Jennifer Rubin’s WaPo commentary on the president’s usurpation of legislative powers was written before today’s announcement that he’s ordered his DOJ to ignore the nation’s drug laws, but it’s the same point: liberals ignore what he’s doing now because they (and libertarians, in the matter of drug laws) approve, but the precedent he’s setting will come back in a more displeasurable form.
But of course no president is empowered to ignore parts of laws, even ones he dubs to be outside the “core” of legislation. The president should have been challenged at the press conference. Congress should not allow its job of making and amending legislation to be usurped by the president, whose theory would allow a President Chris Christie or President Scott Walker to announce he was unilaterally halting the individual mandate or the medical device tax.
The president’s penchant for authoritarianism has not been limited to Obamacare. He has also altered immigration law and gone after the work requirement in welfare legislation. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.) has put together a handy compendium of these power grabs. Couple those with his recess appointments and excessive use of executive privilege to deny Congress the ability to conduct oversight and you have a president attempting to exercise unprecedented powers.
The left is convulsed over the president’s enforcement of duly passed anti-terror legislation that is subject to both judicial and legislative oversight. Yet when it comes to their favorite domestic initiatives, they muster no concern about an out-of-control executive. They should keep this in mind when the next GOP president comes along.