This week, once again, we heard President Obama defiantly pronounce that he has no intention of letting a little thing like constitutional checks and balances get in his way and interrupt his royal prerogative.
"We are not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we're providing Americans the kind of help that they need," said Obama. "I've got a pen, and I've got a phone."
What other president has ever talked like this?
I thought Democrats had an aversion to "unilateral" executive action. Wasn't one of their pet peeves against President George W. Bush that he acted unilaterally in attacking Iraq? Never mind that this was a complete fabrication, in that Bush assembled the largest coalition of nations he could to join us in the effort.
Oh, this is different, you say, because Bush was allegedly acting unilaterally on the international stage? Well, apart from the fact that he wasn't, why should that bother liberals more than a president's acting unilaterally on domestic issues?
I'll tell you why: Liberals are more concerned about whether leftist foreign governments like us than they are about whether a president is acting within the scope of his constitutional authority.
In Bush's case, even if the false allegations that he was "going it alone" had been true, he secured a joint resolution of Congress before commencing "shock and awe."
Before contrasting Bush's actions on foreign policy with Obama's on domestic policy, let's recall how Obama operated in a comparable foreign policy situation. When he decided -- unilaterally -- to take military action in Libya, he did not even bother to consult Congress, much less get its approval, before initiating his intervention. He was in constant contact with his fellow leftists at the United Nations, however, consistent with his desire to please foreign leaders above complying with the Constitution.
For all of Obama's bellyaching during the 2008 presidential campaign about how much the United States was hated in the world by Muslims and non-Muslims alike under Bush, Obama has made things worse across the board.
How's that "reset" with Russia going, President Obama? Tell us again the juicy details of how you've incapacitated al-Qaida as it gobbles up formerly won cities in Iraq. Explain how our growing unpopularity in the Muslim world squares with your arrogant promise to heal those relations. Fill us in on the Saudi government's outright distrust of your administration. How about Britain? Germany? Israel?
Returning to the domestic front, Obama is continuing the pattern he has established throughout his time in office. In my first Obama book, "Crimes Against Liberty," I wrote, "The full strategy of using executive orders to circumvent Congress became clear following Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts" because much of his agenda remained stalled in Congress. "The New York Times reported Obama was planning on 'an array of actions using his executive power to advance energy, environmental, fiscal and other domestic policy priorities.'" Obama proceeded to act unilaterally to create a bipartisan budget commission, to reverse the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, and on a host of environmental regulations when Congress wouldn't pass his farcical cap-and-trade legislation, to name a few.
In my second Obama book, "The Great Destroyer," I related Obama's insolent threats to take executive action in his "next two years." "What I'm not gonna do is wait for Congress," he proclaimed in an interview on "60 Minutes."
This wasn't an idle threat. When the Senate wouldn't confirm his appointee to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau established by Dodd-Frank, he carved out a "special advisory role" and appointed anti-capitalist Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren to serve temporarily. Then, when the Senate balked on confirming Richard Cordray to head the CFPB, he took the unprecedented step of exercising the recess appointments power when the Senate was technically still in session.
When a federal judge struck down Obama's executive order forcing taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research, his National Institutes of Health essentially told researchers they could disregard the court's ruling.
It would take me thousands of words to describe the other unconstitutional actions he's taken, from his executive orders to facilitate "stealth land grabs" to his orders on offshore drilling to his 19 executive actions on gun control to his outrageous executive action to do an end run around Congress' failure to pass the DREAM Act -- and on and on.
Obama is simply a lawless president who regards his own counsel higher than his duty to obey the Constitution. He believes that advancing his political agenda justifies ignoring clear limitations on his power.
In rationalizing these imperial outrages, Obama tells us that he is going to provide the American people with the help they need -- as if he is the sole arbiter of that, as if Congress is a potted plant and as if the Supreme Court is either impotent or a rubber stamp.
Obama's overreaches would be just as outrageous if he were providing Americans with what we need, but he is doing the opposite as he is systematically destroying the country.
What a nightmare!
David Limbaugh, brother of radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, is an expert in law and politics and author of new book Crimes Against Liberty, the definitive chronicle of Barack Obama's devastating term in office so far.