Democracy never lasts long,” [John] Adams famously said. “It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.” For liberal regimes, a very common starting point on the road to serfdom is the over-delegation of legislative powers to the executive. France very nearly ended up in a permanent dictatorship as a result of that error, and was spared that fate mostly by good luck and Charles de Gaulle’s patriotism. Long before she declared her infamous state of emergency, Indira Gandhi had been centralizing power in the prime minister’s office, and India was spared a permanent dictatorship only by her political miscalculation and her dynasty-minded son’s having gotten himself killed in a plane wreck. Salazar in Portugal, Austria under Dollfuss, similar stories...
...the president would very much like the unemployment problem to be somewhat abated by the time of the 2014 congressional elections, but he knows that this is unlikely to happen with employers struggling under an expensive health-care mandate that he has not told enough of a story about. And so he has decided — empowered to do so by precisely nothing — that the law will not be enforced until after the elections. Neither does the law empower him arbitrarily to exempt millions of his donors and allies in organized labor from the law, but he has done that too.
This is a remarkable thing. The health-care law gives the executive all sorts of powers to promulgate regulations and make judgments, but it does not give the executive the power to decide which aspects of the law will be enforced and which will not, or to establish a different timeline from the one found in the law itself. For all of the power that Congress legally has given the president in this matter, he feels it necessary to take more — illegally...
...The law also prohibits the president and his allies from using the instruments of government to persecute their rivals, but that is precisely what the IRS has been up to for several years, as it turns out. And not just the IRS: Tea-party activist Catherine Engelbrecht was subject to an IRS audit, two FBI visits, an OSHA investigation, and an ATF inspection of her business (which does not deal in A, T, or F). And although the IRS has no statutory power to collect Affordable Care Act–related fines in states that have not voluntarily set up health-care exchanges, Obama’s managers there have announced that they will do so anyway...
...Barack Obama’s administration is unmoored from the institutions that have long kept the imperial tendencies of the American presidency in check. That is partly the fault of Congress, which has punted too many of its legislative responsibilities to the president’s army of faceless regulators, but it is in no small part the result of an intentional strategy on the part of the administration. He has spent the past five years methodically testing the limits of what he can get away with, like one of those crafty velociraptors testing the electric fence in Jurassic Park. Barack Obama is a Harvard Law graduate, and he knows that he cannot make recess appointments when Congress is not in recess. He knows that his HHS is promulgating regulations that conflict with federal statutes. He knows that he is not constitutionally empowered to pick and choose which laws will be enforced. This is a might-makes-right presidency, and if Barack Obama has been from time to time muddled and contradictory, he has been clear on the point that he has no intention of being limited by something so trivial as the law.
The president's acts of lawlessness have become so egregious, so outre, that even the buttoned-down George Will -- pseudo-conservative columnist at The Washington Post -- just penned his own, far less cogent warning ("Obama’s unconstitutional steps worse than Nixon’s") to the Beltway elite.
And if the Republicans served as a true opposition party -- rather than a deer-like herd of feckless cowards -- they would have thrown roadblock after roadblock in front of the engine of Obama's long train of abuses and usurpations.
Instead, they watch and whimper and cower, terrified of their own shadows, interested only in preserving their tenuous grips on power rather than acting on principle.
Hat tip: Donald Sensing.
You hit the nail on the head!
If the "Opposition party" is unwilling to act because of the fear they will be called racist for standing up to this tyrant, then they need to get over it. As long as they have that fear, it will always be used against them! The bullies will only back down when they are truly and finally confronted. It's time to grow a pair R's!
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