President should not act without Congressional checks and balance

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  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 12, 2013 7:15 a.m.

    Cheney used more unilateral power than Obama .

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 10:36 p.m.

    I wish we actually had the socialist president the red faced screamers claim we do. We could have proper health care by now, and maybe some sort of gun control.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 10:08 p.m.

    Re: "I see nothing here that [is] more egregious than some of the acts of the last president from Illinois."

    No doubt.

    That doesn't mean there's nothing to see.

    Liberals are so willfully and blissfully blind!

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 5:22 p.m.

    re:Unreconstructed Reb

    Barack is in a league of his own. No other past presidents come close to the outright disregard for the law that this man has. I suspect this all comes from Barack's favorite book - Rules For Radicals.

  • Unreconstructed Reb Chantilly, VA
    Dec. 11, 2013 3:31 p.m.

    I see nothing here that are more egregious than some of the acts of the last president from Illinois.

  • 2 bit Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 2:47 p.m.

    IMO Executive Orders should be reserved for "Emergencies" when there's not time to convene Congress. Not as and end-around to avoid the inconvenience of needing to debate and vote on it in Congress.

    There are emergencies. 9/11 for instance, natural disasters, economic crisis, etc. But you don't resort to an Executive Order just because you don't want to be bothered with Congress or any opposition to your orders.

    Executive orders should be very rare. I know they are not today (regardless of party or person in the Presidency). But it's not the way it was intended to be.

    Congress represents the States and the People. They should get a vote.

  • 2 bit Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 2:41 p.m.

    Mike Richards,
    You are right. There's SUPPOSED to be one branch that legislates (the legislative branch). Another branch that executes those laws (the executive branch), and another independent branch that determines if any law is unconstitutional (the judicial branch).

    The problem today is... All 3 branches are trying to legislate.

    Judges try to create new laws the never existed (but they think SHOULD exist) by creatively interpreting existing laws. The Executive branch thinks they can create/change/delay a law any time they want (without even consulting the actual Legislative branch).

    IMO this is because Congress can't DO anything (partially due to political infighting, and also because they just don't know how to get anything done). So that branch of government is quickly become completely irrelevant. Congress has lost all their power. They are just a debate club now. They talk and talk but don't really do anything.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 2:15 p.m.

    Re: "How many signing statements did Bush sign?"

    157. Not 1,100.

    James Monroe was the first to use one, and, they're still being used -- Obama has signed 18, after making a firm campaign promise [merely one of a myriad that have not been kept] not to sign any.

    Sorry, but suggesting that a few signing statements are somehow the moral equivalent of cynically and for political advantage picking and choosing which laws to enforce; not defending our borders; abandoning our military, our diplomats, and allies; using EPA, IRS, FWS, ACOE, BATFE, NSA, and DOJ bureaucrats as a club to terrorize and bloody opponents; packing the executive bureaucracy and the courts with loyal and radical cronies; and enacting literally reams of executive legislation, is simply disingenuous.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Dec. 11, 2013 12:09 p.m.

    We have three branches of government that DO NOT overlap. Congress is the only branch of government that has been assigned the authority to legislate. The Executive branch is the only branch of government that has been the authority to execute the laws passed by Congress. The Court is the only branch of government that has been given the task to verify that each law passed by Congress is legal when measured against the duties and authority of the Federal Government.

    All three branches have failed miserably. All three branches need to be cleaned out. Every person on the Court (which has divided itself by party), in the Executive Office (which is legislating) and in Congress (which pushes through legislation without allowing Congress to read it) needs to be removed from office. Not one of them can say that he/she has done ONLY what the Constitution allows.

    Every citizen who applauds this lawlessness has no respect for our Constitution nor for the reasons that we have checks and balances in Government. It doesn't matter whether YOUR guy is in power. Anyone who abuses his office on any level of government has abused us all.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 11:49 a.m.

    Truth is, a President will take as much power as he can. That is part of the job. Congress is there to stop a President from becoming a dictator. That and elections. That is why Executive Orders last only as long as the Presidents term. Also recess appointments last until the next convening of Congress. Anyway, yes Obama is taking as much power he can. It is Congress, namely the Senate that has given him so much more power with taking away the fillabuster. THAT is the threat to too much power in the hands of one man. Reid and most (not all) Democrats are happy to have a dictator as long as he is dictating the way they want. Sad to think that so many elected officials are willing to use ends justify the means to get their way. Even when it belies the spirit of the Constitution.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 11:26 a.m.

