Dan Liljenquist: Congress has only itself to blame for Obama's executive orders

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  • EJM Herriman, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 11:57 a.m.

    I rarely agree with Mikr Richards but in this case he is spot on. Republicans are afraid to take on the health care issues with concrete proposals. They refuse to ask " Should an expansion of health care for ALL be an essential program of the federal government and if so, how do you, the American people, want us, the government, to pay for it?" You ask those questions and they will say yes to part one, they will say " don't raise my taxes" on part two. We all want something for nothing, and our government refuses to say no to millions of registered voters who could vote them out. Until the government does this they (both parties) will continue to pander.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 9:55 a.m.

    @Mike Richards. Maybe republicans should offer better specific proposals the public can get behind. Instead of saying obamacare is bad they should be offering something better but I do not think they really want to solve anything because that gives the opponent political ammo to attack their ideas.

    Basically republicans are scared to take on healthcare.

  • Mickey Kovars Tampa, FL
    Jan. 23, 2014 8:43 p.m.

    The problem is that nothing really prevents the president from doing whatever he wants, short of serious political opposition. If the public agrees with him or does not care, he's pretty free. Of course, impeachment exists to check severe abuse of power, but that is hardly likely in present circumstances. So -- get ready! Obama's going to unilaterally amend the ACA as he sees fit, the attorney general is going to continue to stonewall congressional committees, and there will be nothing any of us can do about it.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 23, 2014 7:22 p.m.

    @Thid Barker
    "Can you please name one thing the GOP or the tea party has obstructed Obama and the Democrats from doing during Obama's terms?"

    The public option for healthcare, cap and trade, card check, immigration reform, expanded background checks on gun purchase...

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 23, 2014 3:26 p.m.

    I didn't say the GOP wasn't trying to block everything.

    They are trying to block almost everything (but they did vote in good faith on the last two budget bills that passed, so you can't say they block "Everything").

    But early on their approach was to block everything in hopes of outlasting President Obama and the Democrat Super-Majority. Now that we have a normal majority... I think they are cooperating a little more (but still not enough).

    But NONE of that is reason for the President to throw the Constitution out and just plow over Congress.

    The President vows to uphold the Constitution. (That doesn't mean only if the other party doesn't try to block what you want to do).

    Congress is almost irrelevant at this point in American Politics. All they do is bicker, debate, talk to the media, campaign, and in the end one party does whatever the President tells them, and the other automatically opposes it. I agree that's not the way the founding fathers intended. But they also didn't intend for the Constitution to be thrown out if the President thinks the other party isn't cooperating.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Jan. 23, 2014 2:28 p.m.

    2 bits,

    Any fair assessment of the situation would show that the GOP is not merely opposing things that they disagree with.

    They are opposing everything. Not on principle, but strictly for partisan politics. Not to say that the Dems never do that, but the GOP has taken it to new heights.

    Presidential overstepping is not how the founders envisioned this country running. I agree with you their. However, they also did not envision complete obstruction for the sake of obstruction.

    I wish that our congressmen would legislate in good faith putting America ahead of partisan politics. Unfortunately, many people actually like the partisanship and have lost their objectivity to even see the difference.

    The ACA is a perfect example. 40+ votes to kill it (and return to a failing system) without one legitimate attempt at putting forth legislation to fix it. Not ONE.

    Until the GOP starts being FOR something instead of an agenda of being against everything, the electorate will not embrace their message, or lack of one.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 23, 2014 1:31 p.m.

    That sounds like a political Coup headed up by the Legislature. We need to go that far.

    The Constitution is still there. We just need to read it, and make sure our political leaders read AND understand it.

    Here's a suggestion... If you are thinking of voting for someone... ask them if they have read the Constitution lately. IF they can't say "Yes"... don't vote for them.

    Test them on a few basic topics to make sure they really read it and they actually understood what they read. And if they don't get it... don't vote for them.

    It won't take long until we have Congressmen and Senators and even eventually Presidents and Supreme Court Judges who understand the Constitution, and know that the people EXPECT them to live according to the limits and abilities it puts on the various branches of government.

    I don't think we need a coup. We just need to hold our elected officials feet to the fire on Constitutional principles when they are campaigning (instead of just voting for them because they have the right letter by their name, or they promise us candy and ice cream).

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 23, 2014 1:24 p.m.

    Obama and Congress passed ObamaCare over the objections of 59% of the people. What more do we need to know about Obama and Congress? Not one Republican voted for ObamaCare. Only Democrats voted for ObamaCare. Only Democrats ignored the wishes of 59% of the people. Only Obama ignored the wishes of 59% of the people. Only Pelosi told us that we wouldn't know what was in ObamaCare before we passed ObamaCare. Only Obama shut down the parks and the monuments in his infantile fit to force an unwilling America to accept ObamaCare when the people clearly stated that they did not want ObamaCare.

    Now that we're learning that Obama lied about ObamaCare, that Pelosi lied about ObamaCare, that Reid lied about ObamaCare, we can clearly see that Obama did not follow the Constitution,that Pelosi did not follow the Constitution and legislate according to the wishes of the People and that Reid did not follow the Constitution and legislate according to the wishes of the States.

