President Obama’s improper exercise of executive privilege today to protect Attorney General Eric Holder on Fast and Furious is the latest frightening entry in a week-long pattern of presidential centralization of power. Remember when the left labeled George W. Bush an incipient dictator? Well, President Obama’s actions this week make Bush look like a piker by comparison.
First, Obama unilaterally declared that he would not enforce immigration law against certain illegal immigrants. While the action was likely illegal, nobody has the standing to sue Obama over his action, as Ken Klukowski pointed out last week. Nonetheless, it was a window into Obama’s mind: he believes he has the ability to run the country on his own, without the distraction of Constitutional wrangling. It’s why he felt free to attack the Supreme Court in his State of the Union Address in 2010; it’s why he has routinely stated that he would “go it alone” if Congress didn’t fulfill his dictates. When Nixon refused to spend monies allocated to states by Congress, the Supreme Court batted him down; when Obama refuses to enforce basic immigration law, the media cheers him.
Second, Obama and his flunkies in the press reacted with utter outrage when a reporter dared to interrupt him to ask a question about his immigration policy. Obama, who has not taken press questions regularly – and didn’t take any during the immigration speech – told the reporter that he wanted him to wait until he was done speaking. But, as Matt Negrin of ABC News, an Obama-backing outlet, reported, “The rest of the press corps waited, as Obama asked. When he was done, the reporters shouted their questions. Obama turned his back, and walked inside the White House. That’s par for the course for Obama, who rarely takes questions from the press pool that follows him almost futilely to his staged events.” This is how Obama rolls. And then he gets his friends to call people who shout questions at him racists.
Third, Obama came out yesterday and said it was inappropriate for Mitt Romney to criticize him on foreign policy. “I would point out that we have one president at a time and one administration at a time,” Obama said. “And I think traditionally the notion has been that America’s political differences end at the water’s edge.” Perhaps that was true at some point in the past. It certainly wasn’t true when Obama wasn’t president, and spent most of his waking moments bashing President Bush’s foreign policy. Try this on for size, from 2007:
We’ve had enough of a misguided war in Iraq that never should have been fought — a war that needs to end.
We’ve had enough of Presidents who put tough talk ahead of real diplomacy.
And we’ve had enough of politicians who put power over principle, of a government in Washington that shuts you out, and of presidents who don’t hold themselves accountable.
Does that sound like politics stopping at the water’s edge? Or how about Obama’s 2008 campaign, during which he traveled the globe apologizing for Bush and deeming himself a “citizen of the world”?
Fourth, President Obama’s campaign has decided that all private opponents must be outed and shamed. That’s why his campaign put out an email once again targeting private donors and urging Obama backers to say “Hell no” to the First Amendment.
And finally, there’s Obama’s invocation of executive privilege on Fast and Furious.
President Obama is not a monarch. He is not an emperor. But He Who Must Not Be Questioned has crafted an imperial presidency for himself that would make Richard Nixon green with envy.