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Old 11-08-2012, 02:29 PM   #1
yllus
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Default The next four years will contain the biggest executive power grab in American history

I thought the article below was very well thought out - faced with an exceptionally obstructionist Congress, the White House tired of getting nowhere has also begun to game the system to get what it was after. There are consequences, though, and a return to reason seems unlikely.

And, if it's not clear, this is everyone's fault.

The Daily Beast - President Obama’s Executive Power Grab

Quote:
...

On June 15, 2012, the president strode into the Rose Garden to make an announcement. For the last five years, congressional Republicans had been blocking the DREAM Act: a bill designed to provide a conditional pathway to citizenship for immigrants who were brought to America illegally as children. Pressed by Latino advocates to take action, Obama had spent 2011 repeating that “we are doing everything we can administratively” because “this notion that somehow I can just change the laws unilaterally is not true.”

But now the president was doing something that he’d previously deemed impossible, and that Congress had repeatedly forbidden: singlehandedly granting relief to an entire category of young immigrants, as many as 1.7 million people, who’d otherwise be subject to deportation.

The reaction from Republicans was swift and severe. “The president’s directive is an affront to our system of representative government and the legislative process, and it’s an inappropriate use of executive power,” thundered Sen. Chuck Grassley. “We should all be appalled at how this plan has been carried out.”

...

Barack Obama’s decision to reverse himself on the DREAM Act was not an isolated incident. Instead, it was the culmination of a dramatic and very deliberate makeover that was set in motion that night with Boehner; that continues to this day; and that is poised to play a significant part in a potential second term, according to his advisers.

“The president’s hope is that he and Congress get another opportunity to work together, and they see the folly in their efforts to date,” says Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director. “But what he’s not going to do, if Congress refuses to act, is sit on the sidelines and do nothing. That’s the path he’s taken.”

It is a transformation that could forever alter the way Washington works.

Since the summer of 2011, Obama’s relationship with Congress, and with his own power, has undergone a fundamental shift. As a candidate, Obama decried George W. Bush’s “my way or the highway” approach to governing. But while Obama has dialed back many of Bush’s overseas excesses, the record level of congressional obstruction at home has compelled the president to expand his domestic authority in ways that his predecessor never did.

In February 2011, Obama announced that his administration would stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act in court, sparking controversy about whether he was shirking his duty to faithfully execute the laws passed by Congress. The following spring, the president effectively implemented greenhouse-gas regulations stalled in the Senate by allowing the EPA to interpret existing law more broadly. In September, Obama issued waivers that released states from the onerous requirements of No Child Left Behind but bound them to the administration’s own education policies, which Congress had not passed.

A similar set of welfare waivers soon followed. And in early 2012 the president bypassed the usual confirmation process to make four recess appointments even though the Senate had been holding pro forma sessions to block them. “This isn’t just pushing the envelope,” says Charles Tiefer, a former lawyer for the House of Representatives who now teaches constitutional law at the University of Baltimore, “but in effect breaking out of the envelope.”

Like everything else in Washington, D.C., Obama’s power play is a polarizing topic. Conservatives have charged the president with “reject[ing] the patience of politics required by the Constitution he has sworn to uphold” (George Will) and succumbing to the sort “naked lawlessness” that is the “very definition of executive overreach” (Charles Krauthammer). Liberals, meanwhile, have cheered Obama on. “President Obama devoted a great deal of effort to finding compromises with Congressional Republicans. That was futile,” wrote Andrew Rosenthal of The New York Times. “Government by executive order is not sustainable ... But in this particular case, there may be no alternative.”

Barack Obama’s decision to reverse himself on the DREAM Act was not an isolated incident. Instead, it was the culmination of a dramatic and very deliberate makeover that was set in motion that night with Boehner; that continues to this day; and that is poised to play a significant part in a potential second term, according to his advisers. “The president’s hope is that he and Congress get another opportunity to work together, and they see the folly in their efforts to date,” says Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director. “But what he’s not going to do, if Congress refuses to act, is sit on the sidelines and do nothing. That’s the path he’s taken.”

