Barack Obama

Americans Not Thrilled About Obama Bypassing Congress

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President Obama

In his State of the Union address on Tuesday, President Obama repeated his shop-worn mantra about being prepared to bypass Congress "wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation." Whatever slack Americans may still be willing to cut the president at this late date doesn't extend to unilateral action, however—fewer than a third of us are on-board with that idea.

A CNN/ORC poll taken after the speech asked people, "In general, would you rather see Barack Obama attempt to reach a bipartisan compromise with Congress on major issues, or would you rather see Obama take unilateral action without Congress to make changes in government policy that are not supported by Republicans?"

Only 30 percent said they wanted Obama to take action without Congress, while 67 percent held out for bipartisan compromise.

Overall, the poll found the weakest response to the State of the Union addresses given by the current president since he took office. The "very positive" column has drifted downward from 68 percent at the first speech, to 53 percent last year, to 44 percent this time (though the meh "somewhat positive" numbers are up a bit).

Americans seem a bit jaded about the guy in the White House, and letting him go it alone isn't in the cards.

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  1. A CNN/ORC poll taken after the speech askied people

    Askies, no backsies.

    Quoting so I don’t look like a lunatic after you change it.

    1. Shouldn’t that be asciied people?

      1. At least CNN/ORC didn’t axe those people.

    2. One day I should just quote an article as the first comment and add a typo that’s not there so when people show up later it looks like they fixed it.

      1. *Thunderous applause*

  2. That poll would be great news… if he actually cared about what we think or want.

    1. Well, he knows what we should think and should want, so polls like this probably just reinforce his resolve.

  3. But last night Jon Stewart made it clear that the Republicans were the idiots here!

  4. …to make changes in government policy that are not supported by Republicans?

    [cough]obamacare[cough]

  5. This is not going to go over well. The media has spent 40 or more years feeding the public the idea that the government could solve our problems if only the various top men could just put their partisanship aside and get things done. They have been using that line to beat weak Republicans into being Quislings my entire life. Well, sometimes people actually believe the bullshit you tell them.

    1. People seem to forget that most of us vehemently disagree with each other as to what exactly constitutes ‘getting things done’.

      1. Of course. That is the beauty of the “get things done” BS; everyone thinks the “things” is what they want.

  6. “Only 30 percent said they wanted Obama to take action without Congress.”

    ONLY 30 percent?!

    I suspect as much as 30 percent of the American people would support anything Obama did–so long as he justified it as being against bigotry, religious fundamentalism, and selfishness.

    That 30 percent number is way too high.

    1. He doesn’t even need to justify it. The people in support of this will support anything Obama wants and/or Republicans don’t.

    2. The actual poll doesn’t say only 30 percent wanted Obama to take action without Congress – it says 30 percent wanted Obama to take action without even attempting to involve Congress. 67 percent said they wanted Obama to attempt to reach a bipartisan compromise with Congress but that leaves unaddressed the question of what Obama should do if Congress refuses to compromise. (In Obamaspeak, that would be ‘Congress failing to act’ rather than the more reasonable interpretation of ‘Congress acted by saying ‘No”.)

      Wait until Congress fails to act upon things that need acting upon and see how many people support Obama doing the things that need to be done strictly on the grounds that these things need to be done and dismissing arguments that the President has no Constitutional authority to do these things as mere minor nitpicking by right-wing extremist racist hate-mongering evil bastards.

      (The Constitutional arguments will of course be unquestionably determinant once a Republican becomes President again.)

      1. it says 30 percent wanted Obama to take action without even attempting to involve Congress.

        IOW, 30% of poll respondants yearn to live under a dictatorship instead of a republic. Pretty fucking pathetic. I wonder if the founders knew that we would end up like this if they would have even bothered with the revolution.

        1. Yeah, progressive hate mongering has the 30% primed for most anything, which shouldn’t be a surprise. Their whole movement is based on forcing individuals to sacrifice their rights and interests for the common good. That’s the problem with progressives: eventually, they always run out of other people’s rights to sacrifice.

        2. The founders were leery of full-on democracy and put constraints on it in the Constitution. Most of those constraints have been amended away, judicially cancelled, or just ignored.

          The founders thought they had things well set up.

