Mitt Romney came on my radio show yesterday and fielded question after question on the burgeoning controversy over President Obama’s plans to gut the work requirement for welfare.
We also covered the president’s assault on Romany Catholic schools and hospitals as well as the president’s general disdain for the inconvenient limits on his authority imposed by statute or the Constitution.
“[A]mong people who pay attention to the process of governance and who hold to the Constitution with great strength and passion,” Romney stated, “this becomes a very big issue.”
“I do believe that one of the reasons you’re seeing this kind of intensity among many voters in this country, a lot of Tea Party folks and conservatives of various kinds,” Romney continued, “is that they recognize in this president someone who is skirting by the principles of the Constitution to pursue his own agenda.”
On issue after issue, President Obama has indeed disregarded traditional understandings of the executive’s authority.
The president directed the Department of Justice to drop the legal defense of the Defense of Marriage Act before even a single circuit court of appeals had found a flaw in the law which was passed with bipartisan support and signed into law by Bill Clinton and about which candidate Obama had said not a negative word.
President Obama has made recess appointments when the Senate wasn’t in recess.
And we all know what the president did when it became politically useful to declare parts of the Dream Act in operation despite his earlier blunt (and correct) statements that he lacked the authority under the law to do so.
Again and again the president has asserted power he does not have to pursue goals he could not obtain through Constitutional process of law-making and negotiation with the separate but equal branch at the far end of Pennsylvania Avenue.
What, voters ought to be asking themselves, would he do in a second term when his frustration with Congress increases?
Would he simply abolish most of America’s nuclear deterrent on the theory that such a bold move would sweep other nuclear powers along with us?
Would he use the newly discovered power over immigration rules to take his mini-Dream Act initiative to a much larger scale? There are no limits on the so-called “prosecutorial discretion” he employed to exempt certain illegal immigrants from the deportation process.