George F. Will: How Obama has lived in an atmosphere of unconstitutionality

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  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Aug. 17, 2013 12:14 p.m.

    I think it is hard to sell a car that you refuse to drive yourself.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Aug. 16, 2013 6:10 p.m.

    ""Where in the Constitution, or anywhere in subsequent constitutional case law, does it confer upon the President the Constitutional authority to "administratively add" or to "pick and choose" which portions of a law he/she is required to "faithfully execute" per that same Constitution?"

    Its in that same section where you find where congress can defund an agency charged with upholding laws to prevent the actual execution of a law. The ATF has been headless for years now, because congress defunded many parts of the agency and will not approve a new head. its also in the part that Senator Lee read from where he said he will defund the ACA (Obamacare), even those its execution is written into law. Its also in the same section that forced the end of the Vietnam war by congress defunding the military so they had to withdraw from their undeclared war. All these acts will be found in the same section of the constitution.

    I think you will find a mirror section in the Utah Constitution that allows Utah State Troops to look the other way when you drive 5 miles per hour over the speed limit.... and dont ticket you.

  • Alfred Pheonix, AZ
    Aug. 16, 2013 3:48 p.m.

    "I'm surprised that someone ... would let anyone, in this case BO, delude you into thinking that it is O.K. for any president to be selective about which laws he/she obeys."

    It's not complicated. BO can do whatever he wants because he knows the only way he can be stopped is by impeachment... and that will not happen as long as the Democrats control the Senate. And this is BO's 2nd and last term in the White house.

    The strange part of the situation is that thousands of government employees are going along with BO. They are breaking the law. Law breakers... and technically could/should be fired and prosecuted. We see where some border patrol agents have sued the government for ordering them to essentially break immigration laws. Of course, who would handle the prosecution for the agents? Eric Holder, of course. Obama's confidant and 'partner in crime.' Our government is right now in a dictatorship mode... Thanks to the folks who put BO in the White House. I hope we can survive until he's out.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Aug. 16, 2013 7:43 a.m.

    Ultra Bob: Although I agree that most politicians have been bought by corporate interests and selfish citizens (Give me health care, wars, free drugs, etc.), I find your open arm endorsement of a politician to do as he pleases very disconcerting at minimum. It is naive to assume that any person with power should be allowed to do as he pleases. History tells a sordid tale for citizens who close their eyes to the evil mischief created by any human with unfettered power. I'm surprised that someone that appears to be educated, concerned, and wanting a more perfect union, would let anyone, in this case BO, delude you into thinking that it is O.K. for any president to be selective about which laws he/she obeys.

  • wrz Pheonix, AZ
    Aug. 15, 2013 10:08 p.m.

    @Ultra Bob:
    "In every organization that I know of that has a president, the title itself confers the authority to make decisions and apply the wishes of the people in a workable and fair manner."

    The president is under obligation to follow the US Constitution. The current one agreed to do so under oath when he entered office. The Constitution says that the Congress is responsible for the passing of laws. And it says the president administers Congress's laws. It doesn't say the president can make up his own set of laws... or modify Congressional laws to fit his agenda. The president is not authorized to develop his own agenda without the OK of Congress.

    "The president is not in the capacity of a janitor whose job is simply to sweep where told to."

    On the other hand, he is not God that can make up his own rules. If the rules passed by Congress says to sweep the floor, the president is obligated to sweep the floor... not construct a building... or even a new floor.

  • Miss Piggie Pheonix, AZ
    Aug. 15, 2013 8:58 p.m.

    "... This could cause a flight of talent, making Congress less wonderful."

    There is no talent in the whole of Washington, D.C.... unless it is the talent to violate the provisions of the US Constitution over and over ad ininitum... from the top of the heap in the White House (Obama) to the bottom of the heap in Congress (Reid/Pelosi).

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 15, 2013 8:24 p.m.


    thanks for the humor about the galaxies - honestly - no sarcasm or insult intended. you brought a smile to my face.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 15, 2013 6:05 p.m.

    lost in DC.

    If you think my Constitutional ideas are outstanding, you should hear my theory about how galaxies are created.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 15, 2013 4:24 p.m.


