President Obama brings to mind questions that never needed asking before. Not questions of philosophy or ideology. Not questions of patriotism or religion. Questions that have factual, constitutional answers. Questions about the limits of executive authority. Questions about the president’s right to change or ignore laws he does not care for. The answers can be found, but it seems increasingly obvious that a large percentage of Americans are unwilling to look for them. Either that…or they simply don’t care.
Democracy dies when we no longer pay attention to abuse of power. When we let that power grow one executive action at a time, more concerned with the result of a thing than the legal basis. Why, it’s so sensible to provide amnesty to illegal immigrant children. Do we really want to send these poor children back to their hellhole countries of origin? How heartless. How cruel. And so because liberals like the idea of open borders and a kinder, gentler America, they are willing to turn a blind eye to what it plainly an abuse of power.
To be clear, Obama’s dreams of dictatorship are chilling. But they do not present any threat to the country as long as everyone recognizes what’s going on. There have been plenty of examples in the past of presidents trying to legislate from the White House. Some were even temporarily successful before the courts rebuked their challenges to the Constitution. The problem today – what’s really chilling – is that we’ve allowed the concept of executive overreach to become just another Republicans vs. Democrats inside-baseball issue.
This should have very little to do with party politics. It goes without saying that Washington is more polarized than ever before, and that the polarization is borne out of opposite and contrary ideologies. And that’s fine. But there comes a point when cooler heads must prevail. There comes a time when lawmakers and the American people – even those who call themselves Democrats and believe that there should be no such concept as “illegal” immigration – must wake up to what’s happening. This is more than an individual issue. Much more. This is about what we are willing to let our country become.
In our Constitution, it says that “all legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States.” There is no asterisk beside this mandate. It does not say, in parentheses, that the president may act alone if Congress does not carry out his wishes.
If the bleeding hearts want the kind of immigration reform prescribed by the president, they have every right to fight for it. Every right to vote for pro-amnesty politicians. Every right to put immigration on the congressional agenda. Go for it.
What they must understand is that a Democrat won’t be in the White House forever. What happens when a Republican decides that he wants gun control reform? He wants to pass a law banning background checks. The Democratic Congress won’t go for it. So, following the precedent established by Obama, he issues an executive order to the Department of Justice telling them to use their discretion to basically stop running the checks. Far-fetched example, perhaps, but this is the America they are creating.
And it’s an America I want no part of.