    Obama, Pelosi and Reid declared that they were royalty and that the Constitution was just for "little people".

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Jan. 23, 2014 1:10 p.m.

    @Joe Blow - No, it is more like "My kid wouldn't leave the house for any reason, so I threw him out." The House and Senate have failed to perform their constitutional role, so the Executive Branch has thrown out the Legislative Branch.

    The only way to reverse this disastrous trend is for the House to impeach the President, and the Senate to remove him from office. This would be followed by significant legislation that would restore power back to the Legislature (e.g. revise the Patriot and Affordable Healthcare acts to allow more Congressional oversight).

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 23, 2014 1:00 p.m.

    Regardless... it's bogus to blame somebody else for something YOU did.

    Whether it's running away, or sneaking out at night, and blaming it on the one who wouldn't let you go out with permission... it's the same thing.

    You can't blame the person who wouldn't give you permission for your decision to overrule them and just do what you want WITHOUT permission.

    The President is SUPPOSED to get a majority of the people in Congress (who represent the people in all the States) permission before doing things.

    He can't then blame Congress for his decision to just go ahead and do it without Congressional vote/approval.

    According to the Constitution... That's not how it's supposed to work. And it doesn't matter if somebody else did it first.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Jan. 23, 2014 10:21 a.m.

    "That's like my kid saying it's my fault he had to sneak out at midnight to do something I would not allow."

    No, it's more like

    "I would not allow my kid to leave the house for any reason, so he ran away from home."

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 23, 2014 10:14 a.m.

    What some people fail to realize is that Congress represents the people and the States. The President's job is to enforce laws passed by Congress, not to legislate. Anyone to thinks that the executive branch of government has the right to legislate has not read the Constitution.

    Yes, it is Congress' fault for not stopping Obama. He bullied Congress into believing that he is a King. Now it's time for Congress to remind him that he serves us and that his only power independent from Congress is Commander In Chief, a power that he totally misused during the Benghazi attack.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Jan. 23, 2014 9:48 a.m.

    Oh come on, Dan. A Republican president who issues executive orders (they've all done it, copiously) is noble and proactive. A Democratic president who does the exact same thing is showing "flippant, blatant disregard for the people's representatives." Right? Isn't that so, Dan?

  • Ajax Mapleton, UT
    Jan. 23, 2014 9:42 a.m.

    What tea party Republicans fail to understand is that vilifying President Obama as evil and invariably wrong does not make them holy and always right. While Barack Obama, no different from the rest of us, may have his faults, in the opinion of most Americans he is far and away the best of a bad lot.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 23, 2014 9:38 a.m.

    That's a cop-out.

    That's like my kid saying it's my fault he had to sneak out at midnight to do something I would not allow.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    Jan. 23, 2014 8:43 a.m.

    @ One Vote. Can you please name one thing the GOP or the tea party has obstructed Obama and the Democrats from doing during Obama's terms? Obamacare, higher taxes, "stimulus package", bailouts, DOMA scuttled, NSA, dodged the IRS, Benghazi, fast and furious scandals, doubled food stamp recipients, raised debt ceiling and abandoning Iraq. We could debate if any of these "accomplishments" are good or not but for you to call anyone obstructionists to Obama is totally false!

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 23, 2014 8:33 a.m.

    Obama has actually issued fewer executive orders than any other recent president.

    Mr. Liljenquist also asserts that the president will propose "even more deficit spending". He is seemingly unaware that the deficit has fallen by almost 2/3 since Obama became president, from over 9% of GDP in Bush's last fiscal year, to a little over 3% this year.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    Jan. 23, 2014 8:26 a.m.

    Obama threatened congress recently,"I have a pen and I have a phone". Why even have a congress or a SCOTUS to interpret the constitution? With Obama in the White House, both are irrelevant! This is very dangerous and anyone who doesn't see the danger of this is either asleep or blinded by their ideology.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 23, 2014 8:21 a.m.

    The tea party is not interested in all in legislation, only obstruction.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Jan. 23, 2014 6:30 a.m.

    Look out Dan.

    Any article that does not place every and all blame on Obama and the democrats will be blasted by the right.

    "The debate about presidential overreach hinges upon whether or not specific executive orders are “faithful” to congressional intent."

    This should be a two way street. Congress needs to act "faithfully" when proposing or voting on legislation.

    To me, "faithful" in this context would be this.

    - Fairly evaluate any legislation on the merits, regardless of the party
    - Put the America and the American people above party or money

    More than 1/2 of this country (25+% on the right and 25+% on the left) is party loyal to a fault.

    Our congress is just an extension of us. If you cant find any good in the "other party" or any bad in yours, you are a partisan.

    And we see it daily on this board.

    Think the GOP is the problem? - You are a liberal
    Think Both parties are sinking this country? I do. And that makes me a liberal

    This is why the GOP is shrinking. Unless you side with them on every big issue, you are labeled as either a RINO or a liberal.