    In every organization that I know of that has a president, the title itself confers the authority to make decisions and apply the wishes of the people in a workable and fair manner. The president is not in the capacity of a janitor whose job is simply to sweep where told to.

    We expect the elected representatives in Congress to live up to their word and actually represent the people but such is not the case. Congress tends to represent only the rich and powerful and their business operations. The state governments have so squashed the voice of the people that state elections do not elect politicians that would represent the people.

    The president is the only person in our government that is elected by the people and if he represents the people in such a way as to offend the criminals who want to sway the government, more power to him.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 15, 2013 3:32 p.m.

    Ah, BO – the competency (lack thereof) of Carter and the integrity of Nixon.

    Utah Bill,
    Please, tell us where the constitution allows BO to ignore the legislation HE signed? I won’t hold my breath waiting.

    Ultra Bob,
    Your misunderstanding of the constitution is astounding! Every law is an amendment! Puhlease!

    Irony Guy,
    I guess you miss the irony – that BO is IGNORING parts of his signature legislation – contrary to his duties under the constitution. Of course, if you were to recognize that and not obfuscate, you could not defend the incompetent.

    No repub passed, then ignored his own law.

    Steve Warren,
    What did he do BEFORE the repubs took the house? NOTHING he passed then has succeeded. Blaming the repubs is another poooooooooor excuse.

    LDS? lib, blue devil,
    Still bush’s fault? Didn’t expect any better from you.

  • Alfred Pheonix, AZ
    Aug. 15, 2013 3:29 p.m.

    Wait a minute, George... Didn't Obama say something like... 'if you like your healthcare insurance you can keep it.' That's all he's trying to do. He should be allowed to keep at least one of his myriads of campaign problems.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Aug. 15, 2013 3:15 p.m.

    @VST.... I don't know.... why don't you ask the previous presidents that same question....

    Where does it say you can send the navy half way around the world with no funds to return home as was done by one previous president.

    Where does it say you can relieve one of their personal property with out compensation- as was done by Lincoln and the slaves

    Where does it say a President can buy vast regions of the continent?

    Where does it say the President can run proxy wars via mercenaries as was done in Nicaragua?

    The list is long and deep..... heck we went to "war" in both Vietnam and Korea... as policing actions - not wars.

    Lets be a little less selective in our memory here.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 15, 2013 2:33 p.m.

    And yet --
    We had 16 years of "Executive Orders" and un-official declarations of war on things like "drugs", and 'terror?', etc...

    Meanwhile - on Dec. 9, 2005 we had GW Bush calling the Constitution just a "...blankety blank piece of paper!"

    But - Republicans lack any and all sense of self examination, and can only see Pres. Obama as the devil himself.

  • Kimber Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 15, 2013 2:06 p.m.

    I'm tired of the "sour grapes" that we hear so often in one of the "reddest" states in the U.S. Of course, most aren't going to be happy with Obama! Republicans would be much better served thinking about what they can do for a better future, instead of try and tear down the present. It would be nice to look forward to a good election year in 2016, but right now there isn't anyone in sight for you guys. I am happy with what we have and what efforts are being made.

    An Independent that usually votes Democratic (because they at least try to find solutions)

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Aug. 15, 2013 11:48 a.m.

    Here is another way of looking at this: The spirit of the Lord is the the spirit of liberty. Every person, whether athiest, agnostic, or believer at some point becomes influenced by the truth and will shed the darkness that covers the mind and eyes. The Constitution is a light filled document, which is why writers (In this case George Will) and citizens of every persuasion have a chance to combat the darkness that pervades men and offices of power. Shame on any president that thinks he can go around the Constitution and shame on any citizen that defends the darkness on the grounds that it he is doing it for our good! Shame, shame, shame! 'Amazing grace' became famous for the truth that it told about having your eyes open to the truth. The cesspool in Washington is a reflection of the blindness of its citizens.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Aug. 15, 2013 10:51 a.m.

    If Pres. Obama truly believes that Congress cannot perform its Constitutional duties, then he can only bypass Congress by declaring Martial Law. Only then can the Executive Branch reign supreme.

  • Joan Watson TWIN FALLS, ID
    Aug. 15, 2013 10:05 a.m.

