"While the proposals announced tonight may turn out to be constitutional – certainly administration lawyers will be ready to cite statutes they purport authorize the action. The president is doubtless using such language to emphasize what he sees as the obstinacy on the Hill. However, the (hopefully) overblown rhetoric about “bypassing Congress” because is harmful to constitutional discourse, and will certainly attract criticism suspicion and criticism. The president, on these matters, cannot bypass Congress. Nor is legislative inaction due to different views in the House and Senate a bug – it is a feature designed to promote deliberation and limit government action." Washpost
IMO Obama is wrapped up in his coccoon and walking towards a hole in the pond ice. The Republicans may not be able to secure a conviction in the senate for anything he might do but they might well impeach in the House if he presents them with a suitable target on the basis of actions that he may take that they can label unconstututional.
Bill Clinton may now be a populatrfellow but he will forever be an impeached president. I do not think Obama wants that for a legacy. pl
If anybody is walking towards disaster it’s our wildly unpopular POS congress. If they try to impeach Obama for the “smaller actions that the White House can perform on its own” (that’s the NY Times. The WaPo calls them “modest proposals”) they’ll get exactly what they deserve. President Hillary Clinton. Expletive here idiots.
Ignoring the fact that America generally engages in “Throw the OTHER bums out, my guy is alright” mentality, its pretty obvious that you’ve got no problems with Obama ripping up the Constitution as long as its Team Your Guy doing the shredding.
I don’t have a lot of good things to say about Bush II, but AFAIK he didn’t engage in sky executions against US Citizens and then try to justify the same on US soil because of ‘the terraists!’
The well informed and close to them tell me that Bill is opposed to the idea that she should run. pl
Too bad. I’d love to see all the cranky Tea Party heads explode. Plus I don’t think she’d be half bad. Unlike Obama, she’s not averse to a good fight.
Stop being such a drama king, Tyler. Obama’s not gonna rip up anything. The guy’s taken “cautious” to new heights.
I can’t help but wonder whether BHO is taking a page from the playbook of the FDR administration during the Great Depression 1.0?
That’s hilarious coming from you. Weaponizing the IRS, “discretionary” enforcement of immigration laws, and of course the sky assassinations are simply “caution” because Obama has a D next to his name. What a joke.
BHO is a short timer with a short timers attitude. Make noise but tip-toe home. The only honest person in the Capitol last night was that recuperating Army Sgt. who rightfully brought the house down. There is hope.
If Obama had ever been serious about economic inequality (which he never was), he could have simply enforced the law and frog marched a few banksters and war profiteers to Rikers Island. (What a sight to behold!) Nothing has dispirited the middle class and drained their resources like the unrestricted looting of the predator classes.
In addition, coddling wealthy criminals undermines the rule of law, which means that middle class wallets will continue to be drained while Obama fiddles with a bunch of marginally constitutional and ultimately ineffective patches.
Since when does Harvard Law School teach its students to flagrantly disregard the law?
Barry smoke too much dope in high school. He spent his youth in cloud dreaming of creating a utopia, and now he’s in a position where he can ignore the rules he never learned to dictate the foundations of a “more perfect union.”
He mentioned using executive order for gun control. Wonder what that could be.
There are two PACs for Hillary already. She will run.
The idea that Obama is simply not doing anything is rather misleading. He has been steadily expanding presidential power that his predecessors have already dangerously extended (e.g. electronic surveillance, unaccountable drone attacks, and apparently, a good deal of unaccountable detentions abroad.) He continues to make case for Nixon-like unaccountable presidential power (like his claim of the authority to bypass Congress made on SOTU). If one were to take off the partisan blinders, Obama’s claims of increasingly unrestricted presidential power, justified only on the basis of his being “right” (according to the man himself and his fanbase) poses as great a threat to liberty as those by Nixon and Bush II. Yes, he is (supposedly) a liberal and they were conservative (well, supposedly, anyways). But all of them were/are unprincipled and that is the dangerous part.
Pat – If the house tries to impeach Obama, this country will explode and the gulf between the left and the right will become an unbridgeable chasm. There are a lot of things I don’t like about Obama but he is a lot better than Bush II. Lots of Presidents have issued Executive Orders and while Obama may have pushed to borders a bit, the hit to the Constitution is just a matter of degree.
That Congress is only unpopular in the aggregate. The re-election rates of incumbents in 2012 was 90%. It’s the ‘other’ congressmen that people are opposed to and not their own.
All you have to do is to watch Obama’s body language and facial expressions to know we are pretty much there already. pl
You don’t think we’re there already?
Remember friends, HSBC doing business with drug cartels and the DEA shipping arms to the Sinaloa Cartel is business as usual and can’t be brought up for charges, but D’Souza can be prosecuted for violating some obscure campaign finance law while the IRS MUST know the member list of a small group of conservative Hollywood types.
I think the Soviets at least knew that they didn’t live in a ‘free’ country, while we still labor under that delusion.
Not a chance.
The Republicans got burned big time with Clinton.
Bad news and good news.
Bad news: He really wants to turn America into some massive government welfare state.
Good news: He is incompetent and seems pretty lazy.
Result: Turning America inside-out is too much like work.
More golfing, million dollar vacations and hanging out with “beautiful people.”
So, they will just let him turn and burn. pl
We disagree strongly on some issues , gay marriage equality for example – But we do find agreement broadly with the notion that our Constitution is under direct threat from successive Imperial Presidencies. Perhaps in the end you will be right we will see devolution of These United States , if so it will be largely due to an out of control Executive . You referred back to the Soviets and that era – it makes me nostalgic for Pappy Bush ,in his time he sent a bunch of the Savings and Loans hucksters to jail. Plus Bush Sr had a pretty deep CV as I recall – decorated war time pilot surviving a shoot down , CIA director , Congressman , & Ambassador to China .
It might just be romantic memory – but it seems to me I recall President Bush Sr sent many of the Savings & Loans hucksters to jail . Including one of his first campaign contributors from the United Savings & Loans right here in Austin Texas . Yes we need some Bankster perp walks – no doubt about that , nothing concentrates the mind like time inside a prison ..
