Thursday, January 19, 2017

Final Review: End Of An Error, Part 2 - The Many Failures of The Obama Administration: The Obama Imperial Presidency

As the Obama Presidency starts to wind down we thought it would be a good idea to do a final review of the Obama era. We took an initial swing at that topic back in October, 2016 with a series of seven posts starting on October 9, 2016 with the following post:

Not unexpectedly, the review across those seven posts captured the myriad of failures of this Presidency. Diplomatically, economically, fiscally, militarily, legally, Constitutionally, integrity-wise,and in many other ways, in my opinion, this has been the worst Presidency of my lifetime. If you are a liberal, please read the posts, all of which are extensively sourced, before going off the deep end without thinking. This Presidency has stunk.

This week, we will update these topics, relying mostly on some fine analysis by Reason magazine, that again will verify how bad this administration has been. Today we will focus on how Obama has propagated and greatly expanded the concept of “the imperial Presidency,” i.e. a President that does what he wants when he wants it with little regard to Constitutional procedures and rules of law.

Let’s start with some examples that we discussed previously regarding his foreign and military actions that have violated existing laws such as the War Powers Act and the Constitution:

  • He put American “boots on the ground” in Syria without Congressional authorization.
  • He reinserted American troops into Iraq without Congressional authorization.
  • He conducted an undeclared war in Libya for seven months, destroying a whole country and society that was in no way endangering America or Americans, without Congressional authorization.
  • He inserted U.S. troops into multiple countries of Africa (e.g. Nigeria, West Africa, and Uganda) without Congressional authorization.
  • He continues to bomb or drone attack multiple countries (e.g. Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia) without Congressional authorization.
But his creation of an imperial Presidency goes far beyond military power and abuse:

  • He spied on just about every America and just about every one of their electronic messages and communications without Congressional authorization.
  • He ignored a Federal judge's order relative to offshore drilling in the Gulf Of Mexico.
  • He unilaterally changed and delayed numerous parts of the Obama Care legislation without Congressional authorization.
  • He used executive privilege to protect his attorney general, Eric Holder, from Congressional and legal investigations, and his breaking of domestic gun running laws and international treaties when Holder provided thousands of weapons to dangerous Mexican drug cartels under the failed and idiotic Fast and Furious program.
  • He tried to unilaterally change or ignore existing immigration laws until overruled by the courts.
  • He unilaterally decided not to enforce existing laws such as DOMA.
  • He used and abused the IRS as a political weapon to squash Americans’ First Amendment rights to free speech and dissent with his policies.
  • He used and abused other Federal agencies to harass political opponents or to help political allies, e.g. Gibson guitar harassment, Boeing relocation plans, General Motors bondholders, Solyndra, etc.
  • He claimed he had the legal authority to create “kill lists” and then went forth and used that list to kill at least one American, denying him and likely others their due process under the Constitution, and when concerned citizens filed Freedom of Information Act request to find out how these lists were determined and used his administration arrogantly stated “the very existence or nonexisrence of such documents is itself classified,” i.e. whether or not such a lists exists is none of your business. 
  • His administration “has conducted more Espionage Act prosecutions against leakers than all of his predecessors combined. He’s taken secrecy to new heights of absurdity, denying Americans information about the legal standards under which the government can spy on them or even kill them.” Reason magazine, February, 2017.
  • Besides prosecuting a load of whistleblowers, the Obama administration harassed, spied on, and stonewalled journalists trying to do their job and bring transparency to the Federal government, so much so that in 2013 the Committee To Protect Journalists issued a report that stated: “The Obama administration's aggressive war on leaks and its determined efforts to control information that the news media needs to hold the government accountable for its actions, are without equal since the Nixon administration and in direct conflict with President Obama’s often-stated goal of making his administration the most transparent in American history."
  • Furthermore, in 2014, 38 national press organizations called on Obama to “end politically driven suppression of news and information about Federal agencies.”

Subverting the press, protecting law breakers, breaking or ignoring existing laws, harassing private citizens and companies, creating and managing kill lists of American and non-American citizens, waging wars without Congressional authorizations, politicizing Federal organizations, discouraging whistleblowers, etc. This is the imperial Presidency that Obama has created, and the country allowed him to do, it is the imperial Presidency that he hands off to Donald Trump, for better or worse. The failed Presidency of Barack Obama and his lasting legacy of an imperial Presidency.

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