!


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JohnGalt23 on February 27, 2014 at 11:37 AM

I think your second sentence answered the Q of your first sentence (?)

The judiciary because Congress is obviously not going to do anything. Which leads me to a slight revision in my ordered blacklist:

1. Reid.
2. MSM.
3 …the rest, unchanged as of now.

Tsar of Earth on February 27, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Over applies to Bmore.

oldroy on February 27, 2014 at 12:50 PM

I remember seeing this cartoon back on ’08 and scoffing.

How little did we know. And how deluded were SOBs like Luckovich. I think I get more boiled remembering that ignorant ass-clownery than I do at Obama himself.

somewhatconcerned on February 27, 2014 at 11:48 AM

Luckovich is a hack. His work is terrible. He is also a progressive.

Bmore on February 27, 2014 at 11:52 AM

Put a Bic lighter in his hand and change the title to ‘Year Five’.

slickwillie2001 on February 27, 2014 at 12:51 PM

3. Obama declares martial law and cancels elections.
4. Obama announces he will overstay his 2nd term.

Don’t worry. Hillary will never let that happen.

myiq2xu on February 27, 2014 at 12:53 PM

And when Ted Cruz gives a 12 hour filibuster arguing to delay Obamacare by a year, which Dear Liar has subsequently, unilaterally and illegally done, he gets knifed by members of his own party.

rbj

Well, to be fair, filibustering Obamacare distracted from Obamacare.

/

xblade on February 27, 2014 at 12:55 PM

What will the tipping point be?

Could be one of several things:

1. Collapse of the dollar (imminent and inevitable due to the Regime’s irresponsible FED policy)
2. The government attempts an overt gun grab (imminent, as this is a prerequisite for the survival of the Regime).
3. Obama declares martial law and cancels elections.
4. Obama announces he will overstay his 2nd term.

ConstantineXI on February 27, 2014 at 12:28 PM

I’m sure the WH cabal and Dem leadership mulls over these scenarios regularly, none of which is out of the realm of possibilities.

It’s also not going to do him much good as long as the People are still armed.

That millions of armed citizens who would have some serious issues over any of these scenarios remains a bump in the road to overcome must be dealt with. Working on that problem too, no doubt.

hawkeye54 on February 27, 2014 at 12:40 PM

Pardon my interrupting but I’d like to insert my $0.02 in to the mix:

1. Collapse of the dollar (imminent and inevitable due to the Regime’s irresponsible FED policy)

QE to infinity and beyond lets the regime initiate a collapse almost at the flick of the currency digitizing switch

2. This is essential to ‘pacify’ the population – the problem for the national socialists is that they don’t have their confiscation lists complete – and most people won’t be cooperative and store all their guns in one convenient place suitable for a quick gun grab.

3 & 4 Could be caused by option 1 or a terror attack or Global warming disaster of some sort.

Either way once Barack the illegitimate goes full tyrant, there’s no going back.

DinaRehn on February 27, 2014 at 12:58 PM

obama’s America

Schadenfreude on February 27, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Either way once Barack the illegitimate goes full tyrant, there’s no going back.

DinaRehn on February 27, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Yup, and he’s getting much too close to that now for comfort.

hawkeye54 on February 27, 2014 at 1:03 PM

oldroy on February 27, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Lolz! Not as easy as it would seem eh? Timing, especially on these jumpy ass threads is tough. ; )

Bmore on February 27, 2014 at 1:05 PM

Hmmm, Richard Nixon broke the law and tried to grab power and he had to resign. Obama broke the law by ignoring Congress and did grab a lot of power and nobody is doing anything about it. Nixon was a Republican. Obama is a liberal Democrat. And the mainstream media doesn’t say a word about it. See how all that works?

Libertyship46 on February 27, 2014 at 1:06 PM

Palate cleanser to lighten the mood:

The Agony of Repeat
For Al Sharpton, the Second Time’s the Charm

MSNBC’s Al Sharpton doesn’t so much analyze President Obama’s speeches as repeat them, a new Washington Free Beacon video shows.

