"This notion I can somehow just change the laws unilaterally is just not true. We are doing everything we can administratively, but fact of the matter is there are laws on the books that I have to enforce. And I think there's been great disservice done to the cause of getting the DREAM Act passed and getting comprehensive immigration passed by perpetrating the notion that somehow, by myself, I can go and do these things. It's just not true." -- Barack Obama, September 2011
President Obama is no longer president in the constitutional sense. He appears to have elevated himself to the role of emperor, deciding unilaterally what should be the law and what should not, bypassing Congress and placing himself in the role of Julius Caesar.
First it was the revelation that he has a "hit list" from which he alone decides who lives and who dies by drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen.
With last Friday's announcement that he intends to effectively grant amnesty to a category of illegal aliens, according to criteria he has set -- their age, a spotless criminal record, a minimum level of education, and/or military service -- the president has technically, possibly deliberately and it can be argued illegally, violated his oath of office in which he swore to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States" so help him God. Whose help does the president seek when he acts as if he is God?
The Constitution empowers Congress, not the president, to make laws, but President Obama has bypassed that body to become a Congress of one and a law unto himself.
The president has announced his administration won't enforce a law passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton -- the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) -- because he believes it is unconstitutional. But he will craft his own immigration policy -- given that the Dream Act is still in limbo -- by immediately halting the deportation of and giving work permits to illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children. So not only is he president; Emperor Obama has usurped the power of Congress and the Supreme Court.
In an age of political pandering, this crass appeal for Hispanic votes has to rank near the top of anyone's list. While the Washington Post fixates on the 40th anniversary of the Watergate break-in and recalls Richard Nixon's disdain for the Constitution, there is silence about this president's similar disregard for that document's constraints on executive power.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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