Last week, when news broke that former-President Clinton Chief of Staff John Podesta had agreed to join the Obama White House as a "counselor," Townhall reported that, "Podesta Hire Shows Obama Is Done Dealing With Congress."
In that post we explained how Podesta literally wrote the book on how Obama should govern by fiat, without any input from Congress, after Republicans took control of the House in 2010. We concluded:
The move to hire Podesta now, as opposed to waiting till after the 2014 elections, is an admission by the White House that their second term legislative agenda (immigration reform, gun control, and climate change) is already dead.
If progressives are going to make any progress expanding government during the rest of Obama's presidency, it will only be through unilateral executive action. It will not be sanctioned by Congress.
Today, Politico confirmed that governing-by-executive-fiat is exactly what Podesta has in mind. The only shocking part of the story is Podesta's justification for shredding the Constitution:
In effect, I was told, it represents the clearest sign to date of the administration’s interest in shifting the paradigm of Obama’s presidency through the forceful, unapologetic and occasionally provocative application of White House power. Podesta, whose official mandate includes enforcement of numerous executive orders on emissions and the environment, suggested as much when he spoke with me earlier this fall about Obama’s team. “They need to focus on executive action given that they are facing a second term against a cult worthy of Jonestown in charge of one of the houses of Congress,” he told me.
That's right. Obama's new counselor, the man in charge of saving his presidency, believes the Republican Party is a murderous cult and that this justifies Obama's extra-constitutional use of executive power.
Every Republican in Washington, DC, should read this article on Podesta's power grab, and those Republicans contemplating working with Democrats on immigration reform should read it twice.
Whatever legislation you write with Democrats, and Obama signs into "law," will not be worth the paper it is printed on. Obama's new counselor believes Republicans are evil and therefore Obama ought to be empowered to do whatever he wants no matter what the law says.
That is the new normal in Washington as long as Obama is still president.