With 'Obamacare' before the Supreme Court, the president's ongoing struggle with the judicial branch has come to the forefront bypassing lesser publicized White House maneuvering to sidestep Congress. A New York Times report published Sunday analyzed President Obama's strategy in recent months to use executive power to circumvent Congress under the slogan "We Can't Wait," pushing through his domestic agenda and avoiding Republican opposition. The move appears especially hypocritical considering that as a Senator, Obama was a leading critic of executive unilateralism by President Bush when dealing with national security and counterterrorism.
The Times reports that since February 2011, the president has directed the Justice Department to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act against constitutional challenges, increased efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions through environmental regulations, gave states waivers from federal mandates if they agreed to education overhauls, and scaled back deportation policy to give relief to illegal immigrants brought to the country as children.
President Obama announced his latest executive action at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Monday with the formal establishment of the Atrocities Prevention Board, and an executive order that allows U.S. officials to impose sanctions against foreign nationals found to have used new technologies, including cellphone tracking and Internet monitoring, to help carry out grave human rights abuses. While these latest actions appear much less politically divisive than previous executive orders, the news raises questions of continued executive overreach.
"Real News" panelist Buck Sexton pointed out Monday that while the use of executive orders is not new, President Obama's actions are especially alarming and contrast previous Administrations for they do not fall under war powers, and only used to implement domestic legislation that cannot pass in Congress.
"It's not 'this is an executive order to do something during a time of war,' it's 'this is an executive order to do something that I explicitly'--and I say this as the chief executive--'cannot get through Congress, therefore I'm going to find another way to get it on my own,'" Sexton said.
Appearing on the "Real News" panel Monday, Andrew Wilkow of The Wilkow Majority on SiriusXM said that not all executive orders change the government as we know it. However, the latest order is "not pardoning a turkey." Wilkow argued that this is a trade policy issue which the president doesn't have the authority to act unilaterally on.
In addition to executive overreach, S.E. Cupp expressed further disgust with the president speaking out against technology at the Holocaust Memorial Museum while remaining silent to ongoing human rights violations in Syria and Iran.
"It's absolutely negligent on his part, and I thought it was embarrassing." said Cupp.