Progressives tend to believe that they have some sort of secular truth, and if the world would only listen – everyone would fall in line. It’s the sort of religiosity you’d expect underneath a tent. Once Puritans, always Puritans I suppose.
And Obama, by contrast, has made a very firm point of refusing even to contemplate such a thing. He and his Holder have worked very firmly and steadily to prevent any investigations which might lead to any prosecutions of financialist fraudulators. The HolderBama Department of Justice Obstruction is determined to run out the clock and the statute of limitations on every fraudster and fraudster-helper in order to impunitize them. When Obama told a gathering of senior banking executives “I am the only thing between you and the pitchforks”, he was being entirely sincere.
I can’t remember who said that religion is an innate aspect of human nature. Get rid of organized religion and you will have to replace that psychic hole with something–science, hedonism, political activism. The progressives, mostly from the northeast, carry on the moral traditions of the Puritans without realizing it. It’s not completely wrong though. especially when I think about the the Progressive Republicans of the early twentieth century, like T.R. Wanting to help the less fortunate is admirable. Carnegie, a ruthless capitalist, did more good for the average person than today’s billionaire. It’s the fanatical arrogance of the modern progressive, and regressive, I can’t tolerate.
Maybe it’s because I can’t stand romantic poetry, I find the South’s romantic attachment to an idealized past just as foolish as the progressives attachment to an idealized future.
Teddy Roosevelt publicly declared the Senate to be a bunch of “shrill eunuchs” and proceeded with the Panama Canal without asking permission. He got away with that.
IMO this congress has spent whatever ability they had to damage Obama with expressions of disapproval. They have cried wolf too many times. Their base would certainly applaud impeachment, but if they are competing for that they are fools. They get a high crime or misdemeanor they should go for it, but a technical legal argument over constitutionality risks straining the thin ice they have put themselves on. If whatever it is that Obama does is popular, might be smarter to hop on that wagon.
I doubt he will attempt anything grandiose by decree. He should be seeking to highlight the role of the House in this system of government. Few among his “base” seem to be aware of that.
Starting with the Reagan Administration’s decision to fight inflation by depressing workers wages by slowing the economy, outsourcing jobs, and busting Unions; the one constant has been the decline in good governance.
The Obama Administration is not that different Bush II and is actually worse by doubling down on the Forever War and signing an austerity budget that cuts government spending at the same time the “official” unemployment rate is at 22% for young males.
We now have a government run by and for the Elite only. Policy flops around based on who has the most money to donate to the inner circle. Wealthy lawbreakers get off scot-free.
We have ended up in the ludicrous situation of trying to make peace with Shiite Iran; at the same time, funding their blood enemy, Sunni Jihadists, who have seized Fallujah where Marines drove them out just a few years back.
Whether President Obama is heading for disasters of his own making or otherwise will be very clear for the history books this time next year.
And at 2AM 4 degrees here on January 30th in Virginia’s Northern Neck’s Northumberland County with the Little Wicomico River frozen hard around me. In my 9th year here this is coldest yet.
Just for the record here is a list of the numbers of executive orders issued by each president. Given the low number of EO issued by Obama so far compared to other presidents I somehow doubt the Constitution is in any danger or that there will be anything unconstitutional in any EO he may issue in the future. The Republicans would be crazy to try to impeach him over this. All they would be doing is guaranteeing their defeat in future elections.
Also for the record (referring to your post in a previous thread) I’m not that big of a fan of Obama nor would I join him in being an opponent of yours. He was the best of the two choices in each of his elections. Nothing more and nothing less. If I defend him at times it’s because he’s received zero cooperation from Republicans on anything and in almost all cases their policies would be worse. When the country needed some cooperation to solve this economic problem the Republicans tried to impose a 17th century economic philosophy on a 21st century economy and then they whine about the lack of progress. They should stop whining since it is predominantly their fault. Never since the introduction of modern mathematical techniques to the field of economics have we attempted to solve a 4 trillion drop in demand with such a minuscule stimulus and then budget cuts far outnumbering the amount of the stimulus. I give Obama props for holding the line against further mistakes by Republicans and if he can issue a few EO to do things like raising the minimum wage for at least a few people then I fail to see how this is a constitutional threat.
There is a lot of truth in your first two paragraphs.
“The Republicans would be crazy to try to impeach him over this. All they would be doing is guaranteeing their defeat in future elections.” If that is the case then you should hope they do it at some point. Actually, I think public reaction would be conditioned by whatever he had done or a trend in what he does. you seem very defensive about this. pl
A mere count of the number of executive orders issued is a specious argument. An order declaring that there will be an Easter Egg Roll on the White House lawn is a vastly different thing than one ordering the execution of an American citizen or one discarding a significant provision of a bill passed by Congress. How many presidents have issued such orders?
In any case, the mere statement that “I will bypass Congress” is an affront to his office, and an insult to those who voted for him based on his statement that “I taught the constitution, I understand the constitution. I wioll restore the constitution.”
Obama is well within his authority to issue executive orders. Particularly when Congress has not and will not act. This has been the worst performing Congress ever, and many of them seem to be proud of that. Regardless of the decisions made, the business of the country is not being done. So Obama needs to act. The other option would be for him to play more golf or go on some listening tours.
Let’s not forget that broad executive authority was first set by some Virginian who picked up some cheap land off the French. The Supreme Court has largely supported an expansive executive ever since. Congress can howl and pound sand as much as they like, but perhaps they should try passing some legislation.
Obama has participated in crafting the bind he is in – mainly by not being more aggressive and resolute when he first took office. Then he tried to be overly accommodating, and negotiated with himself in advance of Congress. Then he buckled when he didn’t have to, as with the expiring Bush tax cuts, which set the stage for budgets and the national debt to be repetitively held hostage.
Obama will be remembered as a watershed President, who did not make sufficient use of the tools and circumstances he was provided.
Yeah because it was Reagan that signed NAFTA.
I stand corrected on impeachment as I agree with your statement it would depend on what he did or what trends he was following. I just don’t see Obama as all that willing to challenge those boundaries.
