In an interview published Saturday at the New York Times, Barack Obama said he wasn’t concerned about criticism raised by his unilateral actions bypassing Congress since very few of those critics are lawyers.
The Times asked Obama if he consulted with a lawyer prior to unilaterally delaying the employer mandate in Obamacare.
Obama never directly answered the question, but as Byron York observed at the Washington Examiner, his answer, essentially was “no.”
York’s description was more colorful: “No, I didn’t consult White House lawyers because I know a lot more about the Constitution than the Republicans who are complaining about it. And besides, they don’t think I’m legitimately the president, anyway.”
Obama reiterated his pledge to act unilaterally when necessary but promised to work with Congress when they agreed with him.
The president said that if Congress thinks what he’s done is inappropriate, they’re free to make the case.
“But there’s not an action that I take that you don’t have some folks in Congress who say that I’m usurping my authority,” he added. “Some of those folks think I usurp my authority by having the gall to win the presidency. And I don’t think that’s a secret. But ultimately, I’m not concerned about their opinions — very few of them, by the way, are lawyers, much less constitutional lawyers.”
After Obama’s party got shellacked in the 2010 midterm elections, the far left wing Center for American Progress said Obama should use every means available — including his power as commander-in-chief of the military — to push his agenda, bypassing Congress and ultimately, the American people.
Several times, Obama has openly expressed a desire to rule by fiat, bypassing Congress to enact his policies.
In July 2011, for example, he told the National Council of La Raza that if he had his way, he would “bypass Congress and change the laws on my own.”
That kind of move on issues like illegal immigration would suit Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., just fine.
“Take the executive action today,” he said in July 2011. “Don’t wait for the Senate, don’t wait for the House, don’t wait for the Republicans and the Democrats to get together,” he demanded.
After the 2012 election, Obama expressed a desire to impose his will on Congress while speaking in Burma, although he acknowledged that he cannot do so constitutionally.
As recently as Friday, Obama bypassed Congress again, approving a waiver that would give $148 million to the Palestinian Authority, and by extension, the terror group Hamas. Last Wednesday, however, he threatened to veto a defense appropriation bill over a 1.8 percent pay raise and demanded military retirees pay more for health care.
Obama, however, insists his executive actions are little more than “routine modifications or tweaks.” Those who criticize him, he argued, are simply engaging in a “frenzy.”
- Obama bypasses Congress, orders waiver on ban of aid to Palestinians
- Obama bypasses Congress, rewrites welfare reform law with policy directive
- Obama blames ‘phony scandals’ for bad economy, threatens unilateral action (Video)
- Liberal think tank says President can use military to push progressive agenda
- Obama threatens defense veto if health care premiums for military not increased
- Obama says he wishes that he could impose his will on Congress in Burma speech
- Sarah Palin: ‘I was forbidden from telling the truth about Obama in 2008’
- President Obama to La Raza: I wish I could change the laws on my own
- The case against re-electing Barack Hussein Obama, part 2: Obama versus the Constitution
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