President Obama bypasses Congress, again.

I personally think we should pass a Dream Act for young illegals that came here with their parents.  That said, I think there is a right and wrong way of doing things in a Constitutional government.

Because of the dangers of monarchy and tyranny, our Founding Fathers set up a system of checks and balances. It forces federal government to move slowly and (hopefully) wisely on decisions made.

However, the presidential edict announced today to allow young illegals to gain work permits is a danger to our Constitution. Whether a good cause or not, establishing a rule that goes against the rule of law, without going through the Constitutional process, is a danger. Pres Obama decided months ago that he could not/would not work with a Republican House, and so has settled for making rules of his own, without Congressional legislation.  Instead of leading and compromising with Congress as did LBJ, Reagan and Clinton, he is forging a path around the Constitution.  And while he may be using it for good purposes now, it opens the door for such things to lead to tyranny later.

I real president would not do such an end run around the system, but would lead Congress through it. Even when he had Democrats leading both houses of Congress, he showed himself incapable of leading effectively, if at all.  Now, instead of learning how to lead and guide the discussion, he uses presidential edicts to not only ignore, but to go against laws established  by Congress.

I want to see Congress gets some cajones and pass some smart and workable immigration laws, both for allowing people in and keeping the undesirables out. This will hopefully include the Dream Act, or something similar.  If Pres Obama wishes to push Congress on this during an election year, fine.  I’ll support him in writing my Congressmen to pass some good legislation. However, to bypass Congress entirely is an outrage, and another brick removed from the wall of the Constitution.

24 thoughts on “President Obama bypasses Congress, again.

  1. To suggest that President Obama is blazing a new trail to the danger of tyranny is misleading. LBJ, Reagan, and Clinton ALL had their moments of trying (and sometimes succeeding) in bypassing Congress for political ends. Buildups in Vietnam and Cambodia, Iran-Contra, and the coverup of Whitewater are one each of many examples. Obama is doing nothing more than following the footsteps of those before him. suggesting anything else is silly at best.

  2. “I (sic) real president…”

    Wait–how is Obama not a real president? Are you sure you really want to go there?

  3. Executive orders are not legally binding on anyone other than the people who work in the executive branch. As long as they do not contravene the law nor the constitution, they are perfectly legitimate written representations of executive branch policy.

    The problem here of course is an executive order that is designed to supersede what everyone recognizes as the duly established and constitutional law of the land. Presidents do not have the constitutional authority to do any such thing.

  4. I’m a registered Republican. I understand the outrage is aimed Obama going around Congress, but all Presidents do that! For instance it’s Congress’ job to declared war but they haven’t done it since WWII. How is Obama’s plan worse than George W. Bush’s guest worker program? If it isn’t, maybe it’s okay for Obama to make a end run around the politics of a Republican House in order to get something done that’s close to what GWB wanted anyway.

  5. I’m not familiar with this edict. Thanks for the update.
    In your last paragraph you mention “cajones” which in Spanish means drawers (like desk or dresser drawers). I am not sure what you mean by that but surely you hadn’t meant another similar sounding word that references male genitals. I expect better from this site!

  6. I think Rame meant to write “pelotas” but instead wrote “desk drawers.” Anyway, I support the DREAM Act but oppose the way Obama and many, many presidents have expanded the use of executive orders. We have not seen a truly good president who respects the relatively minor role of the presidency (as intended in the Constitution and exemplified by Washington, Jefferson and Grover Cleveland and a few others) probably since Eisenhower and more likely since Coolidge. Most of them have been tyrants intent on expanding presidential power at the expense of the people and the Constitution. It is difficult to argue that Obama is any worse than Bush, but he certainly is in some areas. Hamilton wanted another king in 1789, and unfortunately we are finally getting one.

  7. There are already way too many checks and balances on executive power in my opinion. First of all, the people can vote him out of office if they don’t like what he’s doing. Congress can impeach him. Other politicians can retaliate in a myriad of political ways. They can pass laws curtailing executive orders.

    Keeping in mind all these in mind, a President should do all in his power to do what he thinks is best for the country. Right now, Congress happens to be non-functional, so in order to do anything, Obama has to go rouge. It comes with risks, but his moral obligation is to fight for his country.

  8. Howard, it is certainly proper to object to our entry into any war without congressional authorization. However, the difference between an ordinary authorization and a formal declaration of war is a technicality.

    A number of American troops were attacked in 1950 at the start of the Korean war, but Truman should still have sought congressional authorization to pursue a major response (the breakout from the Pusan Perimeter etc, to say nothing of the invasion of North Korea).

    Although I believe a welcome clarity is brought about by a formal declaration of war, I don’t really see how congressional authorization as occurred with our involvement in Iraq (both times) or Afghanistan substantively differs from a declaration of war. Certainly such authorization satisfies the intent of the constitutional requirement if not the letter.

    That is a far cry from a president choosing to ignore the constitution just because it is is politically convenient. If this comes before a federal court, can anyone imagine any argument the current administration could present that would not invite some combination of contempt and laughter? The Supreme Court has ruled against the Obama administration three times by votes of 9-0. No grey area there. This will certainly qualify as a fourth.

  9. Nate — would have the same opinion about the President “doing all he can for the country” if it were George W Bush making these kind of lawless decisions? My bet is no. You, along with countless other liberals would be shreaking from the rooftops for his head on a plate.

    How does giving a pass to law breakers help our country? How does that help all of the people who have come here legally and gone thru the system? How does that help the thousands of people that are in the system currently trying to get green cards, visas and citizenship? It doesn’t that’s what.