As for the Republicans I really don’t worry about them all that much. They’ve hitched their wagon to a declining population base and old, tired economics. The realities of the 21st century will deal with them adequately.
What the hell does “Technical argument” about constitutionality mean? Either he’s in violation of the Constitution, or he isn’t. There’s no Talmudic arguing black into white on this issue.
The real reason the Republicans don’t want to touch it is because they likely want the same powers when THEY get into power, let’s not kid ourselves here. And then GCP, EA, and all the other lost lefty statists here can shout themselves hoarse about how the President on Team Other Side is breaking the law.
Tell me an EO that Bush II issued that was equivalent to something like DACA or all the other unilateral orders he has issued. Like most lefty statists you’re either being purposefully obtuse to muddle the issue or just being foolish.
The President doesn’t have “discretion authority”, he is explicitly charged with enforcing the laws of the land. He does not get to make rules via fiat with the ACA as he has been doing. Your attempts to conflate numbers with constitutionality points out that either you have no understanding of how the Constitution works or you’re just a puppet parroting whatever Your Guy wants you to do.
Its amazing you complain about the Republican economics when the Democrats can’t get enough of trying to implement Marxist style economics with the state sticking its fingers where it doesn’t belong, and any complaint of interference is met with that old saw of “You want less government?! I GUESS YOU DON’T LIKE ROADS!!!” as if roads and infrastructure wouldn’t exist without Uncle Sugar.
You don’t want a government, you want a nanny.
We’ve had five years of the Obama Economy (basically continuing what Bush the Younger was doing, except making sure the gimmedat spout was turned on full blast) and the best you can do is “b-b-but Rethuglicans!” and shake your fist about how its the Republicans’ fault.
Articulate for me what the Democrat Party’s economic position is, GCP. Go on. Don’t link me to Krugman, don’t say “well read this!” and then walk away. In your own words, tell me what the Democrat Party’s plan is for economic success. I’m honestly curious what you think it is.
Agree with GCP!
Also I suspect the President will meet with another financial collapse perhaps as soon as this year.
Both the unemployment statistics and GDP figures are highly suspect.
I should add that my wasted youth is one of the many reasons I’ll never be POTUS. R. Crumb depicted it accurately.
“Obama is well within his authority to issue executive orders. Particularly when Congress has not and will not act.” This implies unlimited power on the part of the president if the other two branches of the federal government frustrate him. If that is the case look up the records of people like Commodus. pl
FDR issued over 3,000 executive orders. They are known as the “New Deal”
“They’ve hitched their wagon to a declining population base…” IMO you folks are depending too much on this supposed extinction of the old, white, population. Populations change. Loyalties shift as education of our kind spreads and new people acquire assets that thy do not wish to surrender to governments. pl
No Reagan fired the Air Traffic Controllers and deregulated the Health Care Industry.
I think you live in Arizona. You wouldn’t have any water without the Uncle Sugar.
I absolutely agree with you about drone attacks. And Obama’s NSA surveillance program may very well be unconstitutional, and he has taken it farther than his predecessor. But that’s not what the brouhaha is about. I’m not so sure that most Congressional Republicans even have a problem with any of that.
The screaming on the right is all about the cited “modest proposals” which concern our domestic economy. It is well documented that on the day of his first inauguration, the leadership of the GOP announced to their congressional troops that there would be no bipartisan cooperation whatsoever, that their intention was to disrupt Obama’s presidency with the ultimate goal of making him a one term president. So when I hear people going on about Obama’s Imperial Presidency because he’s using his executive power to ensure that federal contractors will be assured a minimum wage of $10.10/hour (who the hell can live on that in the US, anyway?) I call BS.
He is not the first president to use the executive order. Reagan used executive orders almost twice as often as Obama in their first terms. As to why Obama has gone down this road, it’s because, as I have said, the GOP has intractably opposed any and all domestic economic issues and congress’s polling numbers and other polling indicate that the American public is well aware of what’s going on.
Just trying to be kind of polite, Richard.
About one percent of the US population makes the minimum wage, Edward. Furthermore, most of those are part time workers. The current minimum wage is also enough to put you well above the poverty level, and that’s before any gimmedats in the form of Medicare/Foodstamps/Obamaphones.
If you bleeding hearts were really concerned about the working class and not trying to simply buy votes, you’d be coming out swinging against the plans to import more foreign workers and give amnesty to the 14 million already here.
Again, its all about power with you guys.
Well, I guess that until the Supreme Court rules that manner in which the President directs a Federal agency to carry out a law passed by Congress is unconstitutional then that manner is de facto constitutional.
There are indeed EOs that I dislike and disagree with, however as I probably do not have standing I am unable to bring suit against them.
Calling something unconstitutional because one disagrees with it is simply hyperbole.
And that changes the fact that Clinton signed NAFTA how?
It may seem insane, but stay with me here:
The need for necessary infrastructure projects and an overly intrusive federal welfare/surveillance filled with pork and inane regulations don’t have to go hand in hand.
You can indeed have one without the other.
Keep telling yourself that. The Left is currently a Coalition of Victims trying to suck as much blood as possible from the “declining population base” that is responsible for the majority of the success in this country.
Its already drying up – just wait until things go all Yugoslavia over here with ethnic grievances because there ain’t enough gimmedats for everyone.
I’m glad we can agree, AE, but equality is the secular religion responsible for much of this mess we’re in. The idea that every vote is an equal one is nonsense, as much as the idea that 51% get to order around the other 49% because a ‘majority’ voted on it.
When we traded the virtues of a republic for the mob rule of a democracy, we ended up with a mess. I’m not sure what comes next. I find myself falling in with the neoreactionaries, even though the Dark Enlightenment zeitgeist has some wacky people in it, its better than decision by a thousand headed idiot giant.
I mostly agree with this regarding population change but in the same vein Republicans who want to compete nationally will need to moderate and throw off the Tyler types if they want to attract any of the newly educated and somewhat prosperous younger voters. They’ve seen the pictures on TV and watched how Obama has been treated by the ‘old, white population’ and they aren’t going to jump into any associations with that crowd anytime soon.
First of all I’m not a spokesman for the Democratic Party and frankly don’t agree with much of what they have done since Reagan came along.
Second, every time I respond to you on here I seem to get admonished by the colonel while you seem to have the ability to say whatever you wish to anyone and get away with it. Given that scenario let’s just say I choose not to respond and leave it at that.
Obama’s job and role is to spray “Democratic brand” perfume on Republican policies. That is why he continued and deepened TARP for the big financial entities which engineered the crash. That is why he deliberately sought to make the stimulus insufficient and mostly tax cuts. That is why he conspired (and succeeded) in making the Bush Tax Cuts permanent. That is why he has tried over and over to degrade and attrit Social Security enough that all that beautiful money can eventually be hijacked and privatized for the enrichment of his Wall Street owner/backers. In his SOTU he even suggested something he calls MyRA
which I believe is designed to be the toilet down which Social Security is to be flushed.
He has taken Bush II’s bold experiments in questionably legal governance and extended and entrenched them to make them normal, routine, and accepted. He certainly used Bush’s methods to try hustling the country into an engineered war in Syria.
But credit where due, his Administration appears to be pursuing a peaceful resolution with Iran.
I don’t believe Obama “buckled” on the Bush Tax Cuts. I believe his secret agenda right from the start was to make them permanent. His goal in that as in other things was to put the Federal Government so deeply into unrepayable debt as to create further pressure for abolishing Social Security and stealing some of our pre-payed and ongoingly paid money to “pay down the debt” and some of it to privatize into Wall Street’s financial management hands.
That is exactly what I meant. As I recall the US Supreme Court declared the National Recovery Administration (NRA)as unconstitutional, which I define as “checks and balances”.
My point is perhaps BHO is coming around to more progressive tactics ala FDR versus the Clinton “third way”? Is the pendulum swinging back to rebuilding the “social contract” in American society?
He’s bluffing. Look at the list of “Key Executive Actions the President Will Take in 2014” that the White House released:
“Government-wide Review of Federal Training Programs to Help Americans Get Skills in Demand for Good Jobs.”
“Partnering With Many of America’s Leading CEOs to Help the Long-Term Unemployed.”
“Redesigning High Schools to Teach the Real-World Skills That Kids Need.”
The adjunct professor in chief has made himself ignorable and irrelevant. Now he’s just trying to make some noise so people will think he’s still alive. My plan is to ignore him as hard as I can for the next three years.
That Executive order on wages only applies to new contracts not the existing ones. That means very damn little in the short term. In addition to that most if not all federal contracts have prevaling wage requirements so he’s not going to do much of anything in increasing anyone’s actual take home pay.
Like any narcissist Obama is a terrible negotiator.
In Obamaworld, everyone else is wrong.
Why would Congress – an equal branch – accommodate quotes like “I won” and the constant demeaning of anyone who dares to disagree with the half-baked random musings of the boy king?
Look at the people around him:
Pretty much intellectual dullards and juvenile sycophants.
Grown ups (Gates, Daley) don’t stick around.
Actually, I think it’s the even-more-useless alternative choice voters are presented with in their own districts that drive incumbency. The situation is exacerbated by nationwide gerrymandering.
Hispanics are a conservative lot, I suspect their loyalties will change as they grow wealthier. Then too, we can’t assume that current demographic trends will continue into the future. Will immigration continue at its current rate? Will Hispanics continue to raise large families or will the economic realities of raising a family in America start to affect them?
The two party system is also quite flexible. Each side is constantly moving back and forth, expanding to incorporate new voters and contracting to produce more homogeneous voting blocks. There’s a certain strength in uniformity just as there’s strength in raw numbers. A party on the losing side of elections will eventually expand the caucus, just as a party to on the winning side will eventually contract.
The whole permanent minority thing is silly.
Numbers of executive orders is not an issue. It is using it explicitly to “step aside Congress.” I will agree with you that the problem is not just with Obama: the Republicans are forcing the problem by making the House uselessly obstructionist. However, even if it were only a rhetorical device, the threat of unilateral action by the executive is a dangerous first step in a system of government based on shared, mutually dependent legitimacy, especially in an era where nearly half the population is unwilling to trust the president (and where the often self-righteous and heavy-handed attitude taken up by Obama and his people is adding justification to their suspicion.)
What makes me suspicious of Obama is that he does not make an attempt to earn the trust of the other side. By the other side, I don’t mean the Republican politicians, but their supporters–not the “hard right,” either, but the 45-48% of the politically active American people who’d choose them rather than the Democrats. Yes, he will say things that may appeal to them if presented appropriately, but he does so in a manner so dipped in condescension that does not inspire trust. Successful presidents, especially Reagan and Clinton had a gift for presenting themselves as trustworthy to the population who’d normally be distrustful of them. Obama does not and does not even seem to try. Given how distrusted Congress (especially the House) and the Republicans in general are, the fact that Obama cannot make any headway at all with that large segment of the American public is, in my view, telling.
Potential abuse of power (as use of executive decree to explicitly bypass Congress) would constitute (or, the threat thereof), combined with a leader incapable of earning trust of the broad public is a very dangerous combination.
I think you hit the disease afflicting the American political class of all stripes exactly right: the arrogance that “we” somehow know all the right answers and “we” have to “teach” the other side what they are…and they will naturally see the light and join the movement only if “we” can show them the light, whether the other side should happen to be wogs abroad or wogs at home. Both the left and the right are equally delusional in this attitude, with the disagreement only in what they see as the source of the light. It used to be, in mid-20th century, that the genius of American politics was that nobody cared what the “right” answers were, as long as people were willing to work together for their own reasons–which everyone knew were going to be different since everyone was representing different interests. How did we get here?
“There’s no Talmudic arguing black into white on this issue.”
Of course there is. That’s what a good chunk of the Courts and the legal profession is about. Just read any Supreme Court case concerning the constitutionality of a particular issue, and frequently you have divided opinions, with both sides arguing their position in a generally well-founded argument.