    WOW poor president Nixon continues to take it on the chin! In a nut shell - Nixon destroyed his presidency and his adnimistration when he became aware of the burgulary at the Democrat office break in at Watergate. Instead of immediately and forcefully demand that those who planed and those who carried out the breakin be exposed and charged - he cowardly agreed/planed to stonewall and cover up the incident and those involved. He did ask the FBI to not get involved - but it was denied and it want no further. Nixon paid dearly for his lack of moral fortitude.

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 15, 2013 9:55 a.m.

    I lived through the Nixon "break in" and the cover-up lies that followed. It was covered nonstop by the media in every living detail. When we see the various mis-steps of this president, the cover-ups, and the neglect of the media to fully cover his actions in each instance, etc., the Nixon so called criminal acts (re: UTAHBill) look like a picnic in the park. That is my opinion; I have lived to see both. I think many of the American people are now being greatly deceived because so many of them are dependent on government welfare, and they refuse to see and hear.

    (And, before anyone responds on that last comment, I am not talking about Social Security which those of us who have actually worked, have paid into all our lives!)

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Aug. 15, 2013 9:20 a.m.

    Re: "his pantry of excuses for failure is bare"

    The reason Republicans have blocked and obstructed President Obama at every turn is so that they could say: "See, Obama is a failure." That's exactly what George Will does.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 15, 2013 9:20 a.m.

    Ultra Bob has accurately stated one of the biggest problems in government. Government thinks that just because it has been allowed to disregard the Constitution in the past, that it still has that right.

    The Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land. No law on any level of government can contradict the Constitution. The Supreme Court has not done its duty. It has allowed lower courts to legislate by legislating from the bench. The authority to legislate is left to the Legislative branch of government, not to the judicial or executive.

    Simply put, the Constitution requires that for the federal level of government, ALL laws must be legislated from the Legislative branch of government; that all execution of those laws be performed by the Executive branch of government; that the constitutionality of those laws be verified by the Judicial branch of government.

    If anyone in government exceeds his authority, the Legislative branch is duty bound to impeach that person: "The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." Article II, Section 4.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Aug. 15, 2013 9:05 a.m.

    @UTAH Bill "...this does not make it so."

    Well, then, what *does* make it so? State the authority by which a president may utterly disregard laws passed by Congress.

    Post it right here --->

    "...file claims against Obama...."

    A person must be injured by a law before filing claims against it. As new portions of the law are implemented, new legal challenges will arise. You can count on it.

  • The Hammer lehi, utah
    Aug. 15, 2013 8:59 a.m.


    Filing claims is difficult and it requires having standing. You can't take a case against them until you have been materially effected by it. This is why the current legal statues are so frustrating when people are crossing over on the seperation of powers. George will is completely right when he says the President has violated the constitution "Where does the Constitution confer upon presidents the 'executive authority' to ignore the separation of powers by revising laws?" which he has done by "effectively rewriting the ACA for the financial advantage of self-dealing members of Congress and their staffs." and by "ignoring the legal requirement concerning the employer mandate"

    This is what happens when you decide to go it alone as a party and you democrats will one day be in the minority again and when that happens how will you have a leg to stand on? You wont because you blew up the bipartisanship that should have existed when you had total control!

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Aug. 15, 2013 8:53 a.m.

    I have no problem with these statements of support - so long as those statements are just as passionately applied when the president is a Republican. That these complaints will be applied for instances such as when the Patriot Act was passed - granting the NSA the wide sweeping powers it has. That these protestations are equally forceful when out government supplies drug dealers coverage to fund weapons to wars not authorized by congress. That these same feelings of unrest are raised when out government covertly bombs nations like Cambodia was in the 60s.

    Our nation has endured many periods of constitutional questionability... the hearings on American affairs... or even the many broken treaties with native Americans. We have even seen our nation at war with certain faiths - like the Mormon Wars.... we have a long history of challenging times.

    Too bad George Will seems to have a very short historical memory.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Aug. 15, 2013 8:42 a.m.

    An administrative choice on when to implement a health care law is hardly a big crime in the Nixonian tradition. Nixon was systematically destroying people. George's bowtie is on too tight today.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 15, 2013 8:22 a.m.

    Actually there’s more to the Constitution than just the few pages that we normally think of as being the Constitution.