It is a transformation that could forever alter the way Washington works.

...

Conservatives like to argue that there’s nothing unique about the GOP’s current tactics. “This idea of unprecedented obstructionism is entirely ahistorical,” says a staffer for Grassley, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee. “This is part of what the system does.”

But the statistics tell a different story. Under Carter, Reagan, Bush 41, Clinton, and Bush 43, the Senate confirmed between 79 and 93 percent of the judicial nominees put forward during each administration’s first 18 months. The confirmation rate under Obama? Forty-three percent, or roughly half the historical norm. In 1981, 37 Senate Democrats voted for Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts; 20 years later, 12 Senate Democrats voted for George W. Bush’s. In contrast, Obama pushed seven major bills before Republicans took control of the House in 2011. They received only 15 Republican votes—total.

Since then, very few challenging pieces of legislation have even reached the floor of the Senate, thanks to the GOP’s record-shattering reliance on the filibuster. In the last three sessions of Congress, Republicans have threatened to filibuster on 385 separate occasions—equaling, in five short years, the total number of filibuster threats to seize the Senate during the seven decades from the start of World War I until the end of Reagan administration. A recent study showed that post-2007, with Republicans in the minority, threatened or actual filibusters have affected 70 percent of major legislation. In the 1980s, that number was 27 percent. In the 1960s, it was 8 percent. “This level of obstruction is extremely unusual,” says Norman Ornstein, a congressional scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. “And the core of the problem is the GOP.”

...

But what if the problem with Obama’s “We Can’t Wait” doctrine is more functionalist than formalist? In other words, what if it’s not the law that’s being broken here?

What if it’s Washington itself?

...
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Last edited by yllus; 11-08-2012 at 03:11 PM.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:33 PM   #2
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Really ?
Bigger than FDR during WW2 ?
Teddy Roosevelt fighting corporate monopolies ?
Lincoln and the civil war and Emancipation ?
Johnson and Vietnam ?
Andrew Jackson defying the Supreme Court ?
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:33 PM   #3
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Who needs congress when the president has executive orders?
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:34 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Tom View Post
Really ?
Bigger than FDR during WW2 ?
Teddy Roosevelt fighting corporate monopolies ?
Lincoln and the civil war and Emancipation ?
Johnson and Vietnam ?
Andrew Jackson defying the Supreme Court ?
The point isn't whether or not the thread title is 100% accurate - it's just the lead in to the contents of the article. But even so, ruling almost exclusively through presidential motions must be a contender.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:38 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Texashiker View Post
Who needs congress when the president has executive orders?
That's what saved us with the rampant Republican obstructionism.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:38 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by yllus View Post
The point isn't whether or not the thread title is 100% accurate - it's just the lead in to the contents of the article. But even so, ruling almost exclusively through presidential motions must be a contender.

You're right, its not even close to being accurate, let alone 100%.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:40 PM   #7
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really ?
Bigger than fdr during ww2 ?
Teddy roosevelt fighting corporate monopolies ?
Lincoln and the civil war and emancipation ?
Johnson and vietnam ?
Andrew jackson defying the supreme court ?
lol. Pwn3d.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:43 PM   #8
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I read this in Newsweek at the dentist last week, interesting stuff.

The most obstructionist Republican congressmen in history spawn the most executive-order using president as a response.

Both sides might not be happy with the results if power shifts in the future:
- Republicans have shown that you can abuse filibusters and reject all compromises to successfully block congress from accomplishing anything
- Democrats have shown you can work around that to a certain extent by abusing executive orders.

A future Republican senate majority might find they can't do anything without a super-majority, or face a Democratic house that rejects all deals.

