Mona Charen

The dragnet investigation of the AP in search of a leaker and the criminalization of reporting in the case of James Rosen are further evidence of the Obama effect. All presidents hate leaks, but not even Nixon attempted such a bald interference with the rights of the press. Nixon did break into the files of a leaker's psychiatrist, but he didn't characterize a reporter seeking information as a "co-conspirator," as Obama has done to James Rosen. Obama is certain that his motives are unassailable, thus, the normal protections granted to reporters are dispensable.

Perhaps Obama deserves the benefit of the doubt on matters of national security. He might deserve it if he hadn't tolerated brazen leaking of national security information in the Stuxnet and bin Laden cases, when the leaks flattered him.

Other protections of the First Amendment have also been tossed aside. Obamacare mows down the "free exercise" of religion by requiring that employers who object to abortifacients and contraceptives on religious grounds must provide them anyway. He's fighting the "war on women." The constitution must yield.

Obama has asserted the broadest possible discretion for himself and executive agencies. In the GM and Chrysler bailouts, he dictated that union claims would trump those of other creditors, bypassing the law. In the case of the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico, he decreed the fine for BP, bypassing the courts, and unlawfully imposed a moratorium on all drilling. A court rebuked him -- vainly.

Speaking of courts, a federal Appeals Court has decreed that Obama's "recess" appointments to the NLRB and the CFPB when the Senate was not in recess were unconstitutional usurpations. It was for the "middle class" so it's OK.

Obama's decision to waive the work requirements of the welfare reform law, to grant waivers from Obamacare to certain favored corporations and unions, to grant amnesty to a whole class of illegal aliens, to terminate the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste depository and much more reveal a president unmoored to law, tradition, or the constitution.

Mona Charen

Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist, political analyst and author of Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help .
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