Does anyone else remember watching that Schoolhouse Rock cartoon about how a bill becomes a law. That single cartoon probably brainwashed three generations of children into believing in the checks and balances fantasy of the US federal government.
The reality is what we see everywhere today– self-regulating, self-legislating executive agencies with nearly unlimited scope and authority. Even the most mundane offices within the Fish and Wildlife Service can confiscate people’s private property without any judicial oversight.
These agencies can also conjure new rules out of thin air, all on their own, that have the same weight and effect as laws. In fact, Regulations.gov shows that there have been nearly 575 newly posted regulations or proposals just in the last week… and over 6,200 over the past 90-days. This is truly mind-numbing.
President Obama’s announcement Friday that he is using his executive authority to defer deportation proceedings for young immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally but meet certain requirements was just the latest example of the president’s use of his power to act without Congress on policy issues.
And like the other actions the president has increasingly taken as part of his “We Can’t Wait” initiative, the decision announced last Friday was characterized by Obama’s political opponents as an abuse of power and violation of congressional prerogatives.
There will be some people who will cry foul. Who will say this is a gross abuse of the president’s Article II powers. But that, too, has always been true when presidents strike out on their own and act unilaterally.
“The people who cry foul are typically, not always, but typically members of the opposite party who don’t like the policy that the president’s advancing.
Change is what Obama promised and what he’s delivering. Is it really what Americans thought they were voting for? This president has been ruling by decree for the past several years, and his executive orders, when studied as a whole, have a clear (to some of us) and alarming direction.
Beyond the usual functional orders, many of Obama’s orders show a definite trend toward bypassing Congress whenever possible and deepening involvement of the Executive Branch in local affairs. Some of the more suspect executive orders are:
- Executive Order 13609 – Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation — Circumvents constitutional process of treaty negotiation and Senate approval. Appointed presidential policy panel is to consider changing U.S. trade regulations to match laws in foreign countries.
- Executive Order 13603 – National Defense Resources Preparedness — Updates previous order. In peacetime or times of national emergency, heads of Agriculture, Energy, Health and Human Services, Transportation, Defense and Commerce can take food, livestock, fertilizer, farm equipment, all forms of energy, water resources, all forms of civil transportation and any other materials, including construction materials from wherever they are available.
- Executive Order 13575 – Establishment of the White House Rural Council — Authorizes a Rural Council to exert control over “agricultural organizations, small businesses, education and training institutions, health-care providers, telecommunications services providers, research and land grant institutions, law enforcement, State, local, and tribal governments, and nongovernmental organizations regarding the needs of rural America.”
- Executive Order 13544 – Establishing the National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council — Creates a council that includes the Secretary of Homeland Security and is charged with creating a policy to “achieve national wellness, health promotion, and public health goals, including the reduction of tobacco use, sedentary behavior, and poor nutrition.” Sounds innocuous, but consider New York City’s current efforts to ban certain foods. Do you want Uncle Sam determining your menu?
- Executive Order 13503 – Establishment of the White House Office of Urban Affairs – This exceptionally vague order creates an office designed to interfere with and influence policies of city governments in undefined ways by coordinating with federal agencies.
If Obama gets away with his amnesty by executive order, he will have proved that there is no one who can stop him. He has in place all the legal framework he needs to crack down on dissent and prevent any possible physical resistance. All he need do is declare a national emergency, and his administration has set up several potential “crises” that could precipitate such a declaration.
If one man and his administration is allowed to singlehandedly change the law in ways that they never could have achieved through the constitutional legal process, and he remainsunchallenged, we are no longer living in a constitutional republic. They will have completely thrown out the Constitution and for all intents and purposes, made themselves the king and his court.