The imperial presidency

By Tom Quiner

Congress passes the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in the 90s.

The bill enjoys bipartisan support.

It was signed into law by a Democratic president.

Barack Obama became president and says, “I don’t like this law. I choose not to enforce it.”


Democrats pass Obamacare without a single Republican vote.

Even though the law says no such thing, Barack Obama says, “I want faith-based organizations, especially Catholics, to provide birth control, sterilization, and abortion pills in their insurance coverage to their employees because, well, because I want it. End of story.”


Congress votes down comprehensive immigration reform in 2010 in a bipartisan rejection of the bill.

Barack Obama, sensing political opportunity, yesterday went over Congress’ head and said, “Tough, I  refuse to enforce existing immigration laws and will not deport, young illegal aliens who meet certain criteria.”


Okay, those are not real quotes from the president. But they reflect his thinking in placing the presidency above the Congress.

The media’s support is slobbering. The Des Moines Register’s headline read:

“New policy could help 20,000 immigrants in Iowa.”

And yet the first paragraph says the new policy could help “200 to 20,000 illegal immigrants.” In other words, they took the high estimate and used it in their headline. You have to turn to page 8 before there is any discussion on whether what the president did is legal or not.

Iowa Congressman, Steve King, thinks it is not legal and plans to file a lawsuit against the president.

Iowa Senator, Charles Grassley, also thinks it is not legal:

… the action is “an affront to the process of representative government by circumventing Congress and with a directive he may not have the authority to execute. The president once denied that he had the legal authority to do this, and Congress was assured more than once that the administration would consider individuals for this sort of deferred status on a case-by-case basis only, and that there was no plan to implement a broad-based program.”

Just as the president reneged on the Catholic bishops in imposing the HHS mandate on faith-based organizations, so he reneged on Congress.

Quiner’s Diner is not as critical of the policy, which in fact has many merits to it, as it is with another circumvention of the democratic process by Barack Obama.