WRT the confident claims by the left that the Republicans are literally dying away, one could point to the the demographic trends in 1970s that seemed to show the coming era of Republican dominance, which sort of came, but only in presidential politics (Reagan) and didn’t last for long. A lot of liberals are already getting jaded with Obama and the Democrats for what they perceive as a mixture of high-handed smugness and hypocrisy–they may not turn Republican, but they may not vote in the future either. Not-so-stupid Republicans are working hard to gain credibility with some of the demographics that their not-so-bright brethren had foolishly alienated–especially Latinos–and they may pull something off over next decade or so: there are a lot of Latino Republican elected officials in the Southwest in state politics.
I think it is pretty clear that Obama has a hefty dose of progressive sense of mission.
In a sense – when I look back at for instance the Christian Right initiatives on creationism, or, say, or Bush’s ‘business first’ type of oversight (case study: Massey Mine disaster) – the people under Bush were no less messianic.
I think this messianic streak, reactionary or progressive, is something relatively normal, and something that should be expected to be pronounced in a country as polarised as the US.
As far as Obama overeaching and the risk of impeachment is concerned, the partisan driven Clinton travesties have given impeachment a bad name.
It is a vital constitional instrument with an important constitutional purpose. Investigating Clinton’s pecadillos was not an important constitutional purpose.
The difficulty for me is, and has always been, that in the US more than alsewhere, the shriek that this or that is – obviously! – unconstitutional, is being raised in various contexts that never cease to surprise me.
Take the idea of socialised medicine. I am used to that all my life and it works reaonably well in Germany, being the poverty stricken socialist dystopia that it is. Well, isn’t. Socialised medicine nconstitutional? Death panels? Gimme a break.
In contrast: Panels deciding who’s going to be drone struck? Different matter altogether, and no problem whatsoever.
In a sense, I can equally comprehend the revulsion of liberals who protested to Bush’s reactionary social engineering as I can understand the revulsion of conservatives towards Obama’s liberal social engineering.
To a point, I tend to have more sympathy for the liberals.
For the proponents of creationism in school as a subject of biology classes, or for people who gut oversight bodies because trifles like safety standards are odious ‘red tape’, I have nothing but contempt. Unlike Paul Weyrich, I hold good governance in high regard.
I didn’t coin the phrase, but found it striking in it’s clarity: Government of the people and by the people is simple – the really hard part is for the people.
For the people means that there has to be a consensus on what that entails. To a point, it probably was there, but has gone lost in the US.
My point is that impeachment is a blunt tool, and as far as adressing a lack of US consensus on domestic matters is concerned, an unsuitable one since it doesn’t addres the core issue.
The partisanship permeating the political life in the US makes it IMO improbable that such a consensus will be formed anytime soon, since neitehr side is willing or capable of testraining themselves and their zeal for the greater good.
Interestingly, such a bipartisan consensus, for good or ill, does exist among foreign policy elites, whre a great amount of work and institutions and lobbying is being spent on creating such a consensus on what amounts to the national interest.
We are not an ethnic nation as are you in spite of the Turks, etc. All that holds the US together is the constitution and strip mall culture. The political divide reflects real division. We more or less created your present form of government in the aftermath of the last unpleasantness. pl
Yes, I see you as an adversary. I do not see Tyler that way in spite of his excesses. pl
No, its not. Its relatively cut and dry what the President’s responsibilities and powers are in the Constitution – no matter how much John Yoo “unitary executive” nonsense style nonsense you throw at the issue.
Okay, so you can’t describe their economic theory in your own terms but you -just know- that they’d be so much better.
Not quite inspiring there. And last time we both got put in the penalty box, so don’t cry at me.
“The political divide reflects real division”
I wonder what would be needed to mend that division.
I am still surprised about how quickly the cohesion and organisational fabric of the city of New Orleans crumbled away under the pressure of a hurricane.
I take that as indicating a lack of social cohesion. America is apparently far more brittle than her military strength suggests.
May you be spared the test.
Fred, please don’t misunderstand me.
$10.10/hour is a joke. Nobody can live on that. But Obama stood up and proudly proclaimed it, Democrats stood and clapped wildly, and the GOP sat glumly not clapping. I can’t imagine a more pathetic spectacle. It’s expletive here embarrassing. It’s a very good thing that newly elected Senator Elizabeth Warren is starting to shake things up a little.
But facts are facts. The GOP leadership decided to intractably oppose each and every Obama economic initiative in the middle of the worst recession since the Great Depression. Every single one. And so it came to this piddly expletive here.
That was thoughtful kao_hsien_chih, but I think you have identified the wrong problem.
Perhaps what should be concerning you is the GOP’s posture during Obama’s terms so far. Their intractable opposition (I’m not even sure that ‘intractable opposition’ is a strong/accurate enough) has provoked a constitutional crisis. That’s how a parliamentary system of gov’t functions, but it will ultimately bring down a presidential system like ours.
The Republican Party simply will not accept the legitimacy of a Democrat in the White House.
You accidentally said something worthwhile, Tyler.
Yeah, that’s exactly how it works. It’s called corporate welfare. Walmart, McD’s, federal contractors, etc can get away with paying crap wages because they know the US gov’t will pony up for the “Medicare/Foodstamps/Obamaphones.” But go ahead and point fingers at all your usual suspects.
Again, it’s all about nativism with you guys.
NOLA is a good example because of the long standing racial and economic divide in the city. This is somewhat analogous to the many divides in this vast country. The country could easily fall apart, not in another civil war but simply through a gradual drift in various directions. IMO that process is underway, however disquieting the thought may be to the denizens of bog cities. pl
New Orleans, yes, a very fragile culture. Not only the city has changed, so has the very, very old cajun culture in the surrounding areas. Most of America could not care less about what happened to any of those Americans.
I tend to agree with much of this. He’s the type president that the DLC types in the Democratic Party have always wanted. Still, things would be much worse had McCain or Romney been elected and as I have said before he was the best of two bad choices each time.
You must be a wonderful dinner companion.
