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  • Constitution, Anyone? Obama Promises to Rule... Without Congress

    Well, we can’t say he didn’t warn us. After the November 2010 elections when the President’s party lost control of the U.S. House, Barack Obama told America that where he can’t legislate, he will regulate. In the last year, he lived up to that pledge, and now he’s promising to do even more of it in 2012.

    With 2011 coming to a close and the President about to embark on an election year, he is unabashedly showing his cards and telling America that he’s going to enact his agenda, whether the legislative branch is with him or not. Real Clear Politics captured the President’s words from an interview with KOAA-TV in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Reporter Rob Quirk asked what we can expect from the President over the next year. Obama’s response:

    Well, what we’re going to have to do is continue to make progress on the economy over the next several months. And where Congress is not willing to act, we’re going to go ahead and do it ourselves. But it would be nice if we could get a little bit of help from Capitol Hill.

    Make no mistake, those words weren’t a slip of the tongue. It’s the same line the President uttered in his 60 Minutes interview with Steve Kroft that aired Sunday. Here’s the relevant excerpt:

    Kroft: Do you have any hope that anything is gonna get accomplished between now and the next election?

    Obama: If I have anything to do about it, absolutely. We’re gonna keep on pushing to get things done. I want to work with Congress. I want to work with both parties in Congress. I think that we can still make progress on a balanced approach to deficit reduction. What I’m not gonna do is wait for Congress. So wherever we have an opportunity and I have the executive authority to go ahead and get some things done, we’re just gonna go ahead and do ‘em.

    As Heritage has detailed here and here, whether it is in the area of environmental regulations, labor and immigration law, No Child Left Behind, the auto bailout, the selective enforcement of other federal laws, and the regulation of the Internet (among others), the Obama Administration has in fact enacted its agenda via legislative fiat. So what’s the problem? A big thing called the U.S. Constitution and the separation of powersThe Honorable Douglas Ginsburg explains:

    Articles I, II, and III of the Constitution respectively vest the legislative, executive, and judicial powers each in a separate department of the federal government. This separation of powers, which draws upon ideas advanced by John Locke, Baron de Montesquieu, and Sir William Blackstone, reflects the Framers’ intention that undue power not be combined in any one department lest, being unchecked, it become tyrannical.

    The separation, by which each department may exercise only its own constitutional powers, is fundamental to the idea of a limited government accountable to the people. The principle is particularly noteworthy in regard to the Congress. The Constitution declares that the Congress may exercise only those legislative powers “herein granted.” That the power assigned to each branch must remain with that branch, and may be expressed only by that branch, is central to the theory.

    In short, it’s Congress’ job to legislate, not the President’s, whether Barack Obama likes it or not.

    Read more about the separation of powers in Legislative Powers: Not Yours to Give Away at Heritage.org.

    Posted in Featured, First Principles [slideshow_deploy]

    38 Responses to Constitution, Anyone? Obama Promises to Rule... Without Congress

    1. Rob says:

      The term "Executive Order" has been turned on its head. It's disgusting how it has been turned into rule by decree.

      • Slick says:

        This is yet another of a long list of legislation that was passed and now we are reaping the unintended consequences!

        Look no further than the National Defense Authorization Act, and you will find that although the intention of this legislation is not to detain American citizens indefinitely, it does NOT specifically state that we are exempt and therein lies the problem. Somewhere down the line, if it is passed, it will be used to hold American citizens. And if you think that will NEVER happen, look what happened to Japanese Americans during WWII!!! You cannot not assume that everyone will enforce new laws as originally intended; therefore they must be explicit and state EXACTLY what the ramifications will be.

    2. West Texan says:

      Although Alexander Hamilton argued for the benefits of government in his general introduction to the federalist commentaries, he could not have been more on target when he wrote, " … those men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people; commencing demagogues, and ending tyrants.". And Obama is said to be a Harvard graduate and constitutional scholar? What are these Ivy league schools teaching?

    3. Jude Richardson says:

      Well? What to do? The Constitution provides that the Execuive executes the law and the Legislature legislates, by definition. So. the president is a tyrant. What to do?

    4. Sharon says:

      Why aren't this president and his cohorts being indicted and tried for
      treason?

    5. Guest says:

      Laws are made to be ignored. I'll follow President Obama' lead and ignore what I want to.

