Barack Obama And The Imperial Presidency

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Obama not only overstepped the bounds of executive authority, he spat in the face of precedent.

I tend to avoid reading the tea leaves fluttering in Washington as predictive of some burgeoning conspiracy birthed in the bowels of the Barack Obama White House. Before you scoff, let me clarify: I have no doubt that Obama daydreams about appointing himself an eleventy-star generalissimo, wearing a garish uniform he found on Tinpots-R-Us (jodhpurs with those ears would make him look like a violin in a Salvador Dali painting) and assigning himself a title which would make Idi Amin blush. But the dream and the reality of imposing a dictatorship on the United States live a far cry from one another. All the same; just because it won’t succeed doesn’t mean Obama isn’t going to try.

Witness Obama and the Democrats’ latest ploy. Last week, Obama decided he was tired of hassling with that pesky, Constitutionally-mandated separation of powers and appointed Richard Cordray to the position of director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau—itself one of those Constitutionally-nebulous “czar” positions which have sprung up during the Obama Administration like fungus in a fleabaggers’ squatter camp. Although the Senate was—and IS—in session, Obama and his accomplices recognized his minions—including the sycophant corporate media—would blindly march to whatever beat Obama drummed up. Armed with that understanding of liberals’ willingness to forgive any offense committed by their dear leaders, Obama bypassed the Senate and “recess appointed” Cordray to the post.

Patriots, stunned by the brazen nature of Obama’s latest crime, howled derision and outrage. Obama not only overstepped the bounds of executive authority, he spat in the face of precedent, violated the terms of the Dodd-Frank bureaucratic monstrosity which created the position in question (which requires Senate confirmation of the office holder) and ignored the opinion of his own Department of Justice. Try to imagine how deep down the rabbit hole Obama fell in order to offend Eric “Fast and Furious” Holder’s Constitutional sensibilities.

The left fired back with predictable unanimity. Obama led with ludicrous assertions that Congressional (Senatorial) intransigence imbued him with hitherto unknown super-Presidential powers; specifically the right to bypass Congress when the mood suits him:

“…I have an obligation as president to do what I can without (Congress).”

Is that how that works? If Congress stands up to a President whose increasingly unhinged decisions fly in the face of precedent, logic and law, then the President may determine if their session isn’t “session-y” enough; and issue edicts by fiat while liberals far and wide cheer his naked power grab.

Meanwhile, noticeably silent on the matter was Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who endorsed pro-forma tactics when the Democrats used them against President Bush in 2008:

“We don’t let him have recess appointments because they are mischievous… there will be no recess. We will meet every third day pro forma…”

Reid, who I suspect was left in the dark about Obama’s nefarious strategy until after the fact, issued a halfhearted endorsement of the wannabe-dictator’s latest offense; claiming to “support President Obama’s decision…” without making any reference to the Constitution. Of course, the corporate media horde carefully omitted any references to Reid and the Senate Democrats’ own employment of pro forma sessions to block Bush nominees.

In recent months, the President has signed the abominable National Defense Authorization Act; which—among other things—empowers the government to stuff you somewhere really remote (I’m thinking the vegetable drawer in Michael Moore’s fridge) until the 12th of Never without so much as a parting gift. He has been as forthcoming as a Gambino button man on the subject of Operation Fast and Furious. His cronies have benefited while working Americans suffered through fiscal disasters like Solyndra, Lightsquared, General Electric’s new Chinese-employment-at-the-expense-of-40,000-American-workers program and pretty much everything which has sputtered off a General Motors, Fisker or Fiat/Chrysler assembly line (and directly into the shop).

Successful businesses like Gibson Guitars face interminable battles with Federal authorities which reek of political gamesmanship. The so-called “Occupiers”—who can’t be more than one or two felony convictions from out-thugging the labor unions—are mutating into a liberal brute squad. The dovish candidate Obama has blossomed into a saber-rattler, Nobel be damned. And then the President announced last week that he gets to make up the rules as he goes along.

It’s time for Obama to face demotion. Don’t expect the Democrats to help; they’re just following orders.

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.