Obama: Dismantling the Legislative Fabric

There is little doubt that Barack Obama intends to go around, over and past Congress at every opportunity, to further his agenda with or without legislative approval. How do we know this?  First, he has said so, in no uncertain terms. Second, he continues to do it, at every opportunity.

John Mariotti is an experienced author and former senior executive. His columns appear weekly on The Brenner Brief.

John Mariotti is an experienced author and former senior executive. His columns appear weekly on The Brenner Brief.

In most cases he is literally “thumbing his nose” at Congressional authority, as he creates czars, uses boards that answer to no one but him (Obamacare, Dodd-Frank and others), makes bogus recess nominations (when the Senate is not in recess) and uses his cabinet secretaries and appointees to create de-facto legislation (instances too numerous to list here, but the HHS, EPA, NLRB and others are all involved).

Non-elected (appointed by the president) officials now have the authority to circumvent Congressional spending authority. Take for example the recess appointee Richard Cordray, who has authority in his Consumer Financial Protection Bureau position to access funding directly from the Federal Reserve. This is a clear end run around Congress, and intentionally placed in the new law by Senate Democrats aiding and abetting Obama’s misdeeds.

The fact that the Constitution prohibits many of these moves is irrelevant to President Obama. They should be litigated. He will clearly just run out the clock until one or more of the aged — and more conservative — Supreme Court Justices retire, fall ill or die. Then he can appoint more liberal Justice(s) in time for any court decision on what seems to be clear Constitutional violations,according to many Constitutional law experts. Obamacare has similar powers built into it, just in different places.

The president has many other powers at his disposal from presidential findings to executive orders to actions taken (at his encouragement) by cabinet secretaries, boards, commissions and czars over which he holds influential power. The great fear that should gnaw at the gut of all Americans is that the very legislative fabric of our republic is under a careful, clever and methodical dismantling by this president, supported by allies in the Democrat controlled Senate.

The latest threat originated not from the president, but from one of his allies — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He reflected that the filibuster rules probably should be changed “so we can get some things done.”  Reid would use the “reconciliation vote” provision by which a simple majority in the Senate (which he clearly controls) could change the filibuster rules, and end this opposition tactic.

This is the procedural voting approach, normally reserved for urgent budget matters by which a simple 51 vote majority in the Senate passes bills while blocking filibusters. This was how Obamacare was crammed through without a single Republican vote, and narrow Senate majority.

This is a “double-edged sword” should the Democrats lose control of the Senate. If they use it, and alter the rules by which the Senate works, they are sending a signal that they think they can stay in power for a long, long time.

The founders may be rolling over in their graves at this kind of power politics and subterfuge, but it is we, the American people who are seeing our representative government dismantled and changed before our very eyes — and we find ourselves nearly powerless to stop it.

What’s next, Mr. President? A “fair share law” like Ayn Rand described in Atlas Shrugged?

 

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