All presidents, sooner or later, figure out a way around congressional resistance to their agenda. President Obama may have taken longer than others, but unilateral executive branch action is now in full swing.

Wanting to impose your will without congressional interference or obstruction is entirely understandable; it's called using power.  Every president has done it. But as our politics have retreated to the extremes and gridlock has increased, executive orders have increased.  

This is not a sign of a healthy democracy. In the last few administration changes, we have been treated to the recision of many of the previous occupant's executive orders. So policy, such as Environmental Protection Agency regulations, that is supposed to last for years is often temporary and entirely politicized.  Markets, to say nothing of bureaucracies, are whipsawed, and confidence in Washington's ability to problem-solve further erodes.  So the irony is this: The power of a president is temporarily enhanced at the expense of the legitimacy of our democratic process.