Michael Barone

Such an argument might be made about the President's declaration that the administration not deport "dreamers" -- persons brought to the United States illegally as children who have done well in school or served in the military.

But that argument doesn't apply to the Obamacare dispensations. They're not examples of taking individual situations into account. They're general rules that apply to everybody in the stated categories.

Dispensing with the rules is a game that can be played by two. What if, as American Commitment's Phil Kerpen suggested, a President Mitt Romney decided to dispense with all the provisions of Obamacare?

Or what if another Republican president instructed the Internal Revenue Service not to collect income taxes over 35 percent of adjusted gross income? Enforcing only the parts of laws that you like or you find politically convenient can start verging on tyranny.

That's what the English came to think back in 1688. King James believed in the divine right of kings and governed for several years without Parliament.

But in time, he forfeited the trust of both Whigs and Tories (yes, there was polarized politics back then, too). When William of Orange came over the Channel with an army, James fled the country.

Obama does not face a similar fate. But his unwillingness to faithfully execute his own signature law is a confession of incompetence -- the incompetence of the architects of Obamacare, the incompetence of Obama administrators, even the incompetence of government generally.

It erodes the President's political capital. House Republicans may block an immigration bill because they fear Obama would not enforce its border security provisions.

For now, Obama's dispensing is getting pushback from Congress and could be challenged in the courts. And more voters may come to believe that they'd like to dispense with Obamacare.

Michael Barone

Michael Barone, senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner (www.washingtonexaminer.com), is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. To find out more about Michael Barone, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. COPYRIGHT 2011 THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER. DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM