Barack Obama's Executive Unilateralism

Obama's latest move underscores just how easy it is for modern presidents to "change the laws unilaterally."

In a Rose Garden speech Friday, President Obama announced that per a "Homeland Security Directive," his administration had called a halt to deportation proceedings for certain unauthorized immigrants who came to the U.S. as minors. The eligibility criteria stated in the order roughly tracks the requirements of the Dream Act, which has never quite been able to make it through Congress. A mere technicality, the president suggested: it's "the right thing to do for the American people."

In an interview with a panel of Latino journalists last fall, the president had a different take: "This notion that somehow I can just change the laws unilaterally is just not true. We live in a democracy," he insisted. "You have to pass bills through the legislature and then I can sign it." That's why, despite the urging of immigration activists, he could not implement the Dream Act via executive diktat.

But that explanation is no longer operative, to borrow the old Clinton administration euphemism for "I lied." Obama's latest move underscores just how easy it is for modern presidents to "change the laws unilaterally."

As it happens, Obama's "royal dispensation" for young immigrants is hardly the most terrifying instance of administration unilateralism. In fact, as a policy matter, it's a humane and judicious use of prosecutorial resources.

But given the context, it stinks. It looks uncomfortably like implementing parts of a bill that didn't pass, and -- carried out as it was with great fanfare and an eye to the impending election -- the move sits uneasily with the president's constitutional responsibility to "take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed."

The University of Chicago's Richard Epstein warns that "government by waiver" is "among the most serious challenges to the rule of law in our time." The growth of the administrative state has concentrated enormous discretionary power in the president's hands, and he can use that power to reward political allies and legislate by decree without the inconvenience of democratic deliberation.

Consider the conditional waivers the administration has granted to 10 states, freeing them from the strictures of the No Child Left Behind Act -- but only if they adopt certain reforms, nowhere to be found in the law.

As The Examiner's Michael Barone noted last year, the president's union allies were suspiciously overrepresented in Obamacare waivers granted by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, loosening administrative cost limits in employer health plans.

"What about employers who do not have the resources to navigate the waiver process?" Epstein asks. "What about those lacking the political connections to make their concerns heard in Washington?"

Many of the major provisions of Obamacare are slated to come on line in 2014, Epstein notes: "Written with only the vaguest legislative language, it will be up to HHS bureaucrats to interpret these mandates and turn them into regulations. Inevitably, those rules will come with some waiver authority -- and with it great potential for the differential application of generally applicable laws. The danger posed to the basic principles of the rule of law, therefore, is immense."

Looking abroad, the dangers to the rule of law are equally grave. In an interview with CBS's Bob Schieffer on Sunday, Gov. Romney announced that, when it comes to preventive strikes on Iran, the Constitution's "Declare War" clause is optional.

"I don't believe at this stage, therefore, if I'm president that we need to have a war powers approval or special authorization for military force," he said, "The president has that capacity now."

That's Obama's position on war powers as well -- as his Libyan adventure proved. Unfortunately, executive unilateralism is a bipartisan vice.

Gene Healy is a vice president at the Cato Institute, the author of "The Cult of the Presidency," and a columnist at the Washington Examiner, where this article originally appeared

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  • Randian||

    Aww shit Round Two...

    FIGHT!

  • Randian||

    In fact, as a policy matter, it's a humane and judicious use of prosecutorial resources.

    That just cannot be. I am told that all speeders need to be on the brutal end of a ticketing regime so as to learn that laws are bad. Or something.

  • sarcasmic||

    All laws are applied equally, depending on to whom they are being applied.

  • sarcasmic||

    They are applied twice to squirrels.

  • sarcasmic||

    All laws are applied equally, depending on to whom they are being applied.

  • sarcasmic||

    They are applied twice to squirrels.

  • Pi Guy||

    Some squirrels are more equal than others.

  • o3||

    "It looks uncomfortably like implementing parts of a bill that didn't pass"
    _
    except a majority favored. it was blocked using filibuster.

  • ||

    Are you still under the delusion that being a democracy is a good thing?

  • o3||

    i agree w the framers who feared that direct democracy would lead to mob rule which would trample minority rights. i do however support our republic which they established

  • The Death Cab||

    Funny, I don't remember our framers stating that the ends justify the means...

  • o3||

    the great compromise only delayed the civil war.

  • T o n y||

    I don't remember them saying all questions before the Senate shall be passed only by a 60% vote.

  • Xenocles||

    So... it didn't pass?

  • ||

    If only we had some sort of constitution delegating specific powers to the various branches of government. But we don't. So may neo-monarchism and anti-republican democratism reign!

  • plu1959||

    Stupid Founders!

  • ||

    Yeah. Reality is hard to accept for us stupid libertards. I mean, when are we finally going to get it through our thick heads that MAJORITY RULE FUCK YEAH and that High Emperor Barack I Obama must not be questioned?

  • Randian||

    Enforcement of the law is a delegated power to the executive branch, is it not?

    Next time I really don't want to hear a bunch of complaints that Obama should take it easy on medical marijuana businesses.

  • ||

    You missed it.

  • John||

    Totally different there. That is a federalism issue. The argument there is that the states have the power to legalize marijuana and that it is therefore illegal for the feds to shut them down. That is a question of law not discretion. This case is one of the President deciding that he didn't like the law that was passed and therefore is going to enforce it like congress passed a different law.

  • ||

    Doesn't matter. It's a federal law until the SCOTUS says it's unconstitutional (which it is). Once you allow the executive to determine which laws he's going to enforce, the entire system falls apart.

    If we insist he enforce federal immigration law, we must also insist he enforce federal drug law. Any other position makes us hypocrites.

  • juris imprudent||

    The Administration can re-schedule marijuana without Congressional action. It cannot change immigration law.

  • Randian||

    Yes, but they did not do so. Therefore they are required to pursue, to the fullest extent, medical marijuana producers. Talk about easy pickings!

    You either believe in such a thing as prosecutorial discretion, or you do not. I do, and I do not see de-prioritizing those who did not even have the intent to break the law as an abuse of that discretion.

  • juris imprudent||

    I was going the other angle - the Admin tossed Congress under the bus on marijuana (when in fact they could implement a change in scheduling), then turns around and claims authority to act where Congress explicitly did not. Neither of those involve prosecutorial discretion - which can be applied in either or both without political grandstanding.

  • ||

    It's a federal law until the SCOTUS says it's unconstitutional (which it is).

    No. All three branches of the federal government have a duty to police the other branches for unconstitutional actions. The president's oath of office obliges him to refuse to implement unconstitutional laws.

    The problem is, here he isn't saying that he refuses to deport these kids because it is unconstitutional, but rather is more or less openly saying he isn't enforcing them because so doing helps him get re-elected.

  • ||

    No, the president is obliged to NOT SIGN unconstitutional legislation into law. Once it has been signed into law, he is obligated to enforce it. The SCOTUS determines whether it is or isn't constitutional after the fact.

    And I was speaking of the drug laws as unconstitutional.

  • Randian||

    Totally different there. That is a federalism issue.

    No it is not. Marijuana is illegal under federal law. Supremacy Clause, John. Now how can Obama 'choose', under your logic, to ignore those businesses which comply with state law but are pretty much flouting federal law?

  • R C Dean||

    Totally different there. That is a federalism issue.

    I don't see it, as long as the feds are enforcing only federal law.

    Just because your town/state doesn't have a law against, say, insider trading, doesn't mean the SEC can't come after you.

  • Seamus||

    Really? So if the states legalize the possession of, say, tanks with working cannons, the feds should just back off and not enforce the federal laws that make it illegal for private individuals to own them?

  • perlhaqr||

    Well, yes. Though I think you're getting into extra sticky territory because that would be a Second Amendment issue.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Next time I really don't want to hear a bunch of complaints that Obama should take it easy on medical marijuana businesses.

    Obama has the legal authority to change the classification of marijuana.

    He does not have the legal authority to change immigration laws.

  • Randian||

    Obama has the legal authority to change the classification of marijuana.

    That is actually more properly stated as a "maybe" proposition. The initial enabling legislation had marijuana at the highest level, and the government has subsequently affirmed that placement through international drug treaties.

    He does not have the legal authority to change immigration laws.

    De-prioritize De-prioritize De-prioritize. Prosecutorial discretion Prosecutorial discretion Prosecutorial discretion. How often need it be said?

  • plu1959||

    As we used to say in the ice-cream-parlor business: "Chunk loosely for maximum eye-appeal."

  • tarran||

    Honestly, if the Republicans impeach Obama over this, I have no problem with it. I would raise an eyebrow at the fact that it was this usurpation of power that pushed them over the edge as to all the other crap he's pulled. It's kind of like turning against the death penalty because they're sensing Bundy to the chair.

    The truth of the matter is that this sudden concern about Obama's unilateralism on this issue is merely concern trolling. It's full of sound and fury, signifying nothing, because the Republican party and its supporters have no serious interest in opposing dictatorship - as their tolerance for Bush and Obama's previous power grabs have amptly demonstrated.

    I've got more important things to do than to hop when the Republican's blow their dog-whistles.

  • ||

    Should have happened months ago when he went to war without the approval of Congress. As I say below...beyond fixing.

  • juris imprudent||

    Precisely why you don't hear a chorus of Republican howls over the drone strikes. They can't wait until they have their hands on the controls.

  • John||

    You are right. The Republicans are dying for a President Romney to have this power. They are totally concern trolling. They want power.

    What I can't figure out is what Libertarians' excuse is for slirping Obama over this.

  • Ben the Duck||

    CARTMAN: Don't worry Polly Prissy Pants, you're gonna be safe here. In this day and age, black people are just impervious to being fucked with, so we will be alright.

    TOKEN: Why are you involving me in this?

    CARTMAN: Token, please. You're the only person I can trust. Because in today's time, black people are somehow incapable of doing something wrong.

  • T o n y||

    Some of us form political beliefs attached to principles, not just reflexive hatred of a politician powered by an eternal current of agitprop.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Like hatred of George W. Bush, Tony?

    [no, I'm not defending him. Fuck GWB. I didn't vote for his old man, either.]

  • The Derider||

    "But the democrats did it TOO!" is not a political belief attached to principles.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    No, but it is the truth... the Democrats did, indeed, "do it too".

    Tony is the one who sees it as okay to hate Bush, but not Obama.

  • ||

    Right. It's only principled when "Bush did it!"

  • Mike M.||

    Honestly, if the Republicans impeach Obama over this, I have no problem with it.

    Forget that nonsense. He's going to be out of office in seven months anyway.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Hell, if they can impeach jug-ears, I'm all for it. He has been a consistant embarassment from day one. I won't be picky about reasons provided they meet the legal requirements.

  • ||

    I think our republic has moved to a point it's irreparable. I was just watching Barney Frank interrogate Jamie Dimon about losing non government money.

    Our government is out of control. I don't see how it can ever be reeled back in.

  • sarcasmic||

    The logical conclusion of reacting to the unintended consequences of shitty legislation with more shitty legislation is totalitarian rule.

    It has been the same old story since history began.

  • The Death Cab||

    "...the move sits uneasily with the president's constitutional responsibility to "take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed."

    Bullshit. Barack Obama is a constitutional scholar. How dare you even insinuate that any responsibility by the President is not being faithfully executed. The man is A FUCKING SCHOLAR, is that so hard God damned hard for you to underatand?

  • Anonymous Coward||

    "I don't believe at this stage, therefore, if I'm president that we need to have a war powers approval or special authorization for military force," he said, "The president has that capacity now."

    I'm still struggling so maybe some helpful TEAM Red/Blue member can help me out with this burning question: Where the fuck do Barack Obama and Mitt Romney differ politically?

  • ||

    Where the fuck do Barack Obama and Mitt Romney differ politically?

    Which parts of the Constitution they want to disregard?

  • sarcasmic||

    Where the fuck do Barack Obama and Mitt Romney differ politically?

    Abortion and gay marriage. And, sadly, it will be over those two issues that tens of millions of people will cast their votes.

  • SugarFree||

    Just split the damn difference: Ban gays from having abortions and let fetuses get married.

  • Pi Guy||

    But then how will I know who to vote for in Septober?

  • SugarFree||

    Fractional voting. Just because you get one vote doesn't mean the whole thing has to go to just one person.

  • ||

    Also taxation (though probably not spending), but infinitely more importantly, on the role of the judiciary. I can't see Mittens appointing a "wise Latino woman" to the SCOTUS based on this reasoning:

    "I will seek someone who understands that justice isn't about some abstract legal theory or footnote in a casebook; it is also about how our laws affect the daily realities of people's lives, whether they can make a living and care for their families, whether they feel safe in their homes and welcome in their own nation. I view that quality of empathy, of understanding and identifying with people's hopes and struggles, as an essential ingredient for arriving at just decisions and outcomes."

  • R C Dean||

    There is something of a distinction to be made between a true moratorium on enforcement of the law as written and what Obama I has done with immigration law.

    You can argue that a moratorium on enforcement is justifiable, either as (a) a Constitutionally-based objection to the validity of the law or (b) an exercise of prosecutorial discretion (although the latter runs into the "faithfully execute" clause).

    What Barack I has done, though, isn't either of those. The new immigration policy isn't a moratorium on enforcement. It is far too detailed for that; it is a rewriting of the immigration laws. Now, there may be marginal cases where you can argue moratorium v rewriting, but this isn't one of those cases.

    As with other arrogations of power, the folks who like this particular exercise of power need to ask themselves how confident they are that other laws won't be rewritten by executive fiat in ways they don't like.

  • Randian||

    Now, there may be marginal cases where you can argue moratorium v rewriting, but this isn't one of those cases.

    You are begging the question. And therefore this conclusion:

    As with other arrogations of power, the folks who like this particular exercise of power need to ask themselves how confident they are that other laws won't be rewritten by executive fiat in ways they don't like.

    Is invalid because it rests on faulty premises.

  • R C Dean||

    You are begging the question.

    How so?

    And are you seriously arguing that an expansion of the President's power can't possibly be used in ways that libertarians won't like?

    If this was just a simple moratorium on enforcement (like, say, an announcement that the DEA and FBI would not enforce the marijuana laws against state-legal dispensaries and clients), I would be willing to say it doesn't really amount to a bona fide expansion of executive power.

    But this is taking a law that failed to pass Congress, and implementing big chunks of it via executive fiat. Even for an executive that has been legislating via regulatory agencies for decades now, that's a bit of a leap.

  • The Derider||

    Legalizing marijuana at the federal level didn't pass congress either.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    That's because politicians from both Teams were involved, Derider.

  • The Derider||

    That has nothing to do with the argument here.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Actually, it does.

    "Legalizing marijuana at the federal level didn't pass congress either."

    "That's because politicians from both Teams were involved."

    It's right there in front of you. I'd italicize or bold-face the print, but would it really help?

  • The Derider||

    His argument was that drug legalization was different from immigration reform because immigration reform failed to pass through congress.

    My point was that they both failed to pass through congress.

    Politicians from both teams were involved with both issues, so your point has nothing to do with the argument.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Politicians from both Teams blocked both issues, by failing to pass them.

    You lose again.

  • The Derider||

    You are still failing to understand the argument here. It has nothing to do with Republicans or Democrats.

    "If this was just a simple moratorium on enforcement (like, say, an announcement that the DEA and FBI would not enforce the marijuana laws against state-legal dispensaries and clients), I would be willing to say it doesn't really amount to a bona fide expansion of executive power.

    But this is taking a law that failed to pass Congress, and implementing big chunks of it via executive fiat"

    Marijuana legalization failed to pass the congress as well.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    And *why* did MJ legalization fail to pass Congress?

    Hint: I just told you the answer.

  • ||

    You're actually both entirely missing the original point, which was that a blanket moratorium on enforcement of a law may pass muster, but selective enforcement in pursuit of policy goals that couldn't be implemented via the legislature is not. Evaluate that however you want, but at least stay on the topic.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I'm aware of that part, PM, but on the subject of MJ legalization, it's obstructionism from politicians from both Teams.

    Plus, the cowardice of standing up to the much-stronger contingent of Professional Scolds known as Congressmen and Senators and "experts" like the Drug Czar.

  • The Derider||

    That's not the Point RC dean made, that I responded to.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I wasn't talking about RC's point.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Rampant executive overreach is nothing new. It goes back at LEAST to Teddy Roosevelt. It certainly applies to Wilson, FDR, and LBJ. I'll admit that I sure would like to see the current clown get in trouble for it, but it isn't as if there's a lack of precident.

  • Gladstone||

    So is Reason going to endorse Obama again? Is David Boaz going to write an article on how Obama is sorta libertarian? Is the libertarian position on immigration going to backfire like classical liberals support for manhood and then female suffrage?

  • ant1sthenes||

    Well, he actually has a track record this time around. If candidate Obama was running things instead of president Obama, libertarians might not have had as much to hate.

  • ||

    Because there's always a chance that sketchy looking guy with the rope in one hand and rag in the other might actually have free candy in his van...

  • R C Dean||

    For those interested in exactly what has been done, here's the official memo from Big Sis:

    http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/as.....ildren.pdf

  • The Derider||

    Reason's one-sided coverage of Obama's proposal is the best evidence yet that they're in the tank for team Red.

    Obama deports immigrants-- Obama Bad.
    Obama stops deporting immigrants-- Obama bad.

    If you honestly think they're above petty partisan identity, wake up.

  • The Derider||

    Here's the proof:

    http://reason.com/blog/2011/11.....egacy-4600
    Obama's Immigration Legacy: 46,000 Parents of U.S. Citizens Deported; 5,100 Kids Ripped From Their Families and Put in Foster Care

    Where are you Mike Riggs? He did exactly what you wanted.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    So, no one should ever criticize Obama. Is that what you're saying, Derider?

  • The Derider||

    I'm saying it's hypocritical to criticize Obama for deporting immigrants (as the law says he should) and then to criticize Obama when he stops deporting immigrants (as the law says he should).

    He just can't win with you guys.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Why should he win?

  • The Derider||

    That's my point-- you guys will support any argument where he doesn't win, consistency be damned.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Far as I'm concerned, a massive meteor strike on a fully-packed Congress session would make me pretty damned happy, Derider.

    Just in case you thought I was a Republican or some other shit.

  • The Derider||

    So you're an anarchist?

    Cool bro.

  • The Derider||

    And if your only criteria is "Obama must be wrong", you're totally indistinguishable from a Republican.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    What if I don't VOTE for Republicans, though?

    No, one vote for Ron Paul doesn't count.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Besides, if your only criteria is "The opposite Team must be wrong"...

  • The Derider||

    Mine sure isn't. I prefer the Libertarian position on many issues to the Democratic position.

    I am glad that Obama's position on immigration has become one more in line with the Libertarian position.

    I guess I'm the only one!

  • The Derider||

    So other than the fact that you are reflexively anti-democrat and vote for Republicans, you claim not to be a Republican.

    I guess it's a distinction without a difference.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    ONE Republican, dipshit.

    Hell, I voted for *two* Democrats last election. Does that, by your definition, now make me a Democrat?

  • The Derider||

    I think you can be whatever you define yourself as.

    I'm going to treat you like a republican because I see no functional difference in your politics.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Uh, yeah, sure.

  • ||

    That's why we all treat you like an idiot...

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Oh, he gives plenty of reasons to do that. On every thread.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    The way to deal with bad law is to move to change it. Obamaramadingdong hasn't. He's wrong when he enforces a bad law, and wrong again when he moves to NOT enforce it without changing it.

    This is what drives me to rage when talking to self described Liberals about immigration. They tend (in my experience, anyway) to act as if simply not enforcing the bad laws solved something. It doesn't. In some ways, it's the most despicable thing we could do; it would suck large numbers of immigrants into the country, and leave them in a legal limbo where they would be prey to all kinds of exploitation.

    Obama is more of the same, and to hell with him.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Unfortunately - unless there's a series of events leading to a President Gary Johnson or Ron Paul inauguration - we're going to have either Incumbent Shit Sandwich or Former MA Governor Giant Douche.

    Neither bodes well for freedom.

  • The Derider||

    Obama certainly has moved to change the law. The DREAM act passed the house and was filibustered by Republicans in the senate. Given that a change is not going to pass congress, would you prefer that Obama enforce a bad law, or not enforce a bad law?

    Because right now Reason has criticized him for doing both.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Why are you - as a self-professed libertarian - so fucking concerned about how Reason treats Obama?

  • T o n y||

    Is there anywhere congressional partisan gridlock can lead but more executive power? Why is immigration reform not passed? Same reason everything else isn't passed: Republicans don't want to do anything for anyone while a Democrat is in the White House. In this environment is it any shock the president would take what positive actions he can legally justify?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    And, eventually, Democrats won't want to do anything for anyone while a Republican is in the White House.

    FIFY'd. No charge.

    [not bad for an idiot who never went to college, huh.]

  • T o n y||

    Oh so are Democrats intransigent partisans, or are they the other side of the same authoritarian coin forever in collusion with Republicans to corrupt your precious bodily fluids?

    You needed to go to college, because then such bullshit as "So, no one should ever criticize Obama. Is that what you're saying, Derider?" would not seem like a good argument every single time you respond to anything. It's like you had a stroke and got stuck on strawman.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I'd ask you the same question, Tony, as you seem to think Obama is above criticism.

    Actually, if you'd just think logically instead of your usual reflexively-partisan, emotionally-fueled rants about the "morality" of government actions... ahh, fuck it. You'll just do your usual bullshit, like your post above, with your nose held high in the air and a smug look of haughty superiority on your face.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Okay, that was unfair of me... I know some of you liberals DO criticize Obama, mostly for not being socialist enough.

  • The Derider||

    Democrats were very happy to compromise with the Bush administration, the Bush administration before that, the Reagan administration, etc...

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Actually, that's just as bad for us as when one Team refuses to bend over for the other Team.

    The only thing worse than the parties not working together, is when they DO work together... to roughly paraphrase Lewis Black.

  • ||

    On tax increases during Reagan and Bush I, but what else? And before answering, remember that voting on something because you agree with it isn't actually a "compromise" (like when Democrats voted in favor of a war resolution before they all decided that war was bad and stuff).

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Or voting for the health-care bill, so we can see what's in it?

    I know, I know... "are you serious?"

  • ||

    That must be why a much stronger amnesty proposal supported by George W. Bush went down in flames in a Republican congress too, right, dipshit?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "Is there anywhere congressional partisan gridlock can lead but more executive power?"

    Bush wanted more executive power, and so does Barry.

    Hell, both Teams want that.

  • The Derider||

    His point is that by creating gridlock in the house and senate, republicans predictably give Obama this power.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I'm still trying to figure out why he's bitching about it. Obama is Tony's Team Leader, after all.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    But you missed my point, just like he did:

    When a Republican is in the presidency, it will be Team Blue's turn to obstruct him at every turn.

  • The Derider||

    Democrats were very happy to compromise with the Bush administration, the Bush administration before that, the Reagan administration, etc...

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Then they were fools, just as Republicans would be fools to compromise with Democrats.

  • The Derider||

    Your personal opinions on the value of compromise nonwithstanding, you agree that Democrats don't obstruct Republicans at every turn?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    They WILL, out of revenge for Team Red not bending over every time Barry drops a paper clip.

    I'm actually looking forward to it. That, is how politics SHOULD be played.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "the value of compromise" brought us HMOs and No Child Left Behind.

    Not to mention the "patriot" Act.

    That's just three bad examples.

  • ||

    Yeah, I remember in 2007 when Nancy Pelosi became Speaker of the House, and the incivility and rancor in congress finally ended...

    If Mr. FIFY does agree with you that Democrats aren't obstructionists when its convenient then he's even more stupid than you are, which is saying a lot.

    I guess the entire 90's when a Republican house, Democratic senate and Democratic presidency came the closest we've been in a century to balancing a budget, reformed welfare, compromised on taxes and regulation, and created the business climate we now look back on as the "good old days" must have eluded you.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    No I'm don't!

  • Concerned Citizen||

    And by "good old days", surely you're omitting the gov't's role in inflating the housing bubble, aren't you?

  • The Derider||

    Comprehend before posting is always a good rule of thumb, I guess.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Yeah. You should try that, Derider.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "Oh so are Democrats intransigent partisans, or are they the other side of the same authoritarian coin forever in collusion with Republicans"

    Both, actually.

  • The Derider||

    His point is that those are mutually exclusive.

    So either they're not partisans all the time, or they're not authoritarians all the time.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    No, they're both at the same time, all the time.

    Which is why a 90% death rate of the entire Congress, would just barely be a good start.

  • The Derider||

    Yeah, see, they can't both be intransigent partisans and forever in collusion with the Republicans.

    Do you know what the term mutually exclusive means?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Don't fucking talk down to me, Derider. I get enough of that condescending bullshit from Tony.

    What I *said* was, IF Team Red gets the White House, it will be Team Blue's turn to cock-block the Team Red president... the 180-degree opposite of what Tony's bitching about right now.

    And I'm all for it, loathe though I am to agree at all with that smarmy, bloated-egoed doom-sponge.

  • ||

    The real point of the matter is that the "ZOMG PARTISAN OBSTRUCTIONISM" is all political maneuvering. At the end of the day, the parties' points of agreement are much stronger than their points of contention. They create the illusion of a much starker difference than actually exists to pander to their useful idiots. What they agree on are the fundamentals. What they disagree on are petty particulars. When two guys in jackboots have agreed that you need a good beating, the fact that one is "obstructing" the other about whether the instrument for the beating should be a whip or a baton is really a trivial difference, even if they labor exhaustively to convince you that it is a life-changing decision.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Unfortunately, you're right, PM.

  • The Derider||

    If you don't like condescension, try not to post like a moron.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I'll remember that if I ever *do* such a thing, Derider.

    Oh, and fuck you.

  • The Derider||

    No, you said that Democrats were "both" intransigent partisans and in collusion with Republicans, which is obviously impossible.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Actually, I said they will likely be as obstructionist as Republicans are now, which is a good thing.

    In fact, I'm hoping it happens.

    But do go on. You haven't called me a racist yet, so there's another opportunity for you to lie.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Okay, I'll type it so you can read it.

    Democrats - IF there's a massive power shift next year - will likely become as intransigent as Republicans have been to Obama (NTTAWWT).

    However... on at least three occasions - the creation of the monsters known as HMOs, No Child Left Behind, and the "patriot" Act - Democrats damn fuck well WERE in collusion, as it took both Teams to pass those nasty bills.

    PM summed it up, as well.

    What else ya got, Spunky?

  • jolin||

    I guess the entire 90's when a Republican house, Democratic senate and Democratic presidency came the closest we've been in a century to balancing a budget, reformed welfare, compromised on taxes and regulation, and created the business climate we now look back on as the "good old days" must have eluded you.
    tee shirt pas cher

  • joy||

    As it happens, Obama's "royal dispensation" for young immigrants is hardly the most terrifying instance of administration unilateralism. In fact, as a policy matter, http://www.riemeninnl.com/riem-armani-c-4.html it's a humane and judicious use of prosecutorial resources.

  • ||

    s it happens, Obama's "royal http://www.maillotfr.com/maill.....22_35.html dispensation" for young immigrants is hardly the most terrifying instance of administration unilateralism. In fact, as a policy matter, it's a humane and judicious use of prosecutorial resources.

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