What should we call a president who ignores the other two branches of government?

The Obama administration just keeps on barreling down the road to absolute dictatorship.

When Obama didn’t like the fact Congress would not pass the DREAM Act and let children brought into the country illegally have the same rights as citizens, he issued an executive fiat.

2010 State of the Union address

When parts of the ObamaCare law that was passed by Congress did not suit him, he waived whatever section of the law suited him. Repeatedly.

When Congress would not pass legislation to shut down coal-fired power plants, he had his EPA issue rules that did the same thing.

When not enough Republicans would accede to his packing of the D.C. appeals court, he had Harry Reid nuke the filibuster.

Now his IRS is rewriting the tax-exemption rules for 501(c)(4)s to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC.

The FEC went after Citizens United, a 501(c)(4), for airing a movie about Hillary Clinton within 30 days of the 2008 primary election. The Supreme Court said that was unconstitutional under the First Amendment.

The IRS is proposing a change in the rules to say:

“Under the proposed definition, any public communication that is made within 60 days before a general election or 30 days before a primary election and that clearly identifies a candidate for public office (or, in the case of a general election, refers to a political party represented in that election) would be considered candidate-related political activity. These timeframes are the same as those appearing in the Federal Election Campaign Act definition of electioneering communications.”

Does it get any more blatant than that?

In his 2010 State of the Union address, Obama, facing several member of the Supreme Court in the audience, declared:

“With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests — including foreign corporations — to spend without limit in our elections. (Applause.) I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities. (Applause.) They should be decided by the American people. And I’d urge Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to correct some of these problems.”

No bill. No problem. Just have the IRS rewrite the rules. Just dictate from the Oval Office.

 

Principles matter naught in all out nuclear option

Nevada Sen. Harry Reid said today on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he is tired of fighting filibusters blocking presidential nominees.

“The changes we’re making are very, very minimal. What we’re doing is saying: ‘Look American people, shouldn’t President Obama have somebody working for him that he wants?’” Reid said. “If you want to look at nominations, you know what the Founding Fathers said: ‘Simple majority.’ That’s what we need to do.”

Reid signaled that he is prepared to put an end to the centuries old Senate tradition of the filibuster by exercising what is being called the nuclear option. This would allow 51 senators to change the Senate rules instead of the 67 that are normally required.

This is the same Harry Reid who in 2003 weaponized boredom by filibustering a Bush judicial nominee for eight and half hours, often reading from his book about Searchlight, and in 2005 said on the Senate floor, while arguing against the nuclear option:

“For 200 years, we’ve had the right to extended debate. It’s not some “procedural gimmick.” It’s within the vision of the Founding Fathers of our country. They established a government so that no one person – and no single party – could have total control.

“Some in this Chamber want to throw out 217 years of Senate history in the quest for absolute power.

“They want to do away with Mr. Smith coming to Washington. They want to do away with the filibuster. They think they are wiser than our Founding Fathers.”

This was about the same time Obama was arguing:

“If the right of free and open debate is taken away from the minority party, and the millions of Americans who asked us to be their voice, I fear that the already partisan atmosphere in Washington will be poisoned to the point where no one will be able to agree on anything. That doesn’t serve anyone’s best interests, and it certainly isn’t what the patriots who founded this democracy had in mind. We owe the people who sent us here more than that – we owe them much more.”

Principles matter only when you are losing the argument. The GOP never pushed the button on the nuclear option.

Is Harry using obstruction to protect Democrats from having to vote on tough issues?

Harry defines a filibuster:

It’s one thing for Harry Reid to suddenly make an about-face and oppose the use of the filibuster to delay legislation, but it is quite another for him to shut down any debate whatsoever by repeatedly calling for a cloture vote as soon as a bill lands on the floor.

When the Import-Export bill hit the Senate and was met with objections, the Huffington Post quoted Reid as saying:

“If there were anything that ever needed changing in this body, it’s the filibuster rule, because it’s been abused, abused and abused …

“I have been here in Congress 30 years, but this is a new one. Even bills that [Republicans] agree on, they want to mess around with. In years past, this would have gone through here just like this (snapping his fingers). The House passed something 330-93, and we’re here playing around with it? It should be done. We should have passed it yesterday. This thing is going to expire.”

When there were objections to passing an extension of unemployment benefits without finding some way to offset the cost being added to the deficit, Reid took to the floor and offered a definition of filibustering as piracy:

“What is a filibuster? A filibuster is a freebooter … A freebooter is one who engages in unauthorized and irregular warfare against foreign states, pirate craft. And in the United States to obstruct progress in a legislative assembly, the practice of obstruction.”

Harry Reid (Getty Images)

This from a man who in 2003 filibustered on the floor of the Senate for eight and a half hours to block a handful of judicial appointments. He resorted to weaponized boredom by reading from his own book about Searchlight.

Reporters have noted the increased use of the cloture motions in the past couple of sessions of the Democratically controlled Senate, implying Republican intransigence and plain old stonewalling.

The Politico noted that from 1981 to 2006 there fewer than 90 cloture motions, which require 60 votes, to overcome a filibuster by the minority, but since Democrats took control in 2006 there have been an average of 140 cloture motions in the past two sessions.

But Brian Reardon and Eric Ueland, reporting in an op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal, say there is more than meets the eye. (You must pay to see the whole piece, cheapskate.)

In March a bill was introduced to promote “green” energy and offset the cost with a tax hike on oil. Normally the bill would have been sent to a committee.

But, Reardon and Ueland point out, the senator from Searchlight had the bill placed directly on the Senate calendar and immediately filed a cloture petition to end debate.

“The following Monday, the Senate then voted 92-4 to curtail debate on the motion to proceed to the bill,” the op-ed relates. “The next day, as soon as the bill was before the Senate, Mr. Reid offered five consecutive amendments and one motion in order to effectively block the consideration of any competing amendments or motions.

“He then filed a cloture motion to close out debate on the bill. Two days later, the Senate rejected cloture on a party-line vote and moved on to other business …”

So, who is being obstructive and why?

The WSJ writers say, “The simple answer is to protect its members from tough votes.”

Harry talks out of both sides of his mouth, but what’s new?

Harry objects to obstruction: