Obama probes the “outer limits”
Jonah Goldberg had a piece in NRO:
Somehow, Obama manages to be both. [excerpt]
Of all the time-honored failings for which we criticize sitting presidents — by “we” I mean pundits, academics, and other members of the chattering phylum — two charges stand out: imperialism and shrinkage. Usually it’s one or the other. /…
The flip side of the shrinking presidency is the imperial presidency, something we’ve been fretting about, by name, since at least Franklin Roosevelt and in principle since the Founding.
Politically, what is remarkable is that Obama seems to be doing both at the same time. His “Year of Action” — intended to dispel that lame-duck scent — is simultaneously Caesar-like and pathetic. (Maybe the presidential seal should depict that dude from the Little Caesars pizza commercials?) Last week, he announced that he would unilaterally raise the minimum wage for federal contractors seeking new work. Only 1 percent of the workforce makes the minimum wage, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and vanishingly few of them work for the federal government. This probably explains why the White House wouldn’t give an actual number when asked how many people his bold action would benefit.
Yet, at the Democratic retreat last week, Obama threw cold water on the idea that he could do much more on immigration from the Oval Office, saying there are “outer limits to what we can do by executive action.”
Some of his unilateral actions are a bigger deal, of course. The Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to treat carbon dioxide as a “pollutant” is an outrageous expansion of executive power. But Obama doesn’t tout that as a bullet point; he let the EPA take the political heat for that decision a while ago. His multiple unilateral revisions to Obamacare run the gamut from desperate tinkering to outright lawlessness. But flop-sweat panic to compensate for executive incompetence and to fend off a rout in the midterms doesn’t exactly project presidential boldness either.
There are “outer limits to what [I] can do by executive action”? (…why say “we”)
Well, you wouldn’t think so by what the Dictator says in speeches, and how he acts. Limits? I somehow cannot see Obama, in a selfie, fretting about limits – especially over immigration when he already took executive unilateral action. The Obfuscator told us he has a pen and a phone …. let the unilateral actions begin, uh or continue.
Or maybe he meant that there seem to be outer limits to executive action but that he will probe and penetrate those. Does anyone think Obama sees any limitations?
Like the old TV series, the irony is there don’t seem to be any limits. And he keeps writing new episodes every week, be it epa, or the FCC putting monitors in press rooms, or his climate change agenda, or on spending. Are there any limits in that mindset? As the series slogan said, “reaches from the inner mind to the outer limits”.
LA Times 2/14/14:
In a closed-door session, he promised to help any candidates who needed him during the coming campaign season but notably did not repeat his predictions that the Democrats would regain control of the House this year, according to participants.
He also sought to tamp down pressure from his party for executive actions to limit deportations, telling lawmakers that his power to do more in that area was limited.
People need to understand that there are “outer limits to what we can do by executive action,” Obama told the lawmakers, according to aides who attended the closed-door meeting.
Earlier, Democrats met with Vice President Joe Biden, who indicated that the administration realized Congress would not vote this year on proposals to give the president so-called fast-track authority for negotiating trade treaties.
The trade proposal has been a divisive issue for Democrats, and party leaders would prefer to postpone it until after this fall’s election.
Obama is the last person the US should trust with “fast-track authority” – if anyone. Let’s see what he manages with his trusty pen and phone. (and endless outer limits) There seem to be no outer limits on his globul warming agenda, or his war on energy. Shrinking presidency? No signs of shrinkage yet. Reality never inhibited Obama.
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