Senator Barack Obama, 2008: “The biggest problems that we’re facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all. And that’s what I intend to reverse when I’m president of the United States of America.”
Some foolish voters thought that Obama meant that the big problem was that George Bush was bringing more and more power into the executive branch and not go[ing] through Congress. In fact, Obama obviously meant that the big problem was George Bush bringing more and more power into the executive branch and not go[ing] through Congress. So Obama kept his promise. George Bush is no longer bringing more and more power into the executive branch and ignoring Congress. President Obama is. And not just on immigration law, but by refusing to either ask Congress’s assent or even abide by the War Powers Act with regard to Libya and ISIS, by appointing czars to avoid confirmation hearings and Congressional oversight, by making phony recess appointments (invalidated 9-0 by the Supreme Court), by imposing common core by administrative fiat, by making ad hoc changes to Obamacare with little pretense of legal authority to do so, and so on and so forth.
But what’s bad news for the country (and I do think that overzealous exercises of executive power are bad news, whether done by Obama, Bush, or some future president building on their actions) might be good news for me, as I’ve just signed a book contract for my manuscript on the Obama Administration, the Constitution, and the rule of law.