BHO had time to get a massive birthday party for Michelle at the White House, a one day event, very recently. He apparently had no time in the past 5 years to invite Republican members of congress to the White House? They are members of the legislature that is coequal in government, they are not subject to demands from the executive branch of government. If the President wants legislative action he needs to negotiate with them, not the other way around.
Personally I don’t think this is what they are all trying to do with SS/Medicare. If you think of the government budget as having three parts then two of those parts run a surplus (SS/Medicare) due to their dedicated taxes. The third part or what is termed discretionary is where the deficits are occurring. This includes everything for the military, homeland security, etc. They have a consolidated budget where they don’t break any of this out into constituent parts. In order to keep up the present level of defense/security spending and reduce deficits they would need huge increases in taxes and the country would balk – Democrats and Republicans alike. Everything they can cut out of yearly SS/Medicare spending they can use to continue defense/security spending (which is the vast majority of discretionary spending) without having to raise taxes as the excess in the dedicated taxes are used to mask the deficits elsewhere. If the country was really interested in reducing deficits then the first thing to do is demand the end of the consolidated budgets and balance each of the three parts of the budget individually so everyone knows exactly where all taxes are going.
Fair enough. That’s why I didn’t answer his question.
All good comments replying to John H’s great post.
Obama really is afraid of the finance guys. All it takes is a dirty look from him and they start screaming communism and Kristallnacht and his knees get weak. The problem is that he is not afraid of the middle class. But yeah, unions are bad (sarcasm).
You paint a very accurate picture, VietnamVet.
Our gov’t has been captured by multinational corporations and people are arguing about executive orders proudly issued to ensure that federal contractors are assured a minimum wage that barely covers the rent for a 1 bedroom apt in most of the US. It’s ridiculous.
If there is another financial collapse while Obama is in office, the world is in deep doo doo. Congress will refuse to do the right thing.
This is an election year and unless he is careful he could harm some of the vulnerable Senators.
The new healthcare law is broken. He can kick the can down the road using his pen, but problems paying for it are going to arrive this year.
Common Core, gun control, issues like the young not signing up, cross party lines and can involve his voter base.
With more bad news coming from his healthcare program, as a politician wouldn’t he tread lightly to not alienate more of his voter base?
You’re the deluded one who thinks that Obama’s strings aren’t being pulled by the same corporatists who pulled Bush II’s while wildly spinning that its those evil Rethuglicans!!!1
I know patriotism is a dirty word with your kind, but it’s telling you can’t even say the word.
A full time job at 10.10 an hour is well over the federal poverty line, even before gimmedats are included.
And I was able to figure that out without trying to link you to a book on Amazon.
A Republican House that has caved on every single issue is “intractable”.
The only good enough for Edward is a totally supine rubber stamping ‘opposition’.
Alternative choice voters should understand that one of the main reason thier candidates don’t get elected is because thier fellow citizens resident in the district don’t agree with enough of the candidates ideas or positions to vote for them.
A loveable rogue like me?
Finally, something we agree on.
You really don’t get me, Tyler. Yes, Obama’s strings are being pulled by corporate America. Same with the rest of the Democrats, especially my two senators, Schumer and Gillibrand. So is my state gov’t. Voters in my city finally woke up screaming — after 12 years of plundering by the plutocrats — and handed over our city to the commies.
I have no illusions. In 2014, it’s pick my poison, a choice between “cancer or polio” as Mick Jagger sang. I picked mine and it came down to the one that’s rented vs the one that’s owned outright by the plutocrats.
Over the last 30 years the influence of the investor class has so steadily increased in Washington DC — at the expense of wage earners — that USA income inequality is now at its highest since the robber baron era. IMO it’s because union power and influence has waned. Like unions or not, they did exert a counterbalancing effect on gov’t. If working Americans like you and I were smart, we’d come up with something to replace that lost power. But the plutocrats are good at divide and rule and it looks like it’s next to impossible to separate out the tribal stuff from the economic.
No, I get you pretty well: Team My Guys are okay, Team Those Guys are the evil jerks ruining this country!
Its been demonstrated repeatedly here that no matter what gets pointed out on how there ain’t much daylight between the mainstream Republicans and the Democrat Party, you’ll still go to carry water for them. This is part and parcel of what you are. The fact that you don’t think the Democrats aren’t the party of the plutocrats is pretty damn telling of that! How many bankers has Obama or the Democrats prosecuted?
You can lie to yourself, you can lie to your friends, but let’s not lie to each other.
I have no illusion about Obama and the weak-kneed spineless Democrats so please don’t hand me that bull about Obama not bending over far enough for the GOP. I will say it again. On the day of his inauguration, leadership of the GOP told the congressional troops that there will be *no bipartisanship* when it came to any and all Obama economic initiatives. So I could care less about hurt GOP fee-fees because Mitch McConnell wasn’t invited to Michelle’s birthday party or whatever.
Obama made the overtures and got rejected time after time. The GOP declared war on his presidency and haven’t let up for 4+ years. Obama and the Dems mostly just took the shelling but finally showed a little bit of spine when Republicans in congress threatened to default on obligations that they themselves agreed to. Of course default would have caused huge economic troubles for the US and the world economy so they didn’t have much choice.
Now if Obama and his party showed the same spine as the GOP on a regular basis and pushed actual liberal Democratic initiatives and then defended them as hard as the GOP push and defend theirs, your side would get apoplectic. I look forward to that day although I doubt the Dems have what it takes.
I agree about McCain for one reason. McCain seemed to be a deeply personally angry person who wanted to widen the war to Iran for basically emotional reasons. That seemed worth voting against in 2008. As to Romney being worse? I think Social Security would have been safer from attack under Romney than under Obama because the Democrats want to reserve “go to China” for one of their own. Putting Social Security on the crash path to privatization is a Grand Bargain historical achievement they want to reserve for a Democratic President. They would have opposed Romney on that because they want to deny the credit to a Republican President. I found Obama too odious and loathsome to vote for. But I feared Romney would widen the war to Iran. So I voted for a minor candidate.
no, some of us actually are/were bleeding hearts, however objectively misguided about the threats in our midst.