    A pattern has been established over the past 5+ years with Barack Hussin Obama which is to ignore congress on nearly everything and attempt to act in a historically lawless manner to ram through his agenda. You can't find one president in the past 50 years that has acted so consistently in such a lawless manner - ignoring the constitution and historical established rules. Yes every president from time to time has attempted to side step congress but it is the exception for these presidents. With Obama it is the RULE. The man simply does not understand his role in the three branches of government nor does he respect the need to work with congress. Barack will NOT work with congressional leaders but instead jumps out on the campaign trail and speaks to his hand picked audiences covered by his hand picked media to attempt to do an end run around congressional checks and balances. The left always tries to suggest that every president has done this which is completely FALSE. No president has acted with such a lawless disregard for the constitution and the framework of our republic. Baracks poll numbers are now at a historical low - 36%.

  • 2 bit Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 11:23 a.m.

    Re: "When President George W. Bush was in office, Democrats criticized his go-it-alone approach"...

    But there are two different problems.

    Bush's "go it alone" approach" was acting unilaterally in foreign affairs. (Hint... that's the Executive branch's job). He wasn't LEGISLATING (hint... that's Congress job). Obama is making Congress irrelevant. Bush was making the UN irrelevant.


    Bush did not LEGISLATE on his own (Presidents should NOT legislate)... he just Defended America without requiring other countries to hold our hand and go along with us (as commander in chief).

    Name some legislation Bush made law without consulting Congress first...

    He consulted Congress and got majority support before starting military action in Afghanistan. Same in Iraq.

    I think Bush got Congress to approve everything he did. Obama just changes the law... and THEN asks Congress to bless what he did.


    When Presidents start legislating (passing/changing laws) without a vote in Congress first... it's NOT the way legislation is supposed to be done, and Congress becomes irrelevant.

    Presidents are NOT super-legislators. Presidents just have failsafe power to veto bad legislation (which only stops something passed by Congress)... but he has ZERO right to legislate.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 11:18 a.m.

    What system of checks and balances? That has been completely forgotten by the GOP in their pitiful efforts to destroy Obama.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    Dec. 11, 2013 11:03 a.m.

    2 bits
    Cottonwood Heights, UT
    I agree. The President should not be bypassing the checks and balances intentionally placed there by our founding fathers.

    The founding fathers were very concerned about government being controled by one-man, or even one-party. They put special countermeasures in our Constitution to INSURE that our country could never be controlled by one-man, or one-party.


    Your comment does not pass the smell test.

    1. I don't remember you writing comments about GW Bush's even longer list of Executive Orders.
    2. The Constitution never mentions once political parties, or how many there should or should not be.
    3. If you were truely afraid, worried, and concerned about the tyranny of One-Party rule, then your head should be exploding over the tyranical One-Party rule right here in your own back yard! [Washington is MUCH more balanced than Utah is].

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 10:57 a.m.

    "...The filibuster is not part of our nation’s constitutional design. To the contrary, the framers rejected supermajority requirements except in limited circumstances, such as impeaching the president and ratifying treaties. Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist No. 22 that if “a pertinacious minority can control the opinion of a majority,” there would be “tedious delays; continual negotiation and intrigue; contemptible compromises of the public good.” As a result, the government would often be “kept in a state of inaction.” Sound familiar?...".

    A very reasoned and well thought out paragraph of the piece... And absolutely true.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Dec. 11, 2013 10:24 a.m.

    "When the President locks one party out of discussions on his proposals... it goes AGAINST this principle."

    And when one party is opposed to any and every measure or presidential nominee proposed, not based on substance, but based purely on partisan politics, it also goes AGAINST this principle.

    Yes, it is a two way street.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 9:53 a.m.

    I agree. The President should not be bypassing the checks and balances intentionally placed there by our founding fathers.

    The founding fathers were very concerned about government being controled by one-man, or even one-party. They put special countermeasures in our Constitution to INSURE that our country could never be controlled by one-man, or one-party. They wanted to require that there be a plurality of ideas presented (not just one) and require wide-spread/bi-partisan support before things pass... and the partisan things with only narrow support to fail.

    When the President makes decisions by fiat instead of making his case to the WHOLE Congress and getting BOTH parties to find something they like in it... it goes against this principle.

    When the President locks one party out of discussions on his proposals... it goes AGAINST this principle.

    The principle is to force the President (and his party) to have to compromise, and temper their legislation so there is something beneficial to ALL parties before it will pass. And if they don't... they can't get their agenda passed.

    They wanted most things to fail... UNLESS they had wide/bi-partisan support.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 9:38 a.m.

    I wish President Obama would simply declare America a democracy and do away with the notion of separate state governments and their federal representatives. I wish that he would dissolve Congress and rewrite the Bill of Rights for people and not for states and businesses.

