On Monday, Breitbart’s Matthew Boyle broke the story that First Daughters Sasha and Malia Obama are spending their spring break at a resort in the Bahamas. Breitbart’s Mike Flynn followed up with an analysis showing how this reflected President Obama’s budget priorities. There is enough money in President Obama’s post sequester FY 2013 federal budget to provide Secret Service protection for his daughters vacationing outside the country, Flynn noted, but not enough to keep the White House open for tours for the children of average American taxpayers.
Throughout the 2008 and 2012 campaigns, President Obama promised to transform America into something better, a land filled with hope and change. It appears, however, that the man who vacations in Martha’s Vineyard, golfs with Tiger Woods, and sends the Secret Service to accompany his wife and daughters on international vacations to Spain, Mexico, and now the Bahamas has another agenda in mind. He seeks to transform constitutional presidential authority into royal prerogative. Judging by the failure of any media source other than Breitbart, Drudge, and Instapundit to cover this story, it is also quite clear that the mainstream media has decided to play the role of dutiful courtiers to this expansion of presidential powers.
Prerogative is not a word used very often these days. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as “an exclusive or special right, power, or privilege: as one belonging to an office or an official body . . . [or] to a person, group, or class of individuals.” During the American Revolution, the Founding Fathers used this word frequently to refer to those special powers and privileges that could be exercised only by the British monarch, King George III. Their complaint about George III was simple. In his treatment of the American colonies, he had far expanded the royal prerogative beyond those special powers and privileges identified in the unwritten English Constitution.
This, of course, was one reason why our Founding Fathers insisted on a written Constitution, ratified by the citizens, with a Bill of Rights that guaranteed freedom of the press. Presidential authority would be constrained by both the written words of the Constitution and the free press, acting as a watch dog of executive abuse.
But during the Obama administration, presidential authority has been unconstrained to a remarkable degree, ranging from the unconstitutional use of the “recess” appointment to blatant abuses of executive privilege. The courtiers of the mainstream media have been fawning in their treatment of these unfettered and apparently successful attempts to transform traditional constitutionally authorized presidential authority into extraconstitutional royal prerogative.
The mainstream media’s protection of President Obama’s budget hypocrisy in denying access to the White House to thousands of American school children while authorizing the latest international vacation for the First Daughters is but the latest example of the most troubling transformation of all–that of the watch dog media into fawning royal courtiers.