    6. Old Voter says:

      A tyrannical king, named George, is why this country was founded. It's basic principles were limited government by one person, hence the three branches. Obama has overstepped his bounds in so many ways, and needs to understand that unless he backs off and regroups, he's going to be a one-term president.

    7. toledofan says:

      So, where are the Republicans leaders and why aren't they bashing what the president said, why aren't they the ones making some noise, and why aren't they the ones leading the charge to derail this administration at ever turn. Why is Eric Holder still the Justice Department? NO leadership, and no concern for the country. It's sad to see these kinds of things happening in America.

    8. Peaksfreak says:

      OMG – Obama Must Go. He pledged to uphold the Constitution of the United States. He has not, and will not.

    9. Bill Pool says:

      The only solution is to elect a congress and president that will dismantle all the programs the left has learned to use to tie the country in knots.

      • Slick says:

        Wish it was truly that easy. Once a law is on the books, it is almost impossible to get rid of. That is why I am so worried about what is to become of the Healthcare Bill if it is over turn by the Supreme Court. The long-term ramifications will probably be with us forever.

    10. AngryInAZ says:

      Well, since Obama started ignoring the constitution in order to even become a candidate for president, for which he has yet to be held accountable, why would anyone think he'd care about the constitution since while he has been in office? Who also thinks that a complicit congress who vetted him as elligible is certainly not going to step up now and cry foul! They are in the bag just as much as the usefull idiots who voted for him.

      My question is, when will he be made to account for his illegal actions? Ordinary citizens can't do it, we've been determined to "lack standing" in every attempt that has been made so far by a complicit judiciary!

    11. Jeff, Illinois says:

      What a dishonest article! Let's emphasize the statement about where he said where he has executive authority to do so he will act, not the distorted sense reported in the article that he'll try to act over and above congress. Let's face it, one branch of government has obstructed every plan put forth by this administration. Then Faux News has the nerve to repeat over and over that Obama's policies have failed. What policies? The GOP has blocked 80% what he's put forth. Even when the Democrats had the House and the Senate, Mitch McConnell rallied the Senate Republicans to filibuster hundreds of bills attempting to be put forward. The President is a thoughtful intelligent man. Most economists agree that without the Stimulus Bill many more jobs would have been lost. Instead remember the American auto industry is thriving again as at least one more obvious outcome. There have been some 15 plus straight months of net job creation (check the facts). The highly demonized Obama Care has been getting rave reviews in recent weeks from those who really appreciate being able to get health care, and down the road health care costs will drop significantly once fully implemented.

      • Slick says:

        Since you are into citing false statements, how about the fact that YOUR party held the majority in the House, the Senate, and the Presidency for TWO FULL YEARS!!!!! AND is it the House or the Senate who has repeatedly passed bills to watch them sit on Harry Reid's desk because it is by DESIGN that YOUR party has done NOTHING with them, not even an "up or down" vote!

        So don't preach to us about being dishonest!!! YOUR President may not have created all of our problems, but he sure has put plenty of gasoline on the fire and it is totally dishonest of you to indicate otherwise! Stop blaming the Republicans . . you have FOUR fingers pointing right back at you and your ilk!

        • Jeff, Illinois says:

          I'm including those years as years with the understanding that a majority is no longer enough because of the filabuster rule (check it out). They need 60 in the Senate not 51, and the GOP was going to make sure they weren't going to get it. And the old 4 fingers pointing back quip is so childish, you disqualify your opinion.

      • Karen S Ca says:

        if you consider government jobs then yes there has been an increase in jobs-not the private sector-
        for all those people that want the government to take care of them from cradle to grave- of course they are raving about the new health care- just wait until the doctors throw in the towel and all those raving people can't get the care or have to wait in line or maybe just no longer qualify for a hip replacement or bypass because they are no longer an important part of society-costs have gone up not down I own a business and can prove it- for me as well as all my employees….
        What is dishonest is that instead of truly examining the facts comments like yours are just talking points from the administration- please do not waste your time on this site- the readers of the heritage foundation are way to smart and informed to remotely believe your talking points…..

