Skip to comments.Professors Deconstruct Obama’s Muscular Presidency
Posted on 05/14/2014 7:02:13 AM PDT by Academiadotorg
Law professors Jonathan Turley of George Washington University and Nicholas Rosenkranz of Georgetown slammed President Obamas muscular presidency as dangerously unconstitutional. The Federalist Society hosted these speakers in a panel discussion entitled, Suspension of Laws: What are the Limits of Executive Authority? jonathan turley
Turley said that President Obama has completely ignored and circumvented Congress. After all of Obamas rhetoric, speeches and subsequent actions, Turley said, The irony is that he didnt have to circumvent Congress to achieve his own goals. As a law professor at George Washington, he could only say, Im left scratching my head in trying to understand Obamas vision of the presidency. He said, Its not that we [havent had] circumvention of Congress in the past, [but] it has been accelerating under this president.
Turley noted that in the last State of the Union address, President Obama went to Congress and said he intended to circumvent Congress and to act alone in areas where Congress has either blocked him or failed to act. Turley was shocked by the response by sitting congressional members to Obamas statement. He continued, Now that alone was quite surprising, but what was more surprising, [the] rapturous applause [he got]. I look at this body, of both houses, applauding a president who just said he would circumvent them and would act unilaterally it bordered on self-loathing. This self-loathing and rapturous applause by Congress was, as Turley said, Something the framers wouldnt have anticipated.
He worried, Our system is changing in a very fundamental way, and in my view, is a very dangerous way. Turley compared the three branches of government, judicial, legislative and executive branches, as ones held together in a type of orbit they check each other and create stability through that check and balance system and separation of power. Today, under Obama, the executive branch has aggregated power to the point that it has created instability in the country. As a result, these actions can create instability in society as a whole and Turley said, That was never what the framers envisioned. Now, Americans are seeing the shift of power to federal agencies, which are now exercising judicial and executive power and a disregard for the long-held belief in separation of powers.
I have never said that President Obama is a dictator, said Turley, but I do believe that what he is doing through circumvention of Congress he is becoming a government unto himself. Even as a supporter of his policies, Turley warned, Once this space expands, the gas will fill it equally and Obamas supporters will rue the day that they remained silent in the face of change in this system. Why? Turley pointed out, The next president can do the same and expand his presidential and executive powers. Then, it will be hard for people to reject, who were silent today. It would, he argued, be the height of hypocrisy.
During Obamas terms as president, Turley found, The most significant involved changes that were rejected by Congress and the president responded by carrying out the same decisions or policies under his unilateral authority. One such example: President Obamas executive orders implementing the DREAM Act that a Democratic Congress would not pass, the act which gives free college tuition to illegal immigrants.
Rosenkranz said, Congress repeatedly declines to pass it [the DREAM Act] and yet, Obama will behave as if it were [passed]. Some defend Obama and say that he is trying to conserve executive resources, but Rosenkranz said, In this case, it is quite clear that he is not trying to do so. For example, it is free for the federal government to enforce immigration law. However, Obama went ahead and exempted millions of people from the immigration law. In his opinion, This exemption has a distinctly legislative character and is a blanket policy [affecting] 1.67 million people.
Additionally, Turley said, The power of the purse has become almost an urban legend or almost a constitutional legend under Obama. Theres so much money sloshing around in the executive branch that Congress has lost the power of the purse, he said. With ObamaCare, Turley said, [Obama] took $454 million from a dedicated purpose and shifted it over on his own purpose. With Libya, Not only did President Obama say that he alone defines what a war is, there was no room for the court, no room for Congress, as long as he didnt call it a war, it would not trigger the Constitution, but was really unsettling that he funded that war entirely out of discretionary funds. He actually carried out a war without having to go to Congress at all.
He tempered his criticism slightly when he stated, It is not even about President Obama; its about our constitutional system [because] this system is changing so fast and so significantly that I dont know what system were left with. Turley feared that Obama has created a top-down executive government model, in which that system will be insulated from popular opinion, also known as Congress. Congress, with all its faults, is the thumping heart of the Madisonian system, said Turley. Now Obama has created the very danger that we hoped to avoid.
Turley said, Theres a reason why were not getting things done were divided, were a divided nation, and Congress looks exactly like the nation. He defended the role and makeup of Congress because thats what Congress is supposed to be; its supposed to be a reflection of the public. So what youre saying is that you want to circumvent the public. Turley pointed out, The reason why the President is circumventing Congress is because Congress is divided and cannot get anything done. He warned Obamas supporters, When you argue for a muscular presidency you have to take note of what that means.
Based on Obamas actions, Turley mentioned, Now, thats a muscular presidency, it is not the presidency thats a part of this Constitution. Today, there really isnt a pushback from Congress because Obama has made the legislative body a non-entity. Turley is alarmed by the drone strikes targeting American citizens suspected of terrorist activities abroad. Attorney General Eric Holder spoke at Turleys alma mater, the University of Chicago, and in Turleys words, discussed why the government should vaporize a couple [of] Americans. He went on to say, President Obama went further and created a system by which Americans could be taken out by his sole discretion and without a trial. Turley said, The president is now asserting the right to kill any one of you by his authority without a charge and the result was applause.
Turley could only wonder, We are really living in a parallel universe where the president is claiming the right to kill American civilians and people are applauding his unilateral actions.
Some argue that the Founders [or as he called them, the Framers] did not write the Constitution during poisonous times. Turley responded and said, This Constitution was written during poisonous political times. The Founders didnt like wars they didnt like executives getting us into wars. Yet, Look what happened in Libya we must be reading different works if you think the Founders would approve of an intervention in Libya.
