With the White House focused on securing Barack Obama’s legacy despite a rocky second term, birth control and unemployment benefits should be the least of the president’s worries. He is, after all, a big picture person being dragged down by details that stand in the way of implementing his unique take on populism. As embarrassing as it must be to have your ethnically historic Supreme Court appointee question your bulldozing of the Constitution, having to plead with Congress for emergency unemployment benefits because you still haven’t forced the job market to say “yes” to 1.3 million Americans probably feels worse.
Is Obama’s populism more important than our Constitution?
Can the president’s second term trump the abuses of his first? Our Constitution will have to be set aside in favor of Obama’s populism so we can save the common man. We are going to need executive orders. States’ rights must be respected selectively. Eric Holder, who faded into the background after the Fast and Furious scandal, is going to earn his keep in earnest. Even the Supreme Court will have to be held off.
With only three years left it must be difficult to decide what to circumvent next for the sake of the economy. How about states’ rights? Sometimes Federalism is a good thing. Sometimes it’s a hindrance.
When should we respect the Tenth Amendment?
When it comes to Constitutional protections, states’ Tenth Amendment rights have been skewed beyond recognition. They were never intended to be construed on the basis of whatever suits the White House. Things are different now. When policymaking for the common man is difficult or impossible at the federal level, states are allowed to step in and further the president’s plans. If they go in the other direction, something Texas and North Carolina tried after the Supreme Court’s Voting Rights Act decision, then it’s time for Eric Holder’s department to get involved.
The president is going to have a hard time pushing his minimum wage boost through Congress, especially at a level that will please liberal Democrats. Not to worry. States are already implementing their own minimum wage laws. They tried to enforce their own immigration laws, too, but when the White House disagreed they were stopped dead in their tracks while states that backed the party line did the White House’s dirty work.
Separation of powers means the buck stops where?
Separation of powers is a problem when you want to do everything yourself. Will this be the biggest danger to Obama’s second term? The president still has a meddlesome Congress and Supreme Court to deal with. Despite past threats that “If Congress won’t act, I will,” there is only so much that he can do with executive orders and Cabinet secretaries. DACA worked, but his jobs initiatives have gone nowhere because legislative support is not there.
The problem with Obama’s populism, aside from the fact that his economic policies don’t work, is that the Constitution protects everyone. If the president can find new ways to skirt our Founding Fathers’ intentions he might get what he wants, but the common man will lose no matter what. His protections in the Constitution will have been rendered ineffective for the sake of a failed populist agenda that never stood a chance of delivering what was promised.