Via National Journal. He’s quick to add, “But that’s not how our system works.” Doesn’t it? Bypassing Congress to whatever extent possible has been his strategy for more than a year, culminating in an unauthorized war in Libya that even his own lawyers believe is illegal. (FYI: According to Mike Mullen, that war is now indeed a “stalemate.”) Scarcely a day passes without a new op-ed by some lefty law professor arguing that the Fourteenth Amendment lets Obama raise the debt ceiling unilaterally, despite decades of congressional precedent to the contrary. And ICE has already decided to go ahead and consider factors championed by the DREAM Act in immigration cases despite the fact that the Act hasn’t passed. O may say “no we can’t” here to the suggestion of executively-imposed amnesty, but in light of the above, can you blame the La Raza crowd for thinking (and chanting) “yes we can”?
George Will, describing The One as “Huey Long with a better tailor,” has had enough:
Inordinate self-regard is an occupational hazard of politics and part of the job description of the rhetorical presidency, this incessant tutor. Still, upon what meat doth this our current Caesar feed that he has grown so great that he presumes to command leaders of a coequal branch of government? He once boasted (June 3, 2008) that he could influence the oceans’ rise; he must be disabused of comparable delusions about controlling Congress.
When he was a lecturer on constitutional law, he evidently skipped the separation-of-powers doctrine. But, then, because this doctrine impedes the progressives’ goal of unleashing untrammeled government, they have long loathed it: Woodrow Wilson, the first president to criticize the American founding, considered the separation of powers the Constitution’s “radical defect.”
It has, however, rescued the nation from Obama’s preference for a “clean” debt-ceiling increase that would ignore the onrushing debt tsunami. There are 87 reasons for Obama’s temporary conversion of convenience to the cause of spending restraint — the 87 House Republican freshmen. Their inflexibility astonishes and scandalizes Washington because it reflects the rarity of serene fidelity to campaign promises.
The true stupidity of this clip, of course, is that — as with everything else — his constitutional faux-modesty is motivated by getting reelected. It’s not that he has some profound separation-of-powers objection to an executive amnesty; it’s that he knows independents would seethe at the power grab, especially on an issue as sensitive as immigration, and it’d end up hurting him badly at the polls. He’s already got the Latino vote locked up. Better, then, to play it safe with indies by paying lip service to La Raza about how his hands are tied or that he “needs a dance partner,” etc. Whatever excuse works.