Quote of the Day on Executive Overreach

National Review’s Yuval Levin hits on what I really don’t like about the Obama Administration:

In one sense, the approach the president is said to be contemplating does fit into a pattern of his use of executive power. That pattern involves taking provocative executive actions on sensitive, divisive issues to isolate people he detests, knowing it will invite a sharp response, and then using the response to scare his own base voters into thinking they are under assault when in fact they are on the offensive. That’s how moving to compel nuns to buy contraception and abortive drugs for their employees became “they’re trying to take away your birth control.” This strategy needlessly divides the country and brings out the worst instincts of people on all sides, but it has obvious benefits for the administration and its allies. Liberals get both the substantive action and the political benefit of calling their opponents radicals and getting their supporters worked up. Obama’s legalization of millions would surely draw a response that could then be depicted as evidence of Republican hostility to immigrants, rather than of Republican hostility to illegal executive overreach that tries to make highly significant policy changes outside the bounds of our constitutional order.

It’s not that he’s liberal. I’ve been through liberal presidents in my lifetime. Despite Clinton being far more damaging on guns than Barack Obama could ever dream of, I never developed the visceral dislike of Clinton Administration that I have for the Obama Administration. Maybe that’s partly psychological. The Clinton years were good. I look back fondly on that time in life. In contrast, the Obama years have been hellish both financially and in always feeling like we’re living on the razors edge just a hair’s breath away from losing everything we thought we believed about this country.

Philosophically, I think Barack Obama is a fairly conventional progressive in the mold of Woodrow Wilson; another ends-justify-the-means president who isn’t above flaming the worst instincts in the populace if it benefits the promotion of his political agenda. But I also can’t help but to take a swipe at Republicans here.

You know what makes Republican cries of overreach ring hollow? Maybe because your guy did it over the howls of the left during the last Administration? I would be the first to agree that Bush’s crimes with executive overreach pale in comparison to Obama’s, but Bush set the stage. You reap what you sow. I’m deeply angry at the Obama surveillance state, but it was Bush who laid the foundation for it. Let’s not kid ourselves.

Many people on the right call on President Obama to be impeached for a his overreach. Like the author of this piece, I am more sympathetic to handing out green cards more liberally than the majority of conservatives. But if he unilaterally, and without legal authority, implements amnesty without action by Congress, I believe he ought to be impeached. That would be a bridge too far for me when it comes to illegal executive actions. I know the consequence of that is President Joe Biden. I’d take it.

However, you know what makes impeachment politically impossible for the Republicans? You know what makes Obama invite the very idea? Progressives well remember what happened the last time Republicans decided it was a good idea to impeach the last Democratic president over the very important topic to the future of the country: lying about whether he did or did not get a blow job from another consenting adult.

Impeachment is serious business. It should only be for very serious things. But when the GOP made President Clinton only the second President in the US to be impeached by the House, over being dishonest about blow jobs, they cheapened the very idea. Along comes a president who has actually done some things I think may deserve impeachment, and sorry guys, you surrendered the moral high ground.

So Obama won’t be impeached. And you can thank Newt Gringrich for that.

17 thoughts on “Quote of the Day on Executive Overreach”

  1. Even if the house did impeach it would fail in the senate. as I recall it takes a 2/3 vote in the senate to get it done. That is not going to happen.

  2. The meme of “he was impeached for getting a blowjob” was the spin that the Clinton administration and the press put on it. He was impeached for lying under oath in a suit that was filed against him, in which he testified that he had never had sex outside of marriage.
    Perjury is still a serious crime in my book, even if the rest of the nation thinks that it is business as usual.

    1. Much like where Sebastian said they cheapened impeachment, asking someone under oath whether or not they recieved a blowjob from a particular woman cheapens the charge of perjury.

  3. 10-4 divemedic… The idea that the suit was about a blowjob totally misses the point, and is totally parallel with the strategy laid out by the levin quote.. The blow job meme was where the dems perfected the manipulation of their willing accomplaces in the MSM and low information voters.. That is what makes it work. The right cant use the strategy because they cant coopt the MSM, since all the reporters were educated in the Universities long ago infiltrated with radical left wing thought brainwashing, the first step in the overthrow of american principle .. And where that leaves us is impotent against any meme the left wants to spin.. Like taking away somebodies birth control, when in reality, the question passed over is why should I have to pay for it??? We, as a country, have been hijacked, and it’s basically over.. Just a slow circling around the toilet drain before it’s all gone. Brace yourself, and pray for a miricle.

  4. I have heard the same claim that Bush was worse than Obama on executive ordes. I know he did more. But executive orders can be for doing executive action rather than rewriting or making new law. So if Bush overreached and abused his office to perform leglislation please provide examples.

    1. Patriot Act. Bush bullied, threatened, amplified fear among the populace to get his “free to do what the F I want” passed.


  5. Yeah, I get tired of people trashing Obama for this (altho I don’t think he is right) when G.W. Bush did more to erode individual rights than any modern president.

  6. At the end of the day it is bureaucratic politics at its finest. Regardless of ideology, you want to increase your power depending on where you sit.

  7. I agree the Patriot Act is bad. However that was voted in s it was not overreached with Bush usurping Congress power. Bush also did not want the Homeland Security but Congress was so eager he agreed. So I want some actual example because I keep hearing the same narrative. Sebastian had in is post.

  8. I’m curious which 21 democratic senators you think would join a united republican block to remove Obama from office. If the Clinton impeachment had never happened, and the GOP maintained the moral high ground, and the House impeached Obama, what exactly would be the point? There’s not the remotest chance that nearly 1/2 of the senate democratic caucus would do the right thing. And since they wouldn’t, the House voting to impeach would be just another example of the mean obstructionist right wing extremists attacking the president.

    The system is broken. It’s not broken because Bush overreached in his reaction to the very real threat of Islamic extremism, and it’s not broken because the GOP impeached a president for his illegal activity. It’s broken because too many politicians at the national level care more about accruing power and wealth than about doing what’s best for the country.

    1. “It’s broken because too many politicians at the national level care more about accruing power and wealth than about doing what’s best for the country.”

      Power corrupts …

      Any one with an expectation that most politicians will do what is in the “best interest” of their constituents is living in a fantasy world. It is worse the higher you go, but it is bad at all levels. Plenty of small town and big city politicians are corrupt, as are many county and state ones.

  9. Andy N is correct.. Note all the polls that go in in debt and come out multi Millionaires .. Or more..

  10. An allcap “indeed” on what divemedic and DamDoc said plus a mild shame on Sebastian for falling victim to the Murray Gell-Mann Amnesia effect. And don’t forget the charge of subornation of perjury (much more serious, I think) which was enough to get WJC disbarred in Arkansas.
    The impeachment was a terrible tactical decision, prolly fueled at least in part by Repubs making the stupid mistake of actually taking feminists at their word in their decades of ranting that any boss/employee sexual relationship was by definition coerced (and thus akin to rape) based on the power differential between the two individuals. Exceptionally stupid not to have noticed that the left will happily disavow its most sacred tenets if doing so helps the cause.

  11. When I look at YouTube comments and the comments for any news article, I understand why we end up with Presidents like Bush and Obama. Most Americans are poorly educated. Most Americans are too selfish and apathetic to care about our country. Obama personifies apathy and selfishness. Hopefully our next President will personify something other than apathy and selfishness.

  12. President Clinton was dis-barred for that same lying under oath.

    The Republicans didn’t cheapen the concept of impeachment, the MSM did.

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