President Obama has stopped enforcing laws. The Senate has stopped passing laws. Who's the more insidious threat to the Constitution?
The conservative meme of the day is that Obama is "a domestic threat to the U.S. Constitution," in the words of the Washington Times' Joseph Curl. "From the very beginning, the president and his administration made clear they had no intention of enforcing laws they didn't like," Curl writes, putting Friday's executive order delaying the deportation of young illegal immigrants on top of a pile of undefended laws, noting the Justice Department is no longer defending the Defense of Marriage Act, has stopped prosecuting medical marijuana growers, and has given many states waivers to No Child Left Behind. Curl hints that impeachment might be in order.
The Drudge Report linked to Curl's story, but his isn't the only one with sweeping maybe-constitutional-crisis language. Andrew C. McCarthy writes at PJ Media says Obama is "continuing the dramatic shift from American constitutional democracy to rule by executive fiat that has marked his tenure." Obama said these immigrants were Americans "in every single way but one — on paper." The paper in question, McCarthy said, is the law:
The Constitution and congressional statutes are written on parchment. That is the only relevance of “paper” in this equation — as the “hard copy” of our social contract and of the laws enacted pursuant to it. Under the Constitution, Congress, not the President, is endowed with the power “To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization.” Congress exercises this power by passing laws. Under the Constitution, which Obama took an oath to preserve, protect and defend, and under the laws it is his duty to execute faithfully, illegal aliens — no matter how sympathetic their plight, no matter how blameless they may be for the illegality of their status — are not citizens of the United States. They are not Americans. Period.
In a National Review post titled "Executive Overreach," John Yoo writes, "President Obama’s claim that he can refuse to deport 800,000 aliens here in the country illegally illustrates the unprecedented stretching of the Constitution and the rule of law." Well guys, he would know. Yoo is the Bush administration aide who wrote memos authorizing torture of terror detainees. Once asked if congressional law could stop the president from authorizing interrogators to crush the testicles of a detainee's child, Yoo responded, "I think it depends on why the President thinks he needs to do that." Yoo as critic of executive overreach reaches new heights of hypocrisy.