Sounding more like a third-world dictator than a U.S. president who took an oath to uphold the Constitution, Obama announced that he would no longer wait for Congress or legislation to impose his radical agenda to “fundamentally transform” America. Instead, in January 14 remarks about making 2014 a “year of action,” Obama declared that his administration would expand its rule-by-decree machinations through the use of even more anti-constitutional “executive orders” and “executive actions.” The radical plan, analysts say, is setting up a potential showdown of historic proportions with lawmakers and an increasingly outraged American public.
Of course, over the last five years, the Obama administration has usurped unprecedented amounts of legislative power through the use of more than 150 unconstitutional executive decrees — far worse than the very real abuses perpetrated by his predecessors. On everything from gun control and “education” to “global warming” and energy — all areas that are constitutionally off limits to Washington, D.C., even with legislation — the executive branch has stepped way outside the bounds of legitimate constitutional governance and into the realm of lawless tyranny. Last year alone, the Obama administration imposed more than 80,000 pages of new regulations on America. He also started a war without even informing Congress.
Instead of undoing the damage, however, Congress has allowed it all to happen. Despite some occasional rhetoric, lawmakers have even been providing taxpayer funding for the administration to implement its extreme and unlawful schemes. With a never-ending parade of major scandals, the public, of course, has had just about enough of the lawlessness, with more than two thirds of Americans saying that the federal government is now “out of control” and threatening basic liberties. Surveys have even shown that a majority of voters support impeachment.
With Congress rolling over, though, the stage has been set for even more draconian rule by decree. “One of the things that I’ll be emphasizing in this meeting is the fact that we are not just going to be waiting for a legislation [sic] in order to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help that they need,” Obama announced on January 14 before his first cabinet meeting of the year. “I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone — and I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward.”
Among the areas where Obama claims to be under the mistaken impression that he can rule by fiat is “helping to make sure our kids are getting the best education possible.” While he did not elaborate on the “education” agenda, the administration has been lawlessly bypassing Congress on everything from imposing radical “Common Core” nationalized school standards and gutting privacy protections to decreeing race-based disciplinary policies more recently. Last year, the administration unveiled an unconstitutional plan to start taking over higher education as well.
Obama also vowed January 14 to use unconstitutional decrees to “make sure that people are getting the skills that they need.” It was not immediately clear what edicts he planned to issue to ensure that Americans were getting the “skills” that he claims they “need.” In addition, Obama pledged to make “sure that our businesses are getting the kind of support and help they need to grow and advance.” It was also not clear what type of “support” he planned to provide, or how he would do it, although news reports suggest he is plotting a bailout for health-insurance companies as the ObamaCare disaster intensifies.
“As I’ve said before, this is going to be a year of action,” Obama vowed, ordering Congress to approve and fund certain elements of his agenda. Among other demands, he ordered lawmakers to pass a massive spending bill that would purport to allow the administration “to take some important steps to provide the services and the help that Americans need and American families need in order to get ahead in this economy.” He also pledged to convene Americans “from every walk of life” to make sure they were ready to rally around his deeply controversial agenda.
Obama will not do it alone, however; he said his scandal-plagued cabinet bosses would help out. “So one of the things that I’m going to be talking to my Cabinet about is how do we use all the tools available to us, not just legislation, in order to advance a mission that I think unifies all Americans,” he said, citing the belief that “everybody has got to take responsibility” and “work hard” so they can meet the “obligations” they supposedly have to their “communities” and “nation.” Presumably, by “nation,” he meant the federal government.
Much of the rule-by-decree agenda Obama sketched out involved economic issues. Touting a “manufacturing innovation hub that we initiated” in North Carolina, Obama skipped over the billions of taxpayer dollars squandered on his “green-energy” scams —see Solyndra, for example — and claimed that the fascist-style “public-private partnership” agenda was the way to create jobs and economic growth. He also vowed to prod CEOs into allowing their companies to be commandeered into the service of the administration’s agenda, again hiding behind lofty claims of helping the unemployed.
“And I am absolutely confident that in 2014, if we’re all working in the same direction and not worrying so much about political points but worrying much more about getting the job done, that we can see a lot of improvement this year,” Obama continued. “And people will look back on 2014 as a year in which we didn’t just turn the corner in the aggregate for the economy, but everybody started feeling a little more optimistic about our futures.” In the real world, as soon as Obama’s announcements hit the press, Americans overwhelmingly expressed feelings ranging from dread and terror to outrage and horror.
Of course, Americans have become accustomed to hearing about third-world dictators ruling by decree. In recent years, for example, Marxist mass-murderer Robert Mugabe has done so in Zimbabwe, as has the late socialist strongman Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. At least in Venezuela, though, Chavez and his successor have obtained permission from the rubber-stamp legislature to govern by executive fiat. In Obama’s America, if Congress refuses to go along with the agenda — a very rare occurrence, to be sure — the administration believes it can simply advance its schemes with “executive actions.”
There have been some efforts by liberty-minded lawmakers to rein in the lawless administration. Last year, for example, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) joined forces to push legislation aimed at restoring and protecting the Constitution, the separation of powers, and the Second Amendment. At the time, Sen. Paul declared that Obama was not “king,” and therefore, needed to be restrained in his efforts to trample the liberties of Americans by executive fiat.
Rep. Stockman, among the staunchest defenders of freedom in Washington, also came out swinging. “No matter his intentions, the Constitution flatly prohibits the president from just making up his own laws,” he explained after introducing the Restore the Constitution Act. “The orders issued by President Obama are not intended to execute laws passed by the Congress. President Obama is abusing his authority to write his own unaccountable laws. Regardless of your position on gun rights, Congress has an obligation to assert its constitutional authority as the only lawful rulemaking body.”
With House Speaker John Boehner caving in to virtually every demand from the administration, however, Congress has so far failed to rein in the White House — much less hold anyone accountable for the myriad crimes perpetrated by top officials. House Republicans could single-handedly stop the escalating abuse simply by refusing to fund it. In the Senate, meanwhile, Democrats and the establishment GOP have also consistently blocked efforts to preserve the Constitution and legitimate government. How much more Congress and the American people will be willing to tolerate remains to be seen.
Photo above shows President Obama with Cabinet members, Jan. 14, 2014
Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, politics, and more. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.