Yes, I know that in a vague way. SS has been running a huge surplus ever since the “Reagan Rescue” of 1983. That is when our FICA taxes were doubled. The theory was that the baby boomers would bankrupt the system when we all retired, so they decided to pre-tax us and all who came after us to build up a “surplus” which would be spent back down to zero in paying SS retirement benefits back out to all the boomers. Then SS would go back on a pay-go money in-money right back out basis. The SS surplus was/is stored up in some kind of special Treasury Instruments which are all to be redeemed and not rolled over in the fullness of time to pay that money back to the boomers who have paid/ are paying all that money in.
The actual game was this: pretend the SS trust fund is a “surplus” resulting from “overtaxation” and cut taxes while super-deficit mega-spending so as to create a debt too huge to ever pay back unless the SS benefits owed to SS payees are cut back as close as politically possible to zero. That was what Greenspan told the Bush-era Congress (which was Greenspan’s intention in 1983 when he first helped engineer that FICA tax hike to begin with. He was just waiting for the opportune moment to close the trap).
Bush’s tax cuts and super-deficit mega-spending for Iraq and Afghanistan were designed to plow the ground for the sort of Grand Bargain which Obama has fanatically pursued. Bush just got ahead of himself and tried to achieve the “privatise Social Security” step under his own name. The Democrats would not permit that because they want one of their own like Obama to be the Great Historical President who goes to China against Social Security. And Obama did his part to make the debt even worse by deliberately working with Boehner to engineer a fiscal cliff crisis so as to make the Bush tax cuts permanent . . in order to keep growing the
politically weaponizable debt to use against Social Security and probably Medicare and other things besides in the fullness of time.
There were some people who had Obama’s number early on. Here is an article called “Why Barack Obama is the More Effective Evil”.
We had that 60’s strain of anti-colonial marxism too, which we imagined anti-authoritarian as well – it underlies a lot of support for the Palestinians for example, which is often wrongly or tactically ascribed to anti-semitism. Years of therapy have divined that its a sibling birth order thing for me, are you a boot or a neck, so much for objectivity.
I think we/many may have felt one layer of religious subjectivity more objective than what we perceived to be pure irrational literalist bible thumpers bent on The Word, and The End, damn the torpedoes, women and gays need not apply. Siding with the underdog right before us, literally or on screen, can be perceived as objectively right and moral, and thus the tilted-at wrong must perforce be corrected as a moral end – or at least subject to OUR fetters. How human.
Brilliant. Somebody made an excellent movie about him “Crumb” 1994, just as he was packing up to move to France in the 90’s. A treat for any fan or curious idler.
Its not cut and dried until the Supremes render their decision. That’s part of your Constitution.
He has no elections left to run in. He doesn’t consider it his voter base any more. He fooled them as much as he needed to. He is looking forward to the private payouts he will recieve after leaving office and will work to make those payouts as big as possible.
but not without the politics
EA, I am a lifelong Democrat who ran for congress as a Democrat. If my party did what you recommend I would leave it. Obama’s overtures were in my opinion little more than posturing. The house speaker and rank and file members don’t need invitations to dinner for their ego’s sake but as part of a policy to influence them to a point of support for a particular policy or as a way to reach compromise. That is Obama’s failure no Boehner’s or McConnell’s
“Calling something unconstitutional because one disagrees with it is simply hyperbole.”
Welcome to the world of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
In some sense, the Republican House is the mirror image of Obama. Many of their members certainly scream loud, but, in the end, they can’t outshout the reality and have to give in. But, in so doing, they will have so thoroughly disgusted the other side–who, after all, also make up around half of the political active American public–that they have little or no credibility left. And to their “strong supporters,” (or, those who would be mistaken for their strong supporters, I guess) that they ultimately have “abandoned principles” makes them not credible either (much the way the left is growing disillusioned with Obama and the mainstream Democrats). Why do these people even bother to pretend that they are modern day Puritans anyways? If they don’t want to run the ship of the state into the ground, they have to compromise on something, somehow. Why not be honest and actually do something, not wait until the last minute and still look like hypocrits?
My guess is that you are under 40. You grew up in the Reagan gulag and have no real knowledge of American economic history.Your native intelligence can’t grasp the potential our country had pre-Reaganomics and his green light to screw everybody if you are rich. There is probably no economic problem our country is experiencing that is not attributable to St. Ronnie’s dictums.
“My guess is that you are under 40. You grew up in the Reagan gulag and…”
@Dr.K. – Typepad tells me that this comment was posted by you in response to your own previous comment. What are you doing – attempting to be clever? pl
I think the same thing. That our “winner take all” system, as opposed to proportional representation, has one advantage, it practically guarantees there will always be two (not one more and not one less) major parties. There will always be a way to switch governments to something that has a deep “base” and has been wielding some power all along.
Where, IMO, they screwed up is in the selection of chief executive. The Electoral College failed in it’s intended role of limiting populism, and that’s a job deeply experienced people should have. I would like to see something like “Prime Ministers Questions” here also. We treat our chief executive so much like royalty it’s no surprise they and we tend to think they are. Once-a-year-lecture? Something a King does.
The Supremes are hardly infalliable.
Yeah, back when the country was 90% white and before the Hart Cellar Immigration Act flooded this country with cheap labor and a refusal to enforce its immigration laws.
My guess is that you are over forty, can’t accept that communism will ever work, and continue to live under the freedom that was earned by your betters.
FWIW I’m actually under 30 but oh well.
“They’ll have to become more like Democrats and engage in identity politics and try to screw the middle class more and get rid of those people with actual fact based opinions.”
Yeah that’s a winning strategy.
I learn a good deal here at SST . And value our disagreements as it helps better qualify why I have certain values. I simply disagree wholeheartedly that our dear friend who had been in a same sex committed relationship for the last thirty something years – getting married last year has brought ruination to Our Republic.
Completely agree that both parties want more Executive Power . I would posits perhaps that the Republicans under President Shrub & “Prime Minister ” Cheney were just better at seizing power then BHO administration has to date been . Maybe it truly is time for a third party nationally ..
