Currently in political speeches, political offices and even in a federal court, debates about President Obama’s executive order effectively granting limited immigration amnesty, are being argued. The debate lies not in the content and purpose of the action but in the constitutionality of the executive order. The question to be decided is whether or not the President overstepped his authority by issuing an executive order having the effect of law and therefore infringing on the Constitutional authority of Congress. That question is now in the courts.
This is not the first time that President Obama has pushed the boundaries of a constitutional issue. A quick google search revealed a list of 25. (Naturally, it should be expected that such a list will contain some political bias.) One unbiased and serious constitutional issue that happened early during his reelection is the reason why I have disapproved of President Obama and his administration for the past several years. The offense is based on Obama’s enemies list. (You really should read it Here.)
In effect, whether directly or indirectly, President Obama was able to use the weight of the Federal Government i.e., the IRS, DOL and a former staffer for the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, to directly harass, monetarily punish, socially ostracize and personally slander a list of 8 individual business men because they donated money to a Republican PAC in opposition to his reelection campaign. These men are good upstanding citizens of the United States of American who are being punished by the President of the United States for participating in an open election! The “liberal” media rather than standing for basic first amendment rights, assisted in the ensuing character assassinations.
These men are not faceless, conservative tax-exempt organizations. They are law abiding private citizens with first amendment guarantees of freedom to express their political views. One of them, Frank Vandersloot, is a south eastern Idaho business man who has been very successful in a number of business ventures. He is known locally as a decent man and a very generous employer. That the US government should unleash such a cowardly set of underhanded actions on a private citizen for political reasons is unconscionable. That a President should encourage it is criminal. Such selfish recklessness chips at the very foundation of our country, its constitution and its freedoms. Evidence that this was not a simple oversight, or the failings of a small group of misguided minions, is established in the pattern that developed over the next few years. The IRS continued to use similar tactics on a number of conservative action groups applying for exempt status. These issues are still under investigation.
Now, years later, we have an immigration court case where the President is effectively creating new law, or at least refusing to uphold the law. Ostensibly, a violation of the Constitution’s separation of powers. Additionally, over the past four years, the Obama administration has ordered criminal investigations of FOX News reporters; passed 21 separate Executive Orders that attack and undermine the Second Amendment; allowed and encouraged the Affordable Care Act assault on Christians and religious freedom; was caught in illegal gun trafficking in Operation Fast & Furious; interfered with a Michigan church’s selection of its own ministers; unilaterally gutted the work requirement for welfare recipients in direct contravention with the law; established an extra-constitutional top secret “kill list” of people (including Americans); and intervened militarily in Libya in 2011 without Congressional approval, (well, many Presidents seem to do that.) While arguments have been made to support the President in his actions, the sheer number of occurrences establishes a pattern of constitutional repression in favor of the Presidency. Because of the “List of Enemies” incident, I am no longer inclined to find innocence or good intentions where selfish aggrandizement and political power plays seem to be the modus operandi.
I would guess that President Obama is anticipating a legacy based on his addressing American’s persistent social issues, of being the person to bring health care to the masses and of finally pushing through comprehensive immigration reform. A legacy that heralds large accomplishments and historical firsts. Indeed, if he had been a man accomplished in building consensus, it might have been. (His failure in this regard is not all the Republican’s fault.) Unfortunately, history will most likely remember him differently.
In this part of the country, in Frank Vandesloot’s part of the country, President Obama’s legacy is that of a common Chicago thug. I’m sorry, but I can find no respect for a president that encourages and allows Federal repression of good American citizens and the very Constitution that he is sworn to uphold. Just as unlawful prejudice would be unforgivable in a Human Resources Director, the political repression of the constitutional rights of an honorable citizen is unforgivable in the President of the United States. His continuing disregard for the law would appear to me to be criminal.
In the future, once accomplishments have been listed and eventually become lost in time, history will remember him simply as the constitutional lawyer who became President and then promptly spit on the Constitution. I can’t imagine that was quite what he was hoping for.
The Moral Middle, was originally hopeful when President Obama was elected. Now I have become not only disillusioned with the President, but I find him morally reprehensible. I’m sorry if that offends you. Any such offense should be a trifling in comparison to that universally afforded all American citizens at the hands of the Obama administration.
Samuel Waen Jensen