A question that comes to mind after Obama’s latest power grab, rewriting the welfare reform legislation, is, “How far can he go with these power grabs?” And I’m visualizing him having a great time with these. Power is intoxicating and Obama in particular has shown that he is fond of throwing his weight around. So what are his limits?
The Democrats show no inclination toward trying to rein him in. Neither has the establishment media. And Republicans are afraid to. There is a string of impeachable offenses here, but very few dare utter the “i” word. There was a little flicker of protest from congressional Democrats over the national security leaks, but that appeared to be just for electoral show as they were quite willing to let the administration investigate itself over this.
There is a long train of abuses of executive authority here. Starting at the opening of his term, Obama learned that he could circumvent the rules and customize a bankruptcy of GM and Chrysler to protect his union friends. He has also refused to defend the Defense of Marriage Act. The EPA has written its own greenhouse gas legislation.
You can see how he has grown in this with the example of what he has done with illegal immigration. Last year, he was bemoaning his inability to get his policies through Congress and telling immigrants, “Sorry, there is only so much I can do.” But emboldened by earlier successes, he decided last month to just go ahead and do it on his own. It worked great. Democrats and the mainstream media loved it, and protests from Republicans were limited. So now yesterday he decided to re-write welfare reform and eliminate the work requirements enacted by Congress.
So my question again: Where does this end? He has mostly pursued this expansion of executive power with acts of omission. This last one is so blatant, that I’m sure he has figured out that there are few limits to what he can do by omission. And he has started toying with acts of commission. The greenhouse gas power grab was sanctioned by the courts. But forcing Catholics to subsidize contraceptives was done on his own.
Here are some hypotheticals – ideas he could experiment with. What if he were to say that he would no longer collect any FICA taxes from anyone making under $20,000 a year? Just tell businesses to waive that. Timothy Geithner and Eric Holder could announce that, as a matter of prosecutorial discretion, they will not bother any individuals or businesses that don’t pay that for these people. The IRS will not audit and the DOJ will not prosecute. They will wink at the small stuff so they can focus on the big stuff. Could he get away with that? What would Democrats say? Would the establishment media give him grief over that? How much would Republicans protest?
Another idea. What if the EPA were to say that it will no longer allow any incandescent light bulbs? Congress banned the 100-watters, but that’s not enough. The courts have given EPA the power to address climate change under the clean air act. So logically they have this power.
And on and on. There is a whole continuum of abuses here that they could experiment with, all the way up to suspending the 2016 elections. I would just like to know how far we as a country will allow this to go.
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