  7. A good chunk of the 30% mentioned above are identifiable by the “I ? Obamacare” bumper sticker still on their cars. Isn’t it also interesting that prior to Election 2012, the term “Obamacare” carried undertones some deemed racist? Seems everyone in the MSM is now suddenly comfortable using the term? The pre-2012 non-racist term was Affordable Care Act. And by interesting I mean totally unsurprising.

    And why shouldn’t it be this way? English is a living language after all!

    1. This answers the question “How many Americans would be okay with Obama declaring himself dictator for life and canceling the 2016 elections?”

      There is probably an equal number of Republicans who would have been okay with Bush doing the same thing. It is the other 40% that decides things. And I think that 40% is growing a bit weary of Team Blue.

      1. Weary when you ask them in a poll, sure. But come election time, present them with some logical fallacies and opinions they don’t have to think too hard about and they will love team blue again.

        1. They didn’t in 2010.

          1. Was Obama running for some office in 2010? Was 2010 a POTUS election?

            1. Is 2014 a Presidential Election? Will Obama be running in 2016?

              Yeah, in 2012 enough guilty white people voted to re-elect Obama because they had no idea how bad Obamacare was going to be and they really really wanted to like the first black President. And even at that, Obama got millions fewer votes in 12 than he did in 08. That is the first time ever a President has been re-elected with fewer votes.

              And if they reran the election tomorrow post Obamacare, do you really think he would win? He only won by a few million votes in a country of 300 million. Things don’t stay the same forever.

              1. He would win again. The point is that POTUS elections mobilize the legions of ignorant populists. But more generally, do voters base their decisions on logically consistent facts and beliefs or do they rely on populist fallacies?

                I consider myself an optimist, but to assume people will wake up one day and suddenly decide to favor limited government is just absurd. It doesn’t matter what people think about Obamacare. Even if team blue gets punished in 2014, by 2016 the coalition of the ignorant will be calling the shots again. Political outcomes are not determined by morality or empirical reasoning, such outcomes are determined by popular perception.

                1. The point is that POTUS elections mobilize the legions of ignorant populists. But more generally, do voters base their decisions on logically consistent facts and beliefs or do they rely on populist fallacies?

                  That is nothing but Libertarian fart smelling. It feels nice to think everyone in the world but you is totally unreasonable and irrational. But it is just not true. The world isn’t that simple and you are not as smart as you think you are.

                  People voted for Obama for what they felt were valid reasons. And most of those reasons were flawed because they were based on untrue assumptions fed to them by the media. Well reality has a way of unmasking lies. And that is what is happening right now.

                  1. That is nothing but Libertarian fart smelling. It feels nice to think everyone in the world but you is totally unreasonable and irrational. But it is just not true. The world isn’t that simple and you are not as smart as you think you are.

                    It’s fart smelling to posit that electorates don’t rely on empirical reasoning or logical consistency? So that must make what you’re doing to be nothing but populist dick sucking.

                    People voted for Obama for what they felt were valid reasons.

                    Muslim father murder their rape victim daughters for what they felt were valid reasons. Feeling that it’s valid doesn’t make it so.

                    Well reality has a way of unmasking lies. And that is what is happening right now.

                    Be sure to notify me when voters become these creatures of reason and morality you speak of.

                2. Think of how politically ignorant the average person is, then realize that 50% of the people are more ignorant than that.

                  1. They are ignorant because they have lives and are not poltical geeks like the people on here. So they believed that Obama is a nice mushy moderate who just wants to work with Congress and that Obmaacare wasn’t going to cost them their insurance.

                    Well now even the uninterested realize that isn’t true. Most of the consequences to actual people of Obama were shielded from the public. Well not so much anymore.

                    1. They are ignorant because they have lives and are not poltical geeks like the people on here.

                      Which nonetheless is a valid indictment of democracy and the legitimacy democratically ordained policies.

                      I can fully appreciate why most people make shitty voters, they don’t have the necessary information to make these decisions. But that lack of information doesn’t stop them. And that profound ignorance does nothing to dissuade people from embracing the argument that democracy is moral or legitimate. But hey, it’s libertarian fart smelling when you point to that fact, isn’t it?

  8. The 30% are proof that 70% of Americans are racist.

  9. Only 30 percent said they wanted Obama to take action without Congress.

    I am certain that 30% will be just as excited about this sort of thing when a Repub POTUS talks about doing it.

    1. If a libertarian president promised to unilaterally dismantle any and all of the federal bureaucracy that it was in his power to eliminate, wouldn’t you support it?

      Everybody loves a dictator from their own tribe. The only reason anyone (aside from libertarians) supports any limitations of government power is to prevent the rival tribe from fucking things up too badly.

      1. I would support the idea but it would not get done unilaterally. The libertarian would be subject to separation of powers, too. There is a difference between believing something is a good idea and insisting that your good idea become law. Even a libertarian dictator is still a dictator.

        1. There’s plenty, if not most of the Federal bureaucracy under the direct purview of the Executive branch. If I was made president tomorrow, I’d utterly demolish all sorts of agencies and departments, hinder the rest and pardon every victimless crime conviction in the country. Separation of powers is important, but the powers allotted to the presidency are unfortunately vast.

          1. I would favor a president simply refusing to comply with any act of Congress not explicitly sustained by the Constitution. The president is duty-bound (but highly unlikely) to uphold fidelity to the Constitution, whatever Congress might say. Didn’t Adams do just that by refusing to declare war with France, despite Congress authorizing it?

            1. I’m trying to think of an act of congress that is not supported by the Commerce Clause, to name just one.

              1. The commerce clause as treated the last century or the commerce clause as written?

                1. The interpretation and execution is all that matters. The Second Amendment wouldn’t be worth a pot of libertarian piss if ‘living constitution’ types had their way.

      2. in his power to eliminate

        If by that you mean “constitutionally”, then yes.

        But if he needs congressional support to do it, then no.

        I would prefer the hypothetical libertarian president to follow the constitution. If needed, we can amend it.

        1. Constitutionalism is all well and good and I agree with you. If the libertarian POTUS didn’t follow it, there would be no valid ability to cry foul when progressives shit all over it when in office. But as a matter of principle constitutionalism=/=libertarianism. Violating a constitution is a liberty neutral thing, it’s irrelevant to the moral precepts of liberty.

          1. I agree.

            Constitutionalism/Federalism is about form of government, which libertarianism has no say in.

            I want libertarianism AND constitutionalism.

            1. Some would call that “libertarian constitutionalism” and (they’d be wrong) but I appreciate your separation of those two concepts.

      3. Yes, I would. I honestly don’t have a problem with this approach. If congress doesn’t like it, then they can do something about it. That’s how it’s supposed to work. The branches don’t exist for the purpose of collusion.

  10. There are a few reasons why I didn’t watch the speech, but one was that I thought I could surely take a minute to glance over the highlights. Two days later, it appears there are no real highlights anyone’s felt worth mentioning.

    1. seems that is the highlight.

  11. Gosh, why does he think we have Congress at all?

    1. A king needs courtesans doesn’t he?

    2. resume filler.

    3. And you of all people should know they kept the Roman Senate right through even the worst and most tyrannical emperors. There was even a Soviet Congress under Stalin.

      Tyrants love having a facade of respectability.

      1. Tyrants love having a facade of respectability.

        Tyrants also like to con the people into thinking they have some kind of “voice” even when it should be perfectly clear that they don’t. They’re far less likely to end up dangling from a lamp post that way.

        1. You know, the Roman Senate and assemblies kind of sat back and let the tyrants take power, too. Even up to Augustus’ early years, it’s possible the rest of the government could’ve reasserted itself. In their case, at least they had the excuse of being tired of all of the civil wars.

          1. Political culture had utterly changed thanks to Julius Ceasar and Augustus. Having a strongman to protect the state from factional civil wars was widely perceived as a good thing. The Senate might well have tried to reassert it’s primacy, but it couldn’t undo the change in political culture that put legitimacy on the shoulders of tyrants.

            1. Caesar never wanted to be a tyrant. It was his opponents who were tyrants who left him not choice but to return to Rome and take over after they planned to kill him and take over. Caesar made the choice of taking over himself and hoping for the best over letting his opponents kill him and take over.

              1. He wasn’t forced to seize the Roman state just because he had political rivals who wanted to use that state against him. He could have purged those elements and then bow out similar to Sulla before him. Instead Caesar centralized power into what would eventually be called the principate and transformed the Senate into a toothless rubber stamp machine. Whereas Sulla worked to restore the Senate to primacy so the state might function after his exit.

                Julius Caesar was no Cinncinatus.

  12. Whoa,

    The title of this article totally hit the nail on the head…

    Nullification my friends. Nullification

    SIC SEMPER TYRANNIS

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