Rosenkranz added to Turleys point, using ObamaCare, immigration reform and the IRS targeting scandal as examples of extra-constitutional acts. Calling himself a textualist, he focused on the wording of the Constitution. From the Constitution, Rosenkranz read the phrase, The president shall take care that these laws will be faithfully executed. He pointed out that the phrase, shall take care is not optional, this is mandatory. In his words, Other folks will do the actual executing, but his duty to take care of the executing of the laws. Also, The president does have power to make enforcement choices; However, he has to make them faithfully.
He gave a background on the reason behind this clause, English kings had taken power to suspend the law unilaterally. The Framers expressly rejected that practice. Thats what this clause is doing here.
Rosenkranz, referring to ObamaCare, said that one of the delays of the laws implementation came via a blog post in July 2013. I have lost track, the president has suspended or modified Obamacare some, is it 36 times by now, Ive lost track. The delays go against the laws statutes, which he believed is perfectly clear.
Even after he said, Sometimes Congress leaves gaps, Rosenkranz affirmed, This is not such a case. The date is crystal clear: January 1, 2014. It could not be more explicit, it could not be so clear, you dont need a lawyer to know what this means. Rosenkranz said, What you have is Obamacare: it is crystal clear and it tells you when it will be implemented.
Yet, the blog post makes no mention of this statutory effort and to him, the blog post raises the question of what faithfully means. Rosenkranz, referring to the delays, said, This is wholesale suspension of a law and the President simply cannot mean to decline to execute the law at all.
He found Obamas comments on the delays particularly troubling. On August 19, 2013, Obama sought a change in the law and said, He would prefer some changes. Rosenkranz pointed out that President Obama said he would prefer to pick up the phone and call House Speaker John Boehner to change the law. The climate was so toxic, said Rosenkranz, but the truth though, the President knows it, he wouldnt even have to pick up the phone. The House had several bills on the floor, one that would delay the employer mandate and another would delay the individual mandate. Obama didnt actually support the bill[s], to the contrary, he actually threatened to veto it.
Rosenkranz warned, This is, its really almost the President actually seeming to prefer flouting the law as written, rather than supporting a statutory change that would achieve his desired results. This [seems more of] a willful violation of the [take care] clause.
And, Rosenkranz added, this act was enacted years ago literally, years of leave time, we couldnt get our act together. He felt that the failures are a bit of an indictment of the law itself. As he said before, Congress was prepared to amend this law. The President could have [amended it]. There shouldve been a legislative change [but Obama] actually threatened to veto it. When asked by an audience member about why Obama would not sign any House bill to delay ObamaCare, he said:
The explicit reason, or purported reason, is its unnecessary. The actual reason, was that it was politically awkward. The reason why it was politically awkward: the house passed two things one suspended the employer mandate other one wouldve suspended the individual mandate.
In other terms, So signing one and vetoing the other wouldve placed Obama in a politically awkward position.
The IRS targeting scandal is an example that would horrify them [the Founders] even more: which is to declining to execute laws against his political friends only against his political adversaries.
President Obama is trying to distance himself from the scandal surrounding the IRS and targeting conservative groups. However, the take care clause is a personal responsibility for the president to oversee all parts of the executive branch.
Rosenkranz said, What the President knew and when he knew it, is a certain sense, is beside the point. The point is, he should have known, he should have known it, [it] wont do that the President erroneously said the IRS was an independent agency nor will it do for him that he found out via news reports like everyone else. Not knowing what an executive agency is up to, let alone with not knowing that the IRS is a part of the executive branch
is not encouraging, he said.
Say what? Muscular? They must be talking about Mobama.
Here’s my summation of this article:
I think most of us have known this for several years now.
Hey....that’s just wrong. It’s mean to Photoshop people’s faces.
...these actions can create instability in society as a whole
...shift of power to federal agencies, which are now exercising judicial and executive power
...a disregard for the long-held belief in separation of powers
...he is becoming a government unto himself
...Congress repeatedly declines to pass the DREAM Act, but Obama behaves as if it were [passed].
...[Obama] took $454 million from a dedicated purpose and shifted it over on his own purpose.
...Obama alone defines what a war is [Libya]; there was no room for the court, no room for Congress, as long as he didnt call it a war
But do not be alarmed, readers: Turley says “I have never said that President Obama is a dictator.”
The measure of a man is what he does with power.
I say that every day. Obama is a classic African despot, a marxist, muslim, homosexual dictator.
Now everyone repeat after me...
No, they mean “sphincter muscle”
ObaMao is “muscular” here in the US where so very few are willing to stand up to him. On the broader world stage, he is, however, a laugingstock.
“Muscular Presidency”= Dictatorship
Anyone have that picture of him trying to throw a baseball?
Can you imagine how much the Clintons are salivating at the prospect of owning and operating a Presidency that no longer has to obey the Constitution and the law?
He does what he wants. Very little opposition to him. He has the media, a bunch of cowards in congress on the right, treason swinging tree monkeys in congress on the left. An amen corner at the AG office. A back stabbing bastard in the Supreme Court.
He rigs elections like a soviet KGB General, crumbled a great military, all but destroyed our currency and is enslaving a generations desire to go to work an get ahead
I’m sure I missed some. This has all been done with great speed and I’m sure there is more in store for us.
“Our government teaches the whole people by its example. If the government becomes the lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.”
Louis D. Brandeis
The more I find out about Barry and his associates, the more I fear for America.
And why is it taboo to discuss Valerie Jarrett in most news forums?
Many times I’ve tried to share info about her on different news forums only to have my comments deleted.
Eerie out there. Period. There are too few of “us” left to stop anything, nevermind reverse it.
I want any candidate of mine to campaign on reversal and restoration, but to do that he would have to use the same methods Obama used that I deplore to have a prayer, just as Turley suggested.
This has never stopped a liberal, not once, not even a little bit.