Patterico's Pontifications

8/6/2014

Justifying Executive Action

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:06 pm

[guest post by Dana]

The president has no choice in the matter, people. If obstructionist Republicans weren’t so stubborn, dysfunctional and obstructionist, he wouldn’t be forced to take action. And action he must take, because after all, we don’t want our president sitting around twiddling his thumbs and doing nothing, do we?


President Obama emphasized that while he prefers to work with Congress, he will continue to take executive action to accomplish his objectives. His administration will make sure to work within the confines of executive powers but will “scour our authorities to try and make progress” on issues such as the border crisis and immigration, he said.

“I promise you the American people don’t want me just standing around, twiddling my thumbs, and waiting for Congress to get something done,” he told reporters at a press conference this afternoon that concluded a summit between the United States and African leaders.

With that, the president has decided to make the great sacrifice of breaking up his vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, allotting two days to go back to Washington for meetings and updates. And of course, included in his vacation schedule will be a fundraiser for Senate Democrats.

I don’t begrudge the president a vacation, and quite frankly, I’m all for him twiddling his thumbs and doing nothing. For a very long time.

–Dana

Update: This is amusing, in light of this post:

President Obama on Wednesday dismissed charges that he broke the law by going around Congress on issues ranging from health care to immigration.

“I never have a green light. I’m bound by the Constitution. I’m bound by separation of powers,” Obama said at a press conference, concluding a Washington summit on Africa.

“What I can do is scour our authorities to try to make progress,” Obama added of his approach in the face of congressional gridlock.

House Republicans brought a lawsuit against Obama for delaying the employer mandate in his signature health law. And Obama is weighing whether to expand the deferral of deportations of Dream Act-eligible immigrants to others living in the country illegally — a move conservatives have called illegal.

24 Responses to “Justifying Executive Action”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (4dbf62)

  2. All he has to do is wait another 6 months, and suddenly Congress will start passing a lot of bills. Then he can work with them, or not.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  3. Kevin M.,

    See the update.

    Dana (4dbf62)

  4. “I’m bound by the Constitution.”

    In which Article do we find the “thumb twiddling” clause?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  5. is Barky a liar? crazy? Or both?

    jb (56b57b)

  6. Actually, I think someone ought to commission a poll to see just how many Americans would prefer for him to twiddle his thumbs and do nothing

    I see those hands going up.

    Can you imagine the heads exploding if George W. said this stuff?

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  7. Worst case scenario, not only is there a large outbreak in Lagos, but Boko Harum decides to take control of the north half of the country while government forces are occupied.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  8. #3,

    I’m referring to his golden opportunity to work with a unified GOP Congress come 2015.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  9. If he starts vetoing “reform” bills, and then tries to change the law by fiat, there will be real problems.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  10. I think Ezra Voxsplained it, so it’s all good now.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  11. I love the construct that unless Congress does what the President wants, he can do whatever he wants. It is like he is giving Congress a perfunctory and meaningless bite at the apple. I am looking at a copy of the Constitution, and I am having a hard time finding the “if congress does not bend to my will, I get to do whatever I want” clause.

    JD (7fe28c)

  12. 7. 150 have died in the last 48 hours. We’re in the log phase of an epidemic.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  13. 7. Cont. 100 of those contracting Ebola during the current outbreak of a total <1500 have been health professionals.

    If this sort of ratio continues, when all the world shall have taken alarm, I believe we are in some trouble.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  14. Lighten up folks. Obama may be a Constitutional scholar, but just not of our constitution.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  15. If HteWon had spent a little more time learning about American culture he would know the wisdom that underlies “Don’t just do something, sit there!”

    Absent such knowledge, we can only hope that he plays more golf.

    bobathome (5ccbd8)

  16. We also don’t want our president on perpetual vacation or golf outings but that doesn’t stop him. Does it? When the call comes in at 3AM we want an answer, not a deferal.

    Jim (145e10)

  17. Once again, what I’m thinking isn’t fit for an old lady to publish.

    AZ_Langer (a65cb5)

  18. Yeah
    Vacation at $1M per day for the next 2.5 years looks cheap

    steveg (794291)

  19. “I never have a green light. I’m bound by the Constitution. I’m bound by separation of powers,” Obama said at a press conference, concluding a Washington summit on Africa.

    Perhaps he’s decided the Honduran Constitution wasn’t so bad afterall.

    Bill H (f9e4cd)

  20. Well I’ve got a suggestion as to what the Bamster can do with his thumbs. Insert one in his mouth, and insert the other in the southern end of his alimentary canal–and keep them there for the remainder of his term in office.

    Skeptical Voter (12e67d)

  21. What are Obama the Destroyer’s plans and schemes?

    Does he really want to overload the socialist welfare system with millions of new voters looking to loot the country?

    Max Harris (7aeb38)

  22. Greetings:

    And the lying lips, having once again lied, lied on.

    11B40 (844d04)

  23. The One can do much less damage if he looks at nothing but verdant greens from now through January 2017.Golf on, ye brilliant Light Bringer!

    Bugg (3a2abd)

  24. 11. JD (7fe28c) — 8/6/2014 @ 7:39 pm

    I love the construct that unless Congress does what the President wants, he can do whatever he wants. It is like he is giving Congress a perfunctory and meaningless bite at the apple. I am looking at a copy of the Constitution, and I am having a hard time finding the “if congress does not bend to my will, I get to do whatever I want” clause

    Maybe the answer can be found on the Nixon tapes re: impoundment. He had the sdame kind of argument. i.e. something was necessary. It wasn’t done. So he had the power to do something, which he didn’t, let alone this begged the question of whether it should be done.

    The crisis started because Congress overrode Nixon’s veto of a water pollution bill and then Nixon tried not spending the money anywy even though his veto had been overridden.

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/anncon/html/art2frag36_user.html

    Impoundment626 was defended by Administration spokesmen as being a power derived from the President’s executive powers and particularly from his obligation to see to the faithful execution of the laws, i.e., his discretion in the manner of execution. The President, the argument went, is responsible for deciding when two conflicting goals of Congress can be harmonized and when one must give way, when, for example, congressional desire to spend certain moneys must yield to congressional wishes to see price and wage stability. In some respects, impoundment was said or implied to flow from certain inherent executive powers that repose in any President. Finally, statutory support was sought; certain laws were said to confer discretion to withhold spending, and it was argued that congressional spending programs are discretionary rather than mandatory.627

    Footnote 627 is:

    Impoundment of Appropriated Funds by the President, Hearings before the Senate Government Operations Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Impoundment of Funds, 93d Congress, 1st sess. (1973), 358 (then–Deputy Attorney General Sneed).

    See also:

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/420/35

    Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7)


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