A future Republican president might give Democrats a taste of their own executive-order sidestepping of congress.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:43 PM   #9
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I stand by the thread title, but I do regret that it may lead some to not read or comment upon the piece itself. Personally I think you ignore it at your own loss.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:44 PM   #10
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Really ?
Bigger than FDR during WW2 ?
Teddy Roosevelt fighting corporate monopolies ?
Lincoln and the civil war and Emancipation ?
Johnson and Vietnam ?
Andrew Jackson defying the Supreme Court ?
I'd suggest more than Johnson, and more than most others when not at war. No, the present squabbles don't count. If Congress does not do what Obama and his party want, then the Constitution certainly won't get in his way, especially after he selects his pets for the SCOTUS. Ever after the President will effectively be ruler, brushing away opposition as desired. Democrats, remember that like the Republicans before you that there is no party preference for power. Eventually what you want can be undone, and you blame everyone but yourselves and weep bitter tears, for such is your well earned reward along with the scorn of others.

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Old 11-08-2012, 02:51 PM   #11
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I'd suggest more than Johnson, and more than most others when not at war. No, the present squabbles don't count. If Congress does not do what Obama and his party want, then the Constitution certainly won't get in his way, especially after he selects his pets for the SCOTUS. Ever after the President will effectively be ruler, brushing away opposition as desired. Democrats, remember that like the Republicans before you that there is no party preference for power. Eventually what you want can be undone, and you blame everyone but yourselves and weep bitter tears, for such is your well earned reward along with the scorn of others.
Can we get this read out loud in Darth Vader's voice, or the Emperor's.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:52 PM   #12
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This is why you can't talk to a Republican. They live in an alternate reality.

Bush and the Republicans have been pushing for the Imperial Presidency for years. Heck, it goes back to Nixon.

Their idea is we have been doing it wrong since 1787. The President has all the power. All Congress can do is give him money and he gets to spend it any way he wants.

Now, the Republicans are arguing that Obama is going to expand Presidential power?

Yes, Republicans are a combination of flat out stupid and brainwashed.
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:02 PM   #13
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lol. Pwn3d.
Almost as good as PJ's claim that the biggest tax hike in American history is coming in January.
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:03 PM   #14
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more fear mongering about what Obama might do??

That's all u guys got??

Check back with the NRA. What happened to the gun grab?
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:04 PM   #15
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more fear mongering about what Obama might do??

That's all u guys got??

Check back with the NRA. What happened to the gun grab?
They explained it already! You see, Obama is a sneaky little fucker, he didn't gun grab the first term, so he could do it in his SECOND term (a thing conservatives actually believe).
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:07 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Hayabusa Rider View Post
I'd suggest more than Johnson, and more than most others when not at war. No, the present squabbles don't count. If Congress does not do what Obama and his party want, then the Constitution certainly won't get in his way, especially after he selects his pets for the SCOTUS. Ever after the President will effectively be ruler, brushing away opposition as desired. Democrats, remember that like the Republicans before you that there is no party preference for power. Eventually what you want can be undone, and you blame everyone but yourselves and weep bitter tears, for such is your well earned reward along with the scorn of others.
Replace "Obama" with "Bush" and swap "Democrat" and "Republican" in your little rant, re-read it, and realize that you reap what you sow.
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:08 PM   #17
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The next four years will contain the biggest executive power grab in American history
Bigger than a war over WMDs?

Do tell.
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:09 PM   #18
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more fear mongering about what Obama might do??

That's all u guys got??

Check back with the NRA. What happened to the gun grab?
I think it's an entirely reasonable piece, and not at all Obama's fault in isolation. He has been driven to these lengths by an extraordinarily uncooperative Republican-led Congress. In the short term, even I think that what he is doing is right. The only question is what this means for the country in the long term.
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:15 PM   #19
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I think it's an entirely reasonable piece, and not at all Obama's fault in isolation. He has been driven to these lengths by an extraordinarily uncooperative Republican-led Congress. In the short term, even I think that what he is doing is right. The only question is what this means for the country in the long term.
Actually considering GOP stonewalling I don't blame him either. Bit of a power grab is in order but to break out that "greatest in history" bullshit is just hyperbole
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:21 PM   #20
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Really ?
Bigger than FDR during WW2 ?
Teddy Roosevelt fighting corporate monopolies ?
Lincoln and the civil war and Emancipation ?
Johnson and Vietnam ?
Andrew Jackson defying the Supreme Court ?
Yes, unlike them he has the MSM backing him and the voting majority in his pocket.

