Oh, how quickly times have changed. Just a few short years ago, Democrats were up in arms over King George III's (President George W. Bush's) "unconstitutional" executive power grabs. Where are these people now?
I'll tell you where they are: right in the thick of it, enabling President Barack Obama to consolidate and exercise unprecedented power.
Remember when Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy complained that the constitutional "checks and balances that have served to constrain abuses of power for more than two centuries in this country" were at risk because Republicans controlled the executive and legislative branches? How about Sen. Russ Feingold, who was looking at impeachment as a remedy to keep the president in check and prevent him from acquiring power "like King George III"?
Today these same senators are not just passively mute about Obama's power grabs; they are co-conspirators.
You might think the repeated conservative complaint about Obama's egregious lack of transparency is, by now, a tired talking point. But we're not just referring to minor procedural matters that are substantively inconsequential.
He hasn't just breached his promise to make his legislation available for public preview. He and his congressional cohorts are burying very important matters in legislation.
The Waxman-Markey cap and tax debacle that just slipped through the House was bad enough, with its mandated broad-based assaults on America's taxpayers, energy and economy in exchange for no appreciable expected environmental benefits. But look at its stealth provision, reported by the Washington Examiner, creating a three-year package of unemployment benefits, a $1,500 job relocation allowance and a health insurance premium subsidy for workers unemployed as a result of this "jobs creation" bill. Unbelievable! How can any congressman who voted for this monstrosity possibly get re-elected?
This was nothing new, though, as you'll recall that Obama's non-stimulative stimulus bill increased unemployment benefits for those not magically benefited by that job creations bill.
Indeed, there are so many Obama abuses I can only chronicle a fraction of them in a short column. But just consider a few others, and ask yourself how long even rank-and-file Democrats can justify supporting such tyrannical madness by this arrogant chief executive, who truly is -- as distinguished from Bush -- engaged in a daily quest to "dictate" fundamental, structural changes to this nation:
--ABC News reported that a senior White House official said the urgency of extending the expiring U.S.-Russia nuclear arms treaty "might mean temporarily bypassing the Senate's constitutional role in ratifying treaties." Did you hear that, Sens. Leahy and Feingold?
--President Obama is appointing so many "czars" to help him run the government without the usual accountability of Cabinet-level positions that even Sen. Robert Byrd said this practice "can threaten the constitutional system of checks and balances." Byrd's worried, but what do Leahy and Feingold think of Obama's pay czar, who'll have broad discretion over executive pay?
--Obama has so insulated himself from ordinary press scrutiny that even liberal journalists Chip Reid and Helen Thomas grilled White House press secretary Robert Gibbs for Obama's "tightly controlled" town hall meeting on health care. During that forum, Obama "coincidentally" called on three people (out of 200) who work with groups trying to pass his health care proposal.
--Obama is so intent on bullying our ally Israel that he is breaching a previous Bush administration-negotiated agreement between Israel and the United States to allow some Israeli construction in West Bank settlements to allow for natural growth.
--The Obama-Holder Justice Department dismissed a strong case against New Black Panther Party members for billy club-style voter intimidation because the members were intimidating for Obama's election.
--Obama and Holder are going to vacate an order of prior Attorney General Michael Mukasey's stating that immigrants facing deportation do not have an automatic right to an effective lawyer.
--Obama and Holder are now mirandizing terrorists on the battlefield.
--Some have questioned whether Obama-Holder ordered the FBI to "back off" anti-terror investigations of radicalized Muslim converts, such as the one who police say shot two military recruiters in Little Rock, Ark.
--Obama's auto task force used "intimidation tactics" against Chrysler's senior bondholders and called their Democratic lawyer, Tom Lauria, a "terrorist" for refusing to accept its offer outright. Where, by the way, were Leahy and Feingold -- and all the liberal media -- when Obama's deal involved an executive-forced transfer of ownership from shareholders and creditors to Obama's favored unions? Were they also unbothered by claims of Chrysler dealers that they were threatened and lied to?
--Obama's thugs fired AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin and slandered him as virtually demented because he blew the whistle on the corrupt practices of Obama's buddies.
To say this is scratching the surface is a monumental exaggeration.