        • Jeff, Illinois says:

          How many readers of HF know about the Citizens United case, what ALEC does, the Koch brothers activities, the Pipeline Investigative Gauge (PIG) data manipulation, former Chief Justice Powell's positions, Grover Norquist, the repealing of Glass-Steagal, the 2006 Postal Service reform bill, the Prison Industrial Complex, and what they all have brought about?

    12. Jeff, Illinois says:

      And let's not talk about Foreign Policy where the GOP previously put our country in two massive ground assault invasions costing Billions and killing thousands. Then when the president wants to rebuild our nation's infrastructure, and pay for it with a miniscual surtax on those who have been prospering massively, the GOP blocks every step, and instead reinstates their allegance to a Tax Pledge they signed with Grover Norquist. Let's be honest . . Let's be patriotic! And above all let's stop the propaganda!

      • Bobbie says:

        Jeff please take no offense, but you suggest "let's be patriotic?" how could you suggest that when you don't take consideration on all accounts of things? Bush handled matters within protocol when it came to the wars and the democrats wining and lying to demand from Bush what he wouldn't have necessarily done. Why you're so desperate to tax those that are living the American dream they've established through their own abilities and endurance throughout their lives, leaves me to suspect your a hidden millionaire most certainly tax exempt! government obama does have his favorites…

      • Chad, Minnesota says:

        Really Jeff? What about Libya?? Did Obama go to Congress to get their approval?? How convenient that you say the GOP put our country into two wars. I do believe that Democrats voted their approvals for entry into these two wars and Congress gave him the vote of confidence. Did your beloved Complainer in Chief get congressional approval? Oh yeah, he didn't. He acted unilaterally to committ military resources to this pet project of his. Hence, the theme of this article Mr. Liberal….acting without the consent of Congress (the people). Got it??? Your revisionist history is apaulling sir.

    13. Richard says:

      Jeff – Get real!
      When one party holds the Presidency and both houses of Congress with super majorities for 2 years, if the Dems could not get their policies passed, it was because they were even too bad for their fellow Dems to vote for.
      BTW when is the last time your pal Harry Reid attempted to, much less actually did, pass a budget in the Senate? The main job of the Congress and he massively failed.

    14. Adela Keenan says:

      Obama's "I have the executive authority to get things done" is only limited by Obama's interpretation of his own authority; Obama consistently resists the notion that Congress, reflecting the wishes of its constituency, legislates. Without the checks and balances envisioned in the Constitution, Obama is nothing more than a dictatorial tyrant urging his own agenda on an unwilling citizenry. Obama's supporters may have elected him hoping he would remake US policy comport with his "vision". Obama's supporters, like you, fail to realize not all Americans share the "vision".

    15. Scot - New Jersey says:

      jeff; You could contribute greatly to stopping the propaganda by doing a little independent research of your own instead of "drinking the Koolaid" being served by the left. The R's blocked 80% of what he tried to implement? Really? How? Oh yeah, filibusters…there were "hundreds" of filibusters that took place when the D's controlled both houses…right…care to indicate when those took place?
      And don't get started on the military actions…the D's VOTED FOR THEM TOO! So no crying about it now or blaming the GOP for all of it. The latest version of the Afganistan involvement belong's solely to BO…and for once he did the right thing…but perhaps not quite enough.

    16. Stirling says:

      Jeff,, the obstuction goes both ways, in case you have blinders on… The house has passed many bills over the course of the GOP with the majority, only to have the Senate (Harry Reid) never bring these bills to the floor for a vote. If your all for passing and not obstuction place an equal blame on your party for stonewalling the good of the country over party political gain.

      Under the Constitution our founders designed it so that stalmates in the government legleslation progress would keep the president from acting like a dictator, or king.. Realize that majority can not rule to the detriment of the minority, otherwise the country is no better then a 3rd world opressive regeim.

      Lastly just because you belive the propaganda of Obama's policy's by watching the media understand that your reality is not shared by everyone, and will never be because of the diversity of this country.. Trying to force people to belive because the media says so is also a false premise to belive..

      • Jeff, Illinois says:

        First, you can't possibly compare the parties in terms of obstructionism. Bills the House have passed have been filled with poison pills. Do you know what that means? For example, most recently on the Middle Class Tax issue. The GOP wanted to include a vote on the Keystone Pipeline and reduce unemployment benefits some 40 weeks. Those issues have nothing to do with extending the tax credit. Or let's go back to the Debt Ceiling debacle. The GOP wanted a balanced budget ammendment tagged to the legislation. At first glance that seems reasonable, until you do some research on such a proposal and discover who will ulitmately gain and lose from such, (another poison pill).

