The Tuscaloosa News has editorialized that Republicans should “give it a rest” concerning Mr. Obama’s executive order to allow young illegal aliens to stay in the country contrary to U.S. law. They cluck that it was clever politics, which outmaneuvered the Republicans and will help deliver the Hispanic vote to him in November. Apparently, they are fine with the president’s violating his oath of office, i.e., “to faithfully execute the laws of the United States”. So this is the extent to which the Press has reduced itself. Where once it boasted of its role as a watchdog or safeguard for corrupt or overbearing politicians, it now champions that which it once claimed to despise and leads cheers for what it sees as its team. It was bad enough that our politics became a game where partisans on each side saw victory as the only goal. At least, then the game had rules honored by both sides. Now we have a charade with partisan referees that ensure the home team wins. If it were just a game, the away team could put an end to it by refusing to play. The problem, of course, is that governing our country is not a game we can quit when one side cheats.
Obama spent his first two years in office allowing Nancy Pelosi to write legislation no one saw in advance to spend trillions on ineffectual stimulus and Obamacare. The president did not participate in the legislation by proposing anything nor did he attempt to provide any party discipline to make the legislation coherent. Almost all legislative rules regarding posting of bills, hearings, mark-up sessions, etc. were ignored. As Pelosi famously said, you “will have to wait until [it’s passed] to find out what’s in it”. And, when Massachusetts, yes Massachusetts, sent a Republican to the Senate in what essentially was a referendum on this process and thus deny the 60th vote needed to pass Obamacare, Majority Leader Reid decreed that the Senate would “deem the bill already passed”. Such is the shamelessness of the current Democratic Party and their lapdogs in the “Watchdog” Press that they no longer bother to hide their mendacity.
In 2010, the people of the United States responded by tossing Mrs. Pelosi’s party from power. It was perhaps the worse defeat in American history for a president in his first term of office. Textbooks teach that such elections force parties to come to terms with the fact they have gotten out of touch with their constituents. In 2006, when the people dismissed the Republican Congress, pundits and party officials alike agreed that the Republicans had ignored the wishes of their constituents for smaller, more frugal government and had become “Democrats light”. The defeat spurred the tea party movement and Republicans changed their tune. (It remains to be seen whether Republican congressmen will truly adhere to their articulated principles.) But four years later when the Democrat majority was dismissed in an even more dramatic fashion, there was neither a change in their behavior nor in their message. In fact, in word and deed they became more brazen.
Normally when a leader loses power in such a dramatic fashion, he has the good sense to step down from his post. A new leader is selected who comes in with a new message and seeks to build a new majority. But Mrs. Pelosi insisted on remaining the leader of the Democrats. More amazing still was that her party allowed her to do so. In my view, this action insured from the get-go that the Republican House would be reelected in 2012. At first, I was dumbfounded by this move, but it has become evident that this isn’t simply the Democrats’ living in a fantasy world where 2010 didn’t happen. Instead, it appears that they seek to use their defeat as an object lesson to prove that elections don’t really matter. Authoritarian centralization wins whether or not they triumph at the ballot box.
Mr. Obama and the Democrats simply switched from acquiescing to Congress to ignoring Congress. It doesn’t matter what the Republican House passes, the Senate won’t take it up. For its part, the Democrat Senate doesn’t bother passing anything: budgets, immigration reform, tax reform, even timely appropriations bills, nothing. They know that if they passed bills over the wishes of the American people that the Republican House would amend them, which would lead to reconciliation bills allowing the Republicans to claim victory in the name of the people who elected them. Since the Democrats cannot countenance that, they have ground Congress to a halt. The president and his party leaders merely blame the inaction on the “Do Nothing Republican Congress”. Never mind that this is a lie, it fits neatly with their strategy to ignore reality and live in their alternative reality, one in which procedure, history, and constitutional traditions no longer exist.
So Barack Obama now proposes that he be given a second term to continue ignoring the rules of the game, i.e., our constitution. Under this president all pretense of following what used to be called the democratic process has been abandoned. If Obama wins, we can look forward to more of the same. In fact, it could get worse since the president won’t have to face the voters again. We already know that he disdains the results of elections that don’t go his way. Most pundits think that even if Obama survives the November election, that the most likely outcome will be a Republican Congress, a real one, with a Republican Senate joining the House.
Given that eventuality, will Obama simply ignore Congress altogether? If history is prologue, then we know what to expect. The dictatorships of Sully and Julius Caesar presaged the Roman Empire. So editors, you couldn’t be more wrong. We ignore Obama’s illegal executive decrees at our peril!