Top 10 Lists

Top 10 Obama power grabs

Top 10 Obama power grabs

Obama’s power grabs are designed to implement his ideological goals, no matter whether they violate his oath of office. November can’t come soon enough.

1. Immigration

By declaring that he will no longer deport most young illegal immigrants, Obama is refusing to follow congressionally passed immigration bills signed into law by earlier presidents. For a constitutional law professor, Obama seems to have forgotten that a presidential administration is supposed to administer the law, not pick and chose which ones to enforce.

2. Fast and Furious

With Obama asserting executive privilege to keep Fast and Furious documents hidden, one has to wonder what the administration is hiding. Why risk a contempt of Congress charge against the attorney general unless the material is politically explosive? The president’s action was reminiscent of Richard Nixon, but no one died at Watergate.

3. Drones

Where is the anti-war left, which was so incensed when President George W. Bush indefinitely detained terrorists but are nearly mute over Obama personally targeting drone victims? The drones aren’t just killing terrorists but also are claiming numerous civilian victims and Obama has deemed that any males near the selected target are fair game for slaughter. It makes Guantanamo look like the more humane option.

4. Obamacare

Obama and congressional Democratic leaders ignored the wishes of the American people and passed into law a highly partisan and unpopular health care bill. The way Obamacare was enacted into law stretched the boundaries of legislative maneuverings by doling out goodies to fence-sitting congressmen. Now there is word from the White House that even if the Supreme Court overturns the law, the president will implement much of it by executive order.

5. Defense of Marriage Act

The Defense of Marriage Act is another area where the Obama administration is deciding which laws to enforce and ignoring ones it doesn’t like. Signed into law by President Clinton, the law defines marriage for federal purposes as the legal union of one man and one woman. Apparently enforcing that law is not popular with the president’s campaign donors.

6. Recess appointments

Most presidents make a recess appointment or two during their time in office, but Obama’s method of implementing the practice circumvents the Constitution. The law allows the chief executive to install an official without Senate approval when the chamber is not in session. But when Republicans kept the Senate officially open by scheduling informal sessions during a break, Obama went ahead and made his appointments anyway.

7. Ideological appointments

If personnel is policy, then it should come to no one’s surprise that president’s agenda tilts solidly to the left. Instead of simply looking for the best person to do the job, Obama populated his administration with left-wing ideologues, often drawn from academia and the activist community, meant to advance a progressive agenda. How else to explain Labor Secretary Hilda Solis or Energy Secretary Steven Chu?

8. Executive orders

Obama has signed 128 executive orders, making his own laws by bypassing Congress. The orders have ranged from the futile (closing the Guantanamo Bay terror prison), to the hypocritical (ending torture of terrorists while escalating the drone program, killing them instead.) It is Obama’s favorite method of ignoring laws he doesn’t like (immigration, see No. 1, and DOMA, see No. 5.). He used it to allow states to bypass the No Child Left Behind requirements. Someone, please give this man a copy of the Constitution.

9. Emergency powers

One of Obama’s executive orders deserve special mention: “National Defense Resources Preparedness.” Stunning in its scope, the order gives the president the power to essentially take over the nation’s industrial and technological base in case of a national emergency. Remember, this is the president who doesn’t like to waste a good crisis (see Emanuel, Rahm, 2009).

10. Global groups

Obama is fond of ceding U.S. powers to multilateral organizations like the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and NATO. His “leading from behind” during the Libyan conflict is a case in point. Instead of allowing Congress to perform its constitutional duty to declare war, Obama asserted the U.S. military into the conflict through NATO, with the military alliance calling the shots over U.S. troops.

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