After nearly eight years of aiding and abetting Obama, leftists now fear the possible constitutional overreach of our next president.
Peter Beinart writes angrily in The Atlantic of the supposed Trump intellectuals, apparently on the premise of not whether one has endorsed formally the Trump candidacy, but whether one has been critical of the existing administration. He suggests that I am guilty of suggesting that “America’s current leaders” are “predatory and decadent” and as one of “Trump’s intellectuals” have wrongly warned that “the natural arc of Obama-style progressivism is always anti-constitutional fascism.” (The quote is taken from a June NRO essay entitled “A Long Trump Summer” that lamented two “unprincipled candidates.”)
I and many others, long ago in the pre-Trump age, cited the quite dangerous trajectory of Obama’s constitutional overreach. That worry is now shared apparently by the New York Times. Suddenly in year eight, its editors fear that someday another president, perhaps one less sensitive, more uncouth than Obama, might find his exemplar useful, but for less exalted progressive purposes. Thus the Times has characterized Obama’s overreach as “bureaucratic bulldozing rather than legislative transparency.” And more ominously it notes, “But once Mr. Obama got the taste for it, he pursued his executive power without apology, and in ways that will shape the presidency for decades to come.”
Long before the arrival of Donald Trump on the current election scene, many noted with alarm efforts to circumvent the Congress with Obama’s “pen and phone” executive orders and nullification of existing law — whether the executive-order amnesties and non-enforcement of the border that he had warned he could not do before his reelection, given that they would be the work of an autocrat, or his allowance of sanctuary cities’ Confederate-like nullification of existing federal law, or his arbitrary reelection-cycle, non-enforcement of elements of his own Affordable Care Act, or virtual rewriting of laws in federal bureaucracies such as the EPA, or the quite dangerous politicization of agencies such as Lois Lerner’s activity at the IRS or the Eric-Holder/Loretta Lynch Justice Department or his divisive Chavista braggadocio (“get in their faces,” “punish our enemies,” “bring a gun to a knife fight,” “you didn’t build that,” etc.).
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