Is it too late to heed cries for officials in Washington to enforce the law? Whether we call it executive overreach or Obama’s overreach policy, how did things get so out of control that we let the president seize power from Congress so he could offer the people a choice between two bad options:
Don’t enforce the law, or
Pass laws that cost too much and don’t work.
We are more than familiar with being lied to. Most Americans can handle politically motivated lies. We were lied to about the Affordable Care Act. We were lied to about the Recovery Act. We were lied to about the TARP. We were lied to about scandals ranging from Benghazi to the IRS attack on conservatives. Lying didn’t get the job done. Is there some reason we should believe that overreach and executive orders will?
Enforce the law? Not if it stands in Obama’s way.
Democrats lost the legislative freedom they happily abused a few years ago. Things are different now. That’s where Obama’s overreach policy comes in.
Threats to not enforce the law have become a mainstay of Democratic election year strategy. The president is trying to support party members desperate to keep their grip on congressional seats in jeopardy because they can’t find a way to pass new bills to complement the mess they have already made.
The president complains that immigration reform legislation hasn’t gone anywhere:
Republicans — John Boehner acknowledges we need to change it. Why is it that we’re not going ahead and doing it? The bill already passed out of the Senate on a bipartisan vote. What’s holding us back?¹
The solution? Refuse to enforce the law and fall back on Obama’s overreach policy. This was the White House’s take on a recent meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus:
He told the members that he has asked Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson to do an inventory of the Department’s current practices to see how it can conduct enforcement more humanely within the confines of the law.²
We know what that means. The confines of the law have nothing to do with the intent of the law. In this case it means the White House rigging our political system to please supporters without going through Congress and placing the blame on Republicans for refusing to agree with the president.
California Democrat Xavier Becerra is clear about the urgency to block GOP attempts to halt presidential overreach. Last week the federal contract worker minimum pay hike order was joined by an order to extract more money from businesses with overtime pay. Democrats keep reminding their opponents that the Affordable Care Act is a done deal while they tinker with the bill’s provisions, refusing to enforce the law even when it is something they forced down our throats.
Reid worries the system is rigged.
Harry Reid pontificated last week about all the campaign money that is not going to Democrats. His troops are quaking in their boots because conservatives have the effrontery to enjoy the same kind of big money backing that put Obama in office. The villains of choice this time are the Koch brothers:
These two multi-billionaires may spend hundreds of millions of dollars rigging the political process for their own benefit. And they may believe that whoever has the most money gets the most free speech. But I will do whatever it takes to expose their campaign to rig the American political system to benefit the wealthy at the expense of the middle class.³
While he wrings his hands over the fate of our democracy, Reid doesn’t seem concerned with Obama’s overreach hijinks. Democrats worry about the influence of conservative money from sources that never swore an oath to defend the Constitution. What can we say about a political system that allows the president to ignore that oath, refuse to enforce the law, and do the political rigging all by himself?