No checks, no balances?

There was one very telling passage in President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address last Tuesday. Addressing the issue of global warming, Obama said more action was needed from the US government, and “if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will. I will direct my Cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future…”

Obama is certainly not the first president to see his office as an “imperial presidency.” Over the decades, presidents have taken, assumed or been given more control over issues from fiscal policy, to defense, to social policy. Indeed, people often elect presidents to be their champion, to fix things, to get things done, rather than be the administrator of decisions made by Congress.

Obama takes this trend to a new level, it seems. He wants to tell Congress what to do, and if it won’t he and his administration will do it anyway. He speaks of bipartisanship, but it is obvious his idea of bipartisanship is for his opposition to come over to his point of view.

We prefer the system of checks and balances written into the Constitution to the imperial presidency Obama seems to be practicing.

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