    We have checks and balances written into our Constitution to avoid things like this. You want to change the law, then you go thru the proper chanels. Rame, you are right on this. Obama was ineffective when he had both houses of Congress. Now he’s just dictatorial with one house out of his control.

    What will be next? If the SCOTUS declares Obamacare unconstitutional will Obama just decide it’s the law anyway?

    In the end, it’s about pandering to a group of people as well. Get the right demographic legalized, register them to vote (ignoring citizenship), fight voter ID laws tooth and nail = one more election gained as a result of cheating the system.

    Yes, this is totally the America our founders envisioned.

  10. He had two years of Dem majorities to pass a Dream Act. He couldn’t do it because he lacked support from Big Labor Dems. That must not be forgotten.

  11. I agree it would help if congress would start compromising so serious work will get done. I don’t feel particularly hopeful, since all sides seem to demonize the very idea of compromise. Wish the vast middle would stand up and tell both left and right wings to stuff their purity tests and get real. Unfortunately the loonies are in charge of both parties, and I cannot stand the republicans any more (been a registered republican for nearly 30 years but my party has gone nuts).

  12. The individuals are still “illegal” and “undocumented.” The effect of the direction is that they are not deported. Rather, there are two year deferred prosecution agreements. Under current law, if an immigration matter is pending, and the person is not incarcerated, a work permit automatically follows. Prosecutors always have discretion to decide if and when to bring prosecutions and what penalty, if any to seek. A deferred prosecution agreement is one alternative. If Congress wishes to tie the hands of prosecutors, and require them always for all people to seek the maximum penalty, it can do so. But it has not done so yet. At least one prominant conservative republican agrees that what the president has done is well within his power: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/utahs-gop-attorney-general-obama-immigration-move-totally-within-his-power/2012/06/15/gJQAcwWUfV_blog.html If Romney is elected he can deport all those individuals at the end of the two year deferred prosecution agreements. My understanding is that Romney is opposed to the DREAM Act (meaning presumably he would veto the Act), so “justice” will be done–i.e., deportation will happen. The effect of this order will be that for two years such individuals will have been able to work and not fear deportation.

  13. Joyce, actually no. What I value in government is power. When someone is voted into office, I want to see them exercise power. I grant them that power and expect them to use it. They know better than me. They have access to a perspective and a variety of expert opinions that I don’t have.

    What I reject is the arrogance of the populace, those who insist they know better than Obama or Bush. (Actually, they both did pretty much exactly the same things.) I would prefer a monarchy, (if in the words of Alma, we could always have righteous kings.) I don’t believe democracy and checks and balances are sacred. I believe they are secular compromises in a fallen world.

    If Bush wants to go into Iraq, that’s his prerogative. I’ll follow him in, and stay the course even if it takes 5 or 10 years to get out. America voted for him, let him do as he sees fit. That is the government I believe in. I’ll cast my humble vote, as a socialist, but my opinion doesn’t matter much, because I’m an idiot, like the rest of the populace with our limited perspectives. I wish we could revere our leaders in the same way Great Britain revered the Queen this last week. I revere Obama that way, and I revered Bush that way too. If America chooses Romney, he will be my king, and I’ll expect him to wield his scepter as he sees fit.

  14. Members of the church (including some who comment here) who don’t want to allow undocumented immigrants to stay here and work legally should be aware of the church’s stance on this issue:

    “The Church supports an approach where undocumented immigrants are allowed to square themselves with the law and continue to work without this necessarily leading to citizenship.”

    http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/immigration-church-issues-new-statement

    I understand that some people have issues with how Obama did this–with the means, and not necessarily the outcome. That’s fine. But if it’s the outcome you’re worried about, know that the church actually supports a more radical outcome–one not limited to just those under 30 who came here when they were children.

    I certainly think people can disagree with church statements and still be recommend-holding members in good standing. But they also need to have the “cajones” to admit that they are, in fact, disagreeing with the church.

  15. He had two years of Dem majorities to pass a Dream Act. He couldn’t do it because he lacked support from Big Labor Dems. That must not be forgotten.

    He didn’t have the necessary 60 vote majority for two years, now did he? Pretending Republicans had nothing to do with it, and it’s all the President and Big Labor Dems is dishonest.

  16. If you want to discuss Obama taking actions that are unconstitutional, don’t forget drone attacks.

    Administration officials insist that these covert attacks are legal. John Brennan, the president’s top counterterrorism adviser, argues that the US has the right to unilaterally strike terrorists anywhere in the world, not just what he called ‘hot battlefields’. [...] But some international law specialists fiercely disagree, arguing that the strikes amount to little more than state-sanctioned extra-judicial executions and questioning how the US government would react if another state such as China or Russia started taking such action against those they declare as enemies.

  17. Excellent point chanson. Bush started the drone program but Obama has done nothing to stop it and has in fact expanded it. How would we feel if the Mexican government started targeting Mexican cartel leaders in the U.S. with Mexican drones? They are definitely terrorists. A few dozen people killed in collateral damage in a Dallas suburb would be no big deal, right?

  18. jjohnsen:

    He did have 60 Democratic votes in the Senate for his first two years. That’s how he was able to pass Obamacare. Al Franken’s victory gave him the 60th vote.

    Facts are stubborn things.

  19. And he had some GOP support for Dream Act legislation. He could have done it but he understood that if it were not bipartisan he would pay dearly. I think that this is a Hail Mary and it is going to land incomplete.

  20. Bush did not invade Iraq without congressional authorization. The vote was 297-133 in the House and 77-23 in the Senate. If Obama would quit playing dictator for a day, he might come up with something that could get bipartisan support too.

  21. When you refer to the “Chosen One”, you do mean Bush, right? Thanks to the Supreme Court, no other President in history has been more deserving of that moniker.

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