President Obama has received a lot of controversy for his rhetorical declaration that he intends to use executive orders to fulfill his administration’s policy objectives. In many ways, this is a sign of desperation on his part. You could see this desperation reflected in his meandering and vapid State of the Union Address where the only noteworthy moment was honoring a wounded soldier. He is rapidly approaching lame duck status, his health care program is becoming a costly fiasco, America’s international credibility has declined significantly during his presidency, we still have enormous national debt problems, and job creation is stagnant. Obama’s Democratic Party is unlikely to regain control of the House and its highly probable that Republicans will gain control of the Senate in this November’s upcoming elections. Slowly, but surely, Americans are getting buyers remorse over the utopian promises of hope and change they let themselves be seduced by in 2008 and 2012.
Executive orders are an important part of the President’s constitutional prerogative to ensure that the laws are faithfully executed. They have been used by Presidents of both parties and can be necessary to carry out critical national policy needs even if such needs are unpopular. While Obama’s forthcoming use of executive orders will undoubtedly fulfill the bad policies his administration has enacted across the spectrum and while they will not be adhering to congressional intent, we should not forget that there have been times in the past and will be times in the future when a Republican President will need to use executive orders to implement desirable policy objectives over the clamoring opposition of Congressional Democrats and the leftist cognoscenti. The long dark night of the Obama Administration will eventually end and a new Republican Administration, depending on the congressional power structure in 2017, may need to make heavy use of executive orders to repeal the most egregious Obama Administration policy blunders.
Congressional Republicans need to continue holding the Obama Administration’s feet to the fire with particular emphasis on the “legal advice” provided to the White House by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel. Obama’s contempt for congress’ constitutional oversight prerogatives is well known and documented and Congress should make vigorous use of its subpoena, appropriations, and oversight powers to keep the legal advice the Obama Administration receives firmly in the sunlight and not hidden behind fraudulent claims of attorney-client or executive privilege. In addition, conservative Americans and all Americans favoring constitutional governance, should use regulations.gov to comment on proposed Obama Administration executive orders and regulations which are bad public policy and constitutionally injurious. The congressional Republican leadership, particularly in the House of Representatives, must engage in 24/7 scrutiny of how Obama uses or abuses executive orders and not shrink from bringing impeachment charges against him if his conduct rises of the level of high crimes and misdemeanors as is constitutionally mandated for removing the President. Since Vice-President Biden has been intimately involved in Obama Administration policymaking, he also should not be immunized from such action if that become necessary. It is particularly ironic and sad that a President who once taught constitutional law at a prominent law school is so ignorant of constitutional realities and thinks he is above the governing principles carefully enacted by our sagacious founding fathers.