THOMAS SOWELL: Enduring a lame-duck democracy
Rights are only protected when the president respects the Constitution
By Thomas Sowell Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University
Monday, June 23, 2014
Pundits are pointing to President Obama’s recent decline in public opinion polls, and they’re saying that he may now become another “lame duck” president, unable to accomplish much during his final term in office.
That has happened to other presidents, but it is extremely unlikely to happen to this president. There are reasons why other presidents have become impotent during their last years in office. Those reasons do not apply to Mr. Obama.
The Constitution of the United States does not give presidents the power to carry out major policy changes without the cooperation of other branches of government. Once the country becomes disenchanted with a president during his second term, Congress has little incentive to cooperate with him — and once Congress becomes uncooperative, there is little that a president can do on his own.
That is, if he respects the Constitution.
Mr. Obama has demonstrated, time and again, that he has no respect for the Constitution’s limitations on his power. Despite his oath of office, to see that the laws are faithfully executed, Mr. Obama has unilaterally changed welfare reform laws by eliminating the work requirement passed by Congress during the Clinton administration.
He has repeatedly and unilaterally changed or waived provisions of the Obamacare law passed by Congress during his own administration.
Mr. Obama has ordered Border Patrol agents not to carry out provisions of the immigration laws that he does not like. We see the results today in the tens of thousands of illegal immigrants entering the country unimpeded. (more…)