Often on PoliticsNation, Sharpton will play a clip of the president, and then simply rehash, verbatim, whatever Obama just said. As the reverend isn’t particularly regarded for his eloquence, his balance, or any real depth on his program, perhaps he can be forgiven for this curious habit.
The Agony of Repeat: Al Sharpton Literally Repeats Obama Verbatim
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=2Sv_2c-E35c
http://freebeacon.com/the-agony-of-repeat/

DinaRehn on February 27, 2014 at 1:08 PM

Long past that point especially when Benedict Roberts wiped his posterior with The Constitution.

viking01 on February 27, 2014 at 1:10 PM

Lolz! Not as easy as it would seem eh? Timing, especially on these jumpy ass threads is tough. ; )

Bmore on February 27, 2014 at 1:05 PM

I hesitated. Thought I had it and did. Then the database stuck one back in in front of me.

oldroy on February 27, 2014 at 1:13 PM

All this means absolutely nothing. NO ONE and by that I mean the sackless GOP, is willing to do anything to stop it.

So, unless/until the GOP stands up and is willing to do something about it, none of this means a damn thing.

Meople on February 27, 2014 at 1:14 PM

Either way once Barack the illegitimate goes full tyrant, there’s no going back.

DinaRehn on February 27, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Yup, and he’s getting much too close to that now for comfort.

hawkeye54 on February 27, 2014 at 1:03 PM

Yes, and in some ways its very frustrating that more people don’t see the obviousness of the trends.

A little side anecdote: Back during the last part of the election cycle I spent a great deal of my time pounding the pavement and knocking on doors for Romney – he was the only choice at that point so…

Anyway, I came across a couple of people who actually said “I’m not interested” like I was selling aluminum siding or something… very frustrating.

Too many people in this country are acting like 4 year olds holding their hands up their ears yelling ‘la-la-la-la’ to block out reality and it will be these people who are letting this slow – motion tyranny take place.

DinaRehn on February 27, 2014 at 1:18 PM

So, unless/until the GOP stands up and is willing to do something about it, none of this means a damn thing.

Meople on February 27, 2014 at 1:14 PM

Exactly. And exactly why I can only joke about these things anymore. I don’t thin we’re at a point where any of this gets rolled back. The best we can hope for is that the decline is slowed only a little.

oldroy on February 27, 2014 at 1:22 PM

The man is a tyrant. Now. Not coming soon, or in a few years. He is acting like a tyrant now. The only thing stopping him is the armed populace that doesn’t agree with him. I stated this, maybe a few weeks ago and was challenged by some liberal idiot. His reasoning was of course to blame Bush. Bush did it, so why can’t o? That is one thing leftists won’t understand. Just because someone affiliated with our party did something wrong, we don’t condone it just for the sake of the movement.

JAGonzo on February 27, 2014 at 1:27 PM

I picked up a book on Cicero and there is an amazing parallel between Rome 40BC and what is going on here. Nothing changes apparently.

CW20 on February 27, 2014 at 1:28 PM

““The fact that I happen to think the president is right on many of these policies does not alter the fact that I believe the means he is doing [it] is wrong,…”

Shorter: “Please don’t kill me!”

Seven Percent Solution on February 27, 2014 at 1:33 PM

I picked up a book on Cicero and there is an amazing parallel between Rome 40BC and what is going on here. Nothing changes apparently.

CW20 on February 27, 2014 at 1:28 PM

I know what you mean:

“A nation can survive its fools and and even the ambitious but it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable… The traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself… He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist.”
Cicero

DinaRehn on February 27, 2014 at 1:36 PM

Funny how I thought the constitution tipping point was when John Roberts called Obamacare a tax.

oldroy on February 27, 2014 at 1:56 PM

Too many people in this country are acting like 4 year olds holding their hands up their ears yelling ‘la-la-la-la’ to block out reality and it will be these people who are letting this slow – motion tyranny take place.

Well, ya know the ol saying:

“There are those who make things happen, there are those who watch things happen and there are those who say ‘what happened?’”

A majority of folks are going to wonder what happened. By design of those on the Left. They have created millions of adult 4 year olds.

hawkeye54 on February 27, 2014 at 1:58 PM

The GOP is far too weak and cowardly to get anything done.