Not only that he will get to appoint 2-3 new supreme court justices he won't have to defy them, they will do his bidding!
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:23 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by DaveSimmons View Post
I read this in Newsweek at the dentist last week, interesting stuff.

The most obstructionist Republican congressmen in history spawn the most executive-order using president as a response.

Both sides might not be happy with the results if power shifts in the future:
- Republicans have shown that you can abuse filibusters and reject all compromises to successfully block congress from accomplishing anything
- Democrats have shown you can work around that to a certain extent by abusing executive orders.

A future Republican senate majority might find they can't do anything without a super-majority, or face a Democratic house that rejects all deals.

A future Republican president might give Democrats a taste of their own executive-order sidestepping of congress.
Here's the dirty little secret the Right don't like to discuss. GWB used the executive order twice as much as President Obama ever has to this date.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...2.80.932009.29
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Old 11-08-2012, 04:16 PM   #22
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My comment about Obama's dream act, is somewhat tempered by both the lack of congressional action, and the Obama record of actually enforcing immigration laws.

As GWB and other previous Presidents, loved to express their outrage at the 12 million mainly Hispanic immigrants who sneaked into this country, but when it came to allocating the Federal law enforcement officials, those Presidents were totally missing in action. Simply because there is also a political consideration. In the fact that many American farmers need and rely on below minimum wage to harvest their crops. And large American Corporations save huge bucks also without violating the law. Simply because they wink wink, get their cheap and illegal Mexicans labor by hiring subcontractors who break the law for them. As huge meatpacking plants simply lose 90% of their labor source any time Immigration officials check their green cards. But cheer up, a few months later they simply hire more illegal immigrants.

But still in terms of enforcing immigration laws, Obama's record is way better than any of his predecessors by 40% or so. Nor can Obama enforce immigration laws all by himself, as congressional budgets severely limit the Federal law enforcement resources he has.

Which is why I fail to be impressed by the argument of Yellus. Because when the resources are finite, its the job of the executive to determine how to prioritize which sets of illegal immigrants to try to deport first.

And there is yet another fact to mention. In the fact that many illegal immigrants of all races try to sneak into the USA to give birth. And by US law dating back to our founding fathers, such children receive automatic US citizenship. Even if they are forced to go back from where they came with their illegal mothers. But when those children reach the age of 18 or 21, they can simply openly and legally cross into this country as
full US citizens. As it also makes general common sense to favor US immigrants that are well educated.
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Old 11-08-2012, 05:47 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Hayabusa Rider View Post
I'd suggest more than Johnson, and more than most others when not at war. No, the present squabbles don't count. If Congress does not do what Obama and his party want, then the Constitution certainly won't get in his way, especially after he selects his pets for the SCOTUS. Ever after the President will effectively be ruler, brushing away opposition as desired. Democrats, remember that like the Republicans before you that there is no party preference for power. Eventually what you want can be undone, and you blame everyone but yourselves and weep bitter tears, for such is your well earned reward along with the scorn of others.
Who was it that ascribed to the idea a President can sign a law then attach a note or something and only enforce the parts he wants to ?

Wasn't that George W Bush, Attorny general Gonzalez, and John Yoo ?

What did Romney say about that ? And why would he protect liberties more than Obama ?
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:28 PM   #24
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Not only that he will get to appoint 2-3 new supreme court justices he won't have to defy them, they will do his bidding!
Yeah, that didn't work out too well for H.W. Bush, did it?

You have no clue how the Supreme Court works.
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:32 PM   #25
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Here's the dirty little secret the Right don't like to discuss. GWB used the executive order twice as much as President Obama ever has to this date.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...2.80.932009.29
8 years vs. 4. If Congress continues to be obstructionist, Obama's number will probably be roughly equal to Bush's.
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