A Powerful Presidency? With the Power to Do What?

We need a powerful Presidency. There is no question about that.

But…

obama magic

The powers of the office need to be limited to those areas the Constitution prescribes for the Executive Branch, and not one inch outside those bounds. Therein is the problem today, our President wants to be powerful, alright, but in every way—no different from Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, or Kim Jong Un’s North Korea.

[See also, “The Barack Obama Climate Change Dictatorship.”]

As David Corbin and Matt Parks write in the Federalist under the headline, “Choosing an Energetic President.”

We’ve written about the dangers of a hegemonic presidency, inspired by President Obama’s unprecedented use of executive orders, among other violations of the separation of powers. But what is equally striking–and equally dangerous in its own way–is his tendency to neglect the core duties of his executive office as he acts aggressively in areas properly assigned to others.

  • The president instructs the Justice Department not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act before the Supreme Court, but tells the Court to its face that it misread the First Amendment in striking down campaign finance restrictions and then opines that his own evolving views on gay marriage now require the Court to nationalize it as soon as politically expedient.
  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement saves money by releasing 2,200 detainees, including 629 with what it (and the Administration) falsely claimed were only low level criminal records, while the president prepares an executive order that will essentially rewrite American immigration policy–not just without Congressional consent, but in terms that could probably not win the votes of 10% of the members of Congress (whatever their private views might be). 

More could be said about his Administration’s failure to enforce laws like Obamacare or passivity in the face of growing health and military threats (from) abroad. But what a former aide to Harry Reid said about the president’s approach to the fall campaign might be said about his approach to the presidency in general: “President Obama doesn’t like to get his hands dirty. He seemingly floats above it all.”

Unfortunately, the presidency, as designed, requires a very different sort of person: one who will take up his constitutional responsibilities (but only those responsibilities) with vigor. 

[…]

Choosing an energetic president means choosing someone willing to embrace the often unglamorous tasks enumerated… –and leaving the Court to be the court and the Congress to be the Congress, and pundits, celebrities, and other self-centered egoists to do their business as well.

To the current scope of power being exercised at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue the Courts, the Congress, and the People need to start screaming a resounding, “NO!!”