    In today’s world, the only attribute that we have that means anything is being an American. Being a Utahan, Californian, Kansan, Virginian means nothing beyond the residency of business control over their people.

    I also wish I had a Chocolate Donut tree, a stream of hot coffee, slightly sweetened right nest to he peanut butter sandwich bush, in my own backyard

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Dec. 11, 2013 9:35 a.m.

    "the breathtaking frequency and scope of Obama's unilateral executive acts are truly unprecedented"

    No they are not. Not even close.

    How many signing statements did Bush sign?
    How are those different?

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 9:28 a.m.

    My preference is that Congress and the President work together and do what the Founding Fathers demonstrated is essential for this democratic republic to function: Compromise.

    But when the opposition party's primary priority is to make sure the President is not re-elected, they fail at that goal but keep sabotaging every effort to move things forward, we end up in a dysfunctional situation, revealed as being even more dysfunctional by these ridiculous government shutdowns and abuse of the filibuster rules in the Senate by the GOP.

    Again, it would be preferable to have the people in Washington work together and compromise. When that doesn't happen, the nation needs to continue to operate, and like a 2-year throwing a tantrum on a busy city sidewalk, we need to just move around it.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Dec. 11, 2013 9:27 a.m.

    This article makes some good suggestions such as:

    "The federal government should run on last year’s budget if Congress can’t agree on a new one."

    " eliminate the redundant debt-ceiling vote,"

    "bring transparency to lobbying and campaign donations, and pursue efforts to reduce candidates’ reliance on big donors and powerful lobbyists."

    Democrats would favor these measures. The Republicans have opposed efforts to increase transparency in our political process and they opposed allowing last years budget to continue when they attached the " defund Obamacare" poison pill.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 9:20 a.m.

    A very reasoned and well thought out article. And absolutely true.

  • The Hammer lehi, utah
    Dec. 11, 2013 9:02 a.m.

    The legislative branch has been selling their power for years to the executive branch so they can get reelected. People must wake up and become the check on congress and the senate otherwise each president will become more and more like a King. Look at the progression from Clinton to Bush to Obama. Each one has welcomed more power under them and none of them have relenquished the power of the predecessor.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 8:56 a.m.

    Re: "Oh pleeeeez! Such a myopic, single view, politically biased, article ---"

    Way to be open-minded!

    And, BTW, calling Forbes a "right-wing magazine" is akin to calling New Republic a mouthpiece for the GOP -- at least since Steve Forbes' abrupt about face, and its acquisition of True/Slant and its founder, Lewis Dvorkin. Since then, the formerly credible magazine has developed a decided list to port. Today, it is characterized by the propagandizing of admitted liberals, the likes of Steve Zwick and Len Burman.

    While it's true that "all presidents act unilaterally, at times," the breathtaking frequency and scope of Obama's unilateral executive acts are truly unprecedented, even taking into account the actions of his purported presidential muse, FDR.

    Mocking Americans alarmed by accurate comparisons between Obama and other freedom-destroying autocrats is either cynically disingenuous or remarkably callow.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 8:26 a.m.

    Power corrupts, Absolute Power corrupst absolutely!

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Dec. 11, 2013 6:53 a.m.

    Oh pleeeeez!
    Such a myopic, single view, politically biased, article ---
    Why does the DN continually print these one-sided lobby pieces?

    from: Forbes magazine 1/28/2013 [a right-wing magazine, I might add]

    "When It Comes To Abuse Of Presidential Power, Obama Is A Mere Piker"

    Republicans and conservatives have complained loudly that President Obama has been resorting to non-democratic and unconstitutional governance; imperiously ignoring the so-called “will of the people” by issuing a cascade of new executive orders.

    According to Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), Mr. Obama is acting “like a king”...
    Conservative author and radio talk show host Mark Levin contends that Obama’s executive orders are “un-American” and even “fascistic.”

    If so, then certain Republican presidents – including Dwight Eisenhower, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan – must be classified as even more monarchical, un-American and “fascistic” than Barack Obama."

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    Dec. 11, 2013 6:41 a.m.

    Might as well disband congress! Obama has taken over as dictator.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Dec. 11, 2013 4:12 a.m.

    "When President George W. Bush was in office, Democrats criticized his go-it-alone approach"

    Congress is full of hypocrites. Is that any surprise? Is it something new?

    All presidents act unilaterally at times. It is nothing new, and Obama is no different from his predecessors.

    We typically don't think of ourselves as hypocrites. We can always manage to find a reason why what our guy did was justified and totally different from their guy who did the exact same thing.

    Perfect example - Obama is a foreign born citizen who is does not meet the requirements for Office of President, while Ted Cruz is completely qualified.