    The American nation is governed by a code of law accumulated over the years amending the original Constitution. The original Constitution is simply the First pages of the American code of law.

    Therefore, every law passed by Congress and signed by the President should be regarded as an amendment to the Constitution with just as much validity as the original Constitution. Until the law is struck down by the Supreme Court it is the law of the land.

    People who refuse to abide by the law of the land are usually known as criminals and should be charged as such. It is only after the law is struck down by the court can the offender avoid punishment.

  • hoggityboo Carthage, IL
    Aug. 15, 2013 8:08 a.m.

    There's not Constitutional authority for Congress to legislate on health care in the first place, and in the second place, there's no Executive Order authority which is binding upon any other than the Executive Branch.

    But in the third place there are few in America that understand the first place or the second place.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 15, 2013 7:12 a.m.

    I agree with Mr. Will completely. Obama either does not understand the Constitution or he is willfully disregarding the limits placed on his office by the Constitution. If he does not understand the Constitution, he can be taught. If he is willfully disregarding the Constitution, then he must be removed from office.

    The Constitution protects the people against any branch of government becoming a defacto tyrant. It requires that two branches work together to create and then to execute the laws of the land. The third branch is there to verify that the laws are legal under the restrictions placed on Congress by the Constitution.

    It's very simple.

    We do not have a king who can dictate law and we do not allow the President to choose which laws or which parts of a law he will enforce.

  • high school fan Huntington, UT
    Aug. 15, 2013 6:47 a.m.

    The American people voted for "hope and change" and we got it. We have nobody to blame but ourselves and even now there are many who still don't understand the ramifications of their vote.

  • UTAH Bill Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 15, 2013 6:42 a.m.

    Mr. Will and other Conservative pundits continue to claim Obama has acted without Constitutional authority - but this does not make it so. And, attempting to tie Obama to the criminal acts of Nixon is sheer hyperbole. Our system has checks and balances in place to allow any one of us to take legal action against those doing unconstitutional acts. Mr. Will needs to put "his money where his mouth is" and file claims against Obama if he indeed has evidence Obama violated the Constitution.

  • Mainly Me Werribee, 00
    Aug. 15, 2013 4:14 a.m.

    This is typical of socialism. When you run out of other people's money and then excuses as to why you are a failure, you blame everyone else. You point to your grandiose plan screaming that it would have worked except for those pesky patriots.

    Obama's hope and change turned into no hope and blame.

  • Stephen Kent Ehat Lindon, UT
    Aug. 15, 2013 2:47 a.m.

    George Will's excellent piece has this one curiosity:

    "When Congress awakened to what it enacted, it panicked: This could cause a flight of talent, making Congress less wonderful."

    In the Senate all Republicans voted against the Affordable Care Act with one exception (Jim Bunning (R-KY) not voting).

    In the House all 178 Republicans voted against the ACA.

    I'd perhaps suggest Mr. Will's sentence be modified:

    "When Democrats awakened to what they enacted, they panicked: This could cause a flight of talent, making Congress less wonderful."

    The "less wonderful" part of the sentence takes on new meaning. I wonder what Congress would be like if not talented with such disregard of the proper role of the federal government.

    Now we have the leader of the executive branch taking on that talented role all by himself.

    I just do not for the life of me feel that I am sufficiently qualified to interpret the Constitution of the United States to know where Article II of its text contains the phrase or conveys the the meaning "by hook or by crook."

    But then, Mr. Obama was a Senior Lecturer at the Chicago Law School.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 15, 2013 12:33 a.m.

    we all complain about Barack's unconstitutional behavior on just about everything the man does...but there doesn't seem to be anyone or anything keeping him from doing things in an unconstitutional way. Barack knows he is not following the constitution but neither congress or the courts seem to have to power to stop him from doing whatever he wants. He simply snubs his nose at the constitution and makes things up as he goes and we complain and then accept what ever he does. What kind of country do we live in? Is there no rule of law? Are there no checks and balances? I hear congressmen say "well he shouldn't be doing this or that" but if that is the case why don't they file a law suit against the man and stop him? Has president Barack become King Barack? It seems so. Have we the American people become helpless peasants or pawns who have no power anymore to enact change in reckless and lawless leaders? America is in freefall decline it seems and there is no parachute.