Yes Tyler – when he is not hear on his SST soapbox is also an aspiring bee keeper , that should help with his garden . Plus he has a yearling bull named Dexter. I would probably take Tyler fishing , but I would still make sure we never talked politics that day.
” the last unpleasentness” also known to some of my kin back home in Yellow Pine , Louisiana as ‘the war of northern aggression ” .
Crumb helped shape the thinking of my deformative years. For this I will always be grateful. Saw the documentary you mention and found it strange Robert was the most normal of the three brothers.
I think the incivility of the Democrats and Republicans mirrors the general increase in incivility and violence in the US, and in the world as a whole. But we are a competitive nation and have become more so since the increase in televised sports. I like watching football but I’m not manic about it like many are. When you look at the most read articles on newspapers websites, sports always tops the list. Most of talk radio is sports. Most conversations, at least between men but increasingly women, is about sports. The problem is everything becomes a competition: conversation turns to win-lose argument, news doesn’t bother with the content of issues of a political campaign but about who is winning the race. Candidates talk less about issues than the weaknesses of their opponent compared to their own all-American virtues.
Or maybe it’s cosmic rays but I do think technology is changing us more than we realize. We’ve gone from talking to our neighbors from the front porch to yelling at Jerry Springer on the tv.
I believe I was speaking of WW2 but I too think of that war as aggression. pl
I would further add that the history of Supreme Court decisions would indicate that the powers of the president are not as cut and dried as you seem to think, nor are the powers of Congress.
Peerhaps it might be of help to understand what the Federal Judiciary has done to cut back Executive Branch and Presidential authority since FDR. In YOUNGSTOWN SHEET & TUBE versus SAYWER in 1951 [the so-called Steel Seizure case] all 9 members of SCOTUS weighed in with concurring or dissenting written opinions. Jackson’s the most famous.
Following Jackson’s opinion the Judiciary over time does not really come out and rule on Constitutionality of Executive Orders. A false deference to the President IMO. Instead they analyze the action in the context of statutory law not the Constitution to determine whether Congress has given even a sliver of statutory authority to empower him/her to issue the Order.
No sliver of a delegation from Congress to the President through statute then an adverse ruling to the POTUS action.
This whole arena is marked with the greatest sensitivity on the part of POTUS and the Federal Judiciary. After all who knows when another Napoleon might wish to gift the USA through a fire sale.
The United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has already outlined its position in voiding a Clinton Executive Order that would have
prohibited federal contractors from hiring strike breakers on federal contracts.
History as much as law controls whether a POTUS
Executive Order will be upheld as being within the implied powers of the President. Usually ratification or not by Congress becomes the key!
PL! Extract fro your comment above:
“The country could easily fall apart, not in another civil war but simply through a gradual drift in various directions. IMO that process is underway, however disquieting the thought may be to the denizens of bog cities. pl”
I find this a very very perceptive comment!
Like I said, Fred, hurt fee-fees. Get over it.
Reagan was open to working with Democrats, but then came the GOP class of 1994 who set out to systematically eliminate what was left of DC bipartisanship in spite of the fact that Clinton and the New Democrats were dragging the liberals in the Democratic party kicking and screaming to the political center. As House Majority Leader Dick Armey said during that heady time, “bipartisanship is another name for date rape.” Ideologically-uncompromising right-wing groups like Club of Growth have helped keep the troops in line, threatening to primary those Republicans who strayed from the right wing reservation into bipartisanland.
My feelings haven’t been hurt by any of those experiences. Good luck getting the NYC agenda passed.
JB! Executive Orders are not funded EVBER directly so many are just hortatory!
If you rule from an originalist interpretation if is. If you’re like Ginsberg and the. Rest of the Leftist Coven you’ll twist yourself into knots to try and justify ruling from your feelings and not the law.
Fred you haven’t been paying attention. The thread is about how Obama is using executive orders. He’s going to use them in “modest’ ways because the GOP made a choice to filibuster each and every one of his economic initiatives. Good luck passing ANY Democratic initiative is more like it.
I’d say we need a second party first versus the Corporatist/Statist Party currently running DC.
I understand what the thread is about. During a converstation about the negotiatings or lack thereof betwen our elected representatives you made a comment that implied I was a republican. I pointed out the error. You chose not to continue the conversation but to be personally insulting.
If you’re ever in Arizona, let me know. I’ve got a taste for filets of fat breaded bluegill between two slices of bread.
Completely agree that Executive Power is cut and dry as spelled out in the Constitution . And IMO John Yoo , & the rest of the unitarian executive cohort are a clear and present danger to our Constitution .
I am sorry to have implied anything of the sort earlier up-thread.
To my point regarding this comment of yours: “Good luck getting the NYC agenda passed.”
Again, the GOP decided from day one to kill (by filibuster in the Senate and later by Boehner’s refusal to allow votes in the House) every single Obama economic initiative. So for the GOP, it was not a “NY agenda” they were road blocking, it was *anything* Obama initiated, left, right, or center. It was a purely political decision by GOP leadership designed to deep six his presidency and that — not any Obama “NY agenda” which has been mostly nonexistent, BTW — is how we got to the point of his use of executive orders to attempt “modest” stuff for the economy almost halfway into his second term. And that was my point in saying you missed the point.
Also I was referring not to *your* hurt feelings, but the GOP leadership’s faux hurt feelings due to Obama’s insufficient stroking. That routine really is a laughable load of baloney.
There actually is an Executive Order on Executive Orders unchanged for decades. It authorizes any Departmental or agency head to submit a totally new Executive Order or propose revisions to new ones. Final legal review for legal sufficiency is the task of the DoJ! If memory serves it is Executive Order 11030!
Not enough daylight, but liberal groups, liberals in the House and Harry Reid in the Senate are, based on our experience post-NAFTA, trying to derail Obama’s fast track trade agreement with the EU and Trans-Pacific Partnership. The agreement is being pushed by business groups and their GOP lackeys.
An intriguing idea – we would need to get this new party on the ballot in all fifty states.
That sounds like some fine dining there. With some fresh dew berry cobbler for dersert .