No Chop Charlie on February 27, 2014 at 2:06 PM

The man is a tyrant. Now. Not coming soon, or in a few years. He is acting like a tyrant now. The only thing stopping him is the armed populace that doesn’t agree with him

This kind of incessant whining is one reason that Obama didn’t take even stronger action to fix the system when the opportunity presented itself. Too big to fail banks and brokers that play casino games with federally insured deposits continue to prevail, only because an orderly break up after the financial crisis was deemed too politically poisonous to a far right desperately seeking ways to confirm their “socialism” narrative.

Your rights, whether free speech or access to guns, have not been curtailed despite the paranoid delusions of persecution.

This country remains the greatest in the world- why don’t you send a month in Russian and China and see how self-expression works out for you there.

The GOP is far too weak and cowardly to get anything done.

No Chop Charlie on February 27, 2014 at 2:06 PM

Unlike the left in his own party, Obama was willing to compromise and accept cut backs in entitlement programs, esp. social security. The GOP was too arrogant, greedy, and distracted by its delusions of power not to take a grand bargain when it was on the table.

bayam on February 27, 2014 at 2:14 PM

The GOP is far too weak and cowardly to get anything done.

No Chop Charlie on February 27, 2014 at 2:06 PM

The premise is wrong. They don’t want to. Life is good, for them.

Schadenfreude on February 27, 2014 at 2:15 PM

The GOP is far too weak and cowardly to get anything done.
No Chop Charlie on February 27, 2014 at 2:06 PM

The premise is wrong. They don’t want to. Life is good, for them.
Schadenfreude on February 27, 2014 at 2:15 PM

Exactly right. They’ve got theirs, and if the GOP ever does retake the White House that president will have all sorts of new executive authority to play with, so why should they care?

Shadow on February 27, 2014 at 2:19 PM

The premise is wrong. They don’t want to. Life is good, for them.

Schadenfreude on February 27, 2014 at 2:15 PM

Exactly. They are IN the castle, not in charge, but they are in the castle. Life is good there than out here, even if you’re not in charge, so don’t rock the boat.

dentarthurdent on February 27, 2014 at 2:22 PM

Schadenfreude on February 27, 2014 at 2:15 PM

Exactly. They are IN the castle, not in charge, but they are in the castle. Life is good there than out here, even if you’re not in charge, so don’t rock the boat.

dentarthurdent on February 27, 2014 at 2:22 PM

Even the court jester lives better than the average peon out in the fields.

dentarthurdent on February 27, 2014 at 2:24 PM

bayam on February 27, 2014 at 2:14 PM

Lolz!!!

Bmore on February 27, 2014 at 2:29 PM

Nothing concentrates the mind like the prospect of being hanged at dawn.~Dr. Johson

davidk on February 27, 2014 at 2:30 PM

Revolution #2 might just start in Connecticut – coincidently, not far from Lexington and Concord (MA) – in fact about 40 miles from Minute Man National Historic Park to the CT border.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/02/26/is-gun-confiscation-on-the-way-in-connecticut-see-the-notices-the-state-is-reportedly-sending-to-owners-of-illegal-firearms/

dentarthurdent on February 27, 2014 at 2:39 PM

Even the court jester lives better than the average peon out in the fields.

dentarthurdent on February 27, 2014 at 2:24 PM

Now, now… no need to refer to Eric Holder that way…

JohnGalt23 on February 27, 2014 at 2:39 PM

bayam on February 27, 2014 at 2:14 PM

The useful idiot arrives to try to keep from being put on the train to the re-education camps….

dentarthurdent on February 27, 2014 at 2:42 PM

Now, now… no need to refer to Eric Holder that way…

JohnGalt23 on February 27, 2014 at 2:39 PM

I was actually thinking Beener and McLame, but I think we have more jesters in the castle now than actual “servants of the people”.

dentarthurdent on February 27, 2014 at 2:44 PM

The real tipping point is the discovery that Democrats are generally fine with authoritarian dictatorship as long as the dictator is one of theirs.

Remember this next time they whine about Republicans.