        • Stirling says:

          Each party has what is called "Barganing pieces." which based on the priorities of the party at the time are used to negotiate. Basically Democrats want to purpetuate the "Nanny State," which extends any unemployment (It's currently 99 weeks – Thats 2 years), and studies have shown people do NOT actively look for work until this is almost exhausted. Therefore this policy extends the HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT rate for longer then it would if the time period was lower, also it ADDS to the 15 TRILLION DEBT that is payed from TAX dollars. The pipline will create jobs NOW, and later to support the infrastructure which adds money to our economy (which benefits everyone.)

          The Balanced bugget Amendment would of solved the problem, but government (both sides) don't want to have to tell their supporters the money is going to have to stop (which is also why the bugget debacle happened) .

          Lastly Your "poison" pill arguement isn't valid since Obamacare is and was the biggest "posion pill" of all in recent memory of "Big Government."

    17. Steve says:

      Constitution??? We don't need no stinking Constitution.

    18. daniel says:

      Congress isn't doing anything but playing party politics and brinksmanship while the country just economically disintegrates. While it is indeed Congress' job to legislate Congress is not doing their job; they are stalled by partisanship. But the ship needs someone at the helm running it or it will run aground.

      You don't like that Obama is doing this? Fine. Demand that your elected representatives stop the party politics and do the job they were elected to do. At least Obama is doing SOMETHING.

      Of course you won't do anything of the kind, will you? No, you'll sit there and gripe and complain that Obama isn't doing what you think he should be doing. But take shots at your fellow conservatives in office? Heavens forbid! No, it's clear your job is to find a way to make everything Obama does somehow wrong or bad while ignoring what your own party buddies are doing.

      By purposely ignoring the real problem you are adding to it.

    19. Ardath Blauvelt says:

      Here's the problem: Obama doesn't care. The Constitution can say whatever it says, but until his actions are challenged, seriously challenged, he is free to do as he pleases — and he is. A law may be broken, but like the tree in the forest, if no one hears it fall, it might as well not have. The breech in the law remains unfixed.

    20. Jeff, Illinois says:

      Of course the GOP can't imagine challenging its constituency to go against a pledge they've signed to Grover Norquist and raise a miniscual amount of tax revenue to pay for rebuilding the nation's infrastructure, which would have put hundreds of thousands back to work and serve our nation well. Sorry, that was blocked by the GOP. Oh but the GOP voted to continue a 3.9 Billion Tax subsidy to the Oil Industry while at the same time they've recorded record profits. Oh and the GOP put forth a bill to reinstate the nations motto. And when asked about it one the GOP congressional leaders stated they wanted to remind the President what the motto is. Great! Now that's really getting important stuff done.

      • Bobbie says:

        with whose money are you suggesting to rebuild the infrastructure that was already given money to? that state gas tax is suppose to be going to? the cost of car tabs!

        Put hundreds of thousands back to work (why did they stop?…illusionary purpose) not in the private sector with permanent jobs that generate income, but at the cost of tax payers at the state, local, city, municipal, federal levels to get going what was already paid for? just a minuscule tax increase on the rich! narrow is your mind on the side of crooks. someday you'll pay for your ignorance…

    21. Diana says:

      We The People have the power at the voting booth. Obama and his policies are not good for this country because he wants to take our country down. We must not allow him to do this. We must encourage everyone to vote and we must get Obama out of our White House. His policies and agenda are destroying our country and taking away our rights and liberties. We The People must vote because that is our greater power. Tea Party

    22. DB, New York says:

      The problem I see with our country and our politics is evident in the thumbs up/thumbs down on comment in this blog. This is not only witnessed here in the blog from the right but it is clear on both sides of the aisle. Notice that Jeff has the majority of negatives beside his comments and so does Daniel. There is not a problem here in that you may disagree but that in general, we are so ready to jump on others that we disagree with and not even agree with those that we do agree with. How many thumbs us do you see here? Instead of trying to work with each side to fide how we can build up this country, instead, all we want to do is tear down the other side.

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