18 February 2014

Uncommon Commentary #393: A "Pen" Is Where Obama Belongs

On several occasions, I have written about Emperor Nerobama's abuse of his power in issuing executive orders.  This issue is now receiving wider attention, thanks to his imprudent "I've got [sic] a pen" boast and his latest State of the Union address.  Released this past week were the pertinent, alarming results of a public-opinion survey taken under the joint direction of two polling companies, one Democratic and one Republican.  Question number four read: "Barack Obama said he will take action to advance his policy goals with or without Congress, and that he'll use executive orders to get around Congress.  Do you think this is the way our government is supposed to work, or not?"  74 percent of the respondents correctly answered "no", but 23 percent said yes, even though one of the first things that we are taught about the US government is that it operates on the principle of "separation of powers", i.e., legislative powers are reserved for the legislative branch, executive powers for the independently elected executive, and judicial powers for the judiciary.  Among Dumbocrats it was 40 percent "yes" and 54 percent "no"; among Blacks, 54 yes and only 42 no; and, astonishingly, respondents with a college degree were less likely (26 percent "yes", 73 percent "no") to get this right than those without such a degree (20-75)!  Even more disturbing is the response to question number five ("Regardless of what you think about how things are supposed to work, do you approve or disapprove of Barack Obama going around Congress and using executive orders?"): the percentage that replies positively rises to 37 percent, against 60 percent disapproving.  This means that, in addition to the 23 percent who think that Obama's promise to subvert the will of Congress is constitutional, 14 percent (nearly one in seven) acknowledge that the President's behavior is unconstitutional but agree with it anyway.  Among members of his party the percentages are 66 percent approval versus 31 percent disapproval; among members of the only race to which he admits he belongs—as I've noted previously on the Doman Domain, Obama is just as much White as he is Black, but his mother's side of the family doesn't seem to count—, it's an appalling 81 percent approval and only 16 percent disapproval.
I've said it before, and, at the risk of being thought a dangerous radical, I'll say it again: The US form of government is viable only if the average voter is astute enough to choose his leaders wisely.  When two-thirds of the chief executive's party is either so obtuse or so mindlessly partisan as to commend his despotism, what we call "democracy" is obsolete.