Speaking of whiners, notice the number of losers who cannot control themselves from attacking Republicans even on a topic about Obama’s lawless excesses. It is going to be hard to defeat the Democrats with these little rodents biting at the ankles of our own.

Adjoran on February 27, 2014 at 2:49 PM

bayam on February 27, 2014 at 2:14 PM

Delusional, as always.

Schadenfreude on February 27, 2014 at 2:54 PM

bayam on February 27, 2014 at 2:14 PM

Delusional, as always.

Schadenfreude on February 27, 2014 at 2:54 PM

“Ignorance is Strenth”

dentarthurdent on February 27, 2014 at 2:56 PM

The real tipping point is the discovery that Democrats are generally fine with authoritarian dictatorship as long as the dictator is one of theirs.

Remember this next time they whine about Republicans.

Speaking of whiners, notice the number of losers who cannot control themselves from attacking Republicans even on a topic about Obama’s lawless excesses. It is going to be hard to defeat the Democrats with these little rodents biting at the ankles of our own.

Adjoran on February 27, 2014 at 2:49 PM

True, if you’re only packing a .22.

Eric in Hollywood on February 27, 2014 at 3:03 PM

“What also alarms me, however, is that the two other branches appear not just simply passive, but inert in the face of this concentration of authority,”

So…….., has he been reading HotAir?

GWB on February 27, 2014 at 3:24 PM

Jonathan Turley on Obama’s executive overreach: We’re at a constitutional tipping point

“What also alarms me, however, is that the two other branches appear not just simply passive, but inert in the face of this concentration of authority,” Turley said…

Somehow almost overnight the liberal Jonathan Turley became a TEA Party denizen, he zoomed right past the Go along & Get along Republicans and traitorous SCOTUS and is supporting the Constitution.

RJL on February 27, 2014 at 3:36 PM

Ace nailed it…

“There’s an old saying, said of Europeans’ endless fretting about fascism growing in America: “Fascism is forever descending upon America, but landing in Europe.”

Liberals are pretty sure that fascism is growing whenever there’s a Republican in office, but when a progressive president begins asserting he has the right to rewrite the laws by his own personal whim, they just don’t notice.

Or they pretend not to…” – Ace

http://ace.mu.nu

workingclass artist on February 27, 2014 at 3:40 PM

Adjoran on February 27, 2014 at 2:49 PM

May both sides drown in the latrine, like rats. See the Boehner/obama thread.

Schadenfreude on February 27, 2014 at 4:42 PM

The problem here is not what the author describes. The problem is that the country’s President believes that he can subvert the constitution and get away with it. A president should respect the Constitution that he swore to uphold. He knows that he has an Attorney General and Hedy’s that will not punish use him for it. The Supreme Court has become politicized beyond recovery, and a little intimidated by the president. This is how a president becomes tyrant, folks. Three more years of this, and we will not gave a constitutional republic. We will be fundamentally transformed to a banana republic.

Techster64 on February 27, 2014 at 5:30 PM

American Spring

davidk on February 27, 2014 at 1:32 PM

DavidK, please keep posting this. “American Spring”, I love it!

Who is John Galt on February 27, 2014 at 5:41 PM

This kind of incessant whining is one reason that Obama didn’t take even stronger action to fix the system when the opportunity presented itself. Too big to fail banks and brokers that play casino games with federally insured deposits continue to prevail, only because an orderly break up after the financial crisis was deemed too politically poisonous to a far right desperately seeking ways to confirm their “socialism” narrative.

Unlike the left in his own party, Obama was willing to compromise and accept cut backs in entitlement programs, esp. social security. The GOP was too arrogant, greedy, and distracted by its delusions of power not to take a grand bargain when it was on the table.

bayam on February 27, 2014 at 2:14 PM

Kicking bayam is a popular past-time here on HA, but I think we would do well to consider that s/he often articulates a common Left-wing perception, which we ought to study and refute if only to understand why they think that way.
What sounds incoherent to us seems perfectly plausible to them, and indicates that the ever-widening gap between our political factions may have finally become unbridgeable.
…to say nothing of the perceptual and philosophical gaps within each major faction.
If we can’t at least agree on what already happened, how can we possibly build a compromise on where we want America to go next?

