President Barack Obama may be out on the rubber-chicken circuit to convince America he won’t attempt an end run around Congress to accomplish his agenda through executive fiat, but it’s visibly evident that’s a painful promise for him to make.
Here he is trying to get tough on a heckler Monday, whom he patently agreed with on immigration reform:
The heckler told Obama he could resolve the ongoing Congressional debate over immigration law because the President has the power, by executive order, to grant amnesty to illegal aliens living in the U.S.
“Actually I don’t. And that’s why we’re here,” Obama said. “…If, in fact, I could solve all these problems without passing them through Congress, then I would do so. But we’re also a Nation of laws; that’s part of our tradition. And so, the easy way out is to try to yell and pretend like I can do something by violating our laws. And what I’m proposing is the harder path, which is to use our democratic processes to achieve the same goal that you wanna achieve, but it won’t be as easy as just shouting.”
It’s not the first time the Obama Administration has wistfully daydreamed, out loud, about what Obama could do if only he were king.
“What I will say is that this is not the President’s idealized budget,” said Press Secretary Jay Carney back in April. “It is not what he would do if he were king, or if only people who supported his proposals were in Congress. It was what he believes is a fair and balanced approach to our deficit challenges.”
And it’s not as though Obama hasn’t resorted to the heavy-handed approach in the past. It’s just that, in the midst of an Obamacare meltdown that’s galvanizing some red-State Democrats against him, the likelihood of profound political blowback is far greater than it was, say, back in August, when the President passed two executive orders to close two gun control “loopholes.”
So he’s now paying lip service, even to his own supporters, to the truth that executive orders aren’t the answer. But what will happen if Democrats do well in 2014, or if Obama’s approval numbers climb back above 50 percent?