AesopFan on February 27, 2014 at 5:58 PM

Kicking bayam is a popular past-time here on HA, but I think we would do well to consider that s/he often articulates a common Left-wing perception, which we ought to study and refute if only to understand why they think that way.
What sounds incoherent to us seems perfectly plausible to them, and indicates that the ever-widening gap between our political factions may have finally become unbridgeable.
…to say nothing of the perceptual and philosophical gaps within each major faction.
If we can’t at least agree on what already happened, how can we possibly build a compromise on where we want America to go next?

AesopFan on February 27, 2014 at 5:58 PM

What you say makes a lot of sense.

I still would rather kick it.

davidk on February 27, 2014 at 6:03 PM

I still would rather kick it.

davidk on February 27, 2014 at 6:03 PM

I’m with you on this one.
Sometimes ya just gotta kick a troll.

dentarthurdent on February 27, 2014 at 6:16 PM

We’re at a constitutional tipping point

We are past that point

We passed that point when Congress refused to speak out

If the Senate is corrupt, and it is, there can be no impeachment

Because news distribution is now cable and limited broadcast channels, the government owns the press. The internet supplements broadcast news, but it is dependent on a single search engine that censors results. Without an honest news feed, unless the public already knows where to look on the web, they will not find

Thus it was up to the House to issue a declaration condemning the illegalities/ It was up to them to define the problem

Instead the House relied on rigged news coverage to mask their inaction

The House pretended they had no responsibility in the matter

At the point the House did not move to at least censure the illegal actions, we crossed the bar

It is obvious a large part of the House is owned by special interests, and no longer works for the nation

entagor on February 27, 2014 at 6:29 PM

Kicking bayam is a popular past-time here on HA, but I think we would do well to consider that s/he often articulates a common Left-wing perception, which we ought to study and refute if only to understand why they think that way.
What sounds incoherent to us seems perfectly plausible to them, and indicates that the ever-widening gap between our political factions may have finally become unbridgeable.
…to say nothing of the perceptual and philosophical gaps within each major faction.
If we can’t at least agree on what already happened, how can we possibly build a compromise on where we want America to go next?

AesopFan on February 27, 2014 at 5:58 PM

What one has to realize is that bayam and its ilk are really nothing more than Peoples’ Temple cultists at this point, and Obama is their Jim Jones.

northdallasthirty on February 27, 2014 at 6:36 PM

What sounds incoherent to us seems perfectly plausible to them, and indicates that the ever-widening gap between our political factions may have finally become unbridgeable.
…to say nothing of the perceptual and philosophical gaps within each major faction.

AesopFan on February 27, 2014 at 5:58 PM

Usually, to counter an incorrect or invalid perception, one uses reality and facts. But that is also predicated on a fundamental intellectual honesty to accept reality, to accept facts, and admit that reality is different than one’s perception or beliefs.

That’s hard when one will only see what one wants to believe as opposed to believing what they are seeing. Furthermore, ideologues will only accept that which conforms to their ideological beliefs and understandings – possessing the definition of a closed mind. They lack the critical thinking skills – and use opinion as fact.

How often does one admit a superior argument was made? The usual response is based on moving the goalposts, denial, deflection, doubling down on misrepresentations, or just incessantly repeating the original fallacy while ignoring as immaterial and uninformed any counter they get.

The issue is less about trying to change the minds of the true-believers and more about countering their misinformation, revisionist history, and advocating cogent and valid arguments to convince those who don’t have closed minds, who are undecided, and have not yet sold their intellectual souls to the cult.

Athos on February 27, 2014 at 7:18 PM

It is time we recapture our Constitutional Republic and not let it U.S. erode into a totalitarian State.

Get a pocket copy of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution from Heritage Foundation or other sources, read it and understand it and keep it next to your Conceal Carry.

If those you elected are not performing their duties according to our founding documents replace them, either via another election, recall if available, or make them understand it is time to retire – Politics is not a profession it is a calling like the military, to protect and defend our Constitution.

It is time to send our current leader to the political fiefdoms he cherishes and revoke his passport to freedom.

MSGTAS on March 1, 2014 at 11:40 AM

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