Barack Obama’s imperial presidency isn’t going anyway.
In a fawning 40-minute interview with the New York Times, “Obama says income gap is fraying U.S. social fabric,” the president repeated the promise he made during his speech Wednesday in Galesburg, Ill., to “take whatever administrative steps that I can in order to do right by the American people” – as he sees it.
And he basically dared House Republicans to try to stop him.
“And if Congress thinks that what I’ve done is inappropriate or wrong in some fashion, they’re free to make that case …,” he said. “But ultimately, I’m not concerned about their opinions — very few of them, by the way, are lawyers, much less constitutional lawyers. “
He’s not concerned about the opinions of the United States Congress – he scorns the opinions of the Congress — because “very few of them are lawyers, much less constitutional lawyers.” Apparently, simply being elected to office by the American people isn’t qualification enough for this constitutional lawyer of a president. (About a quarter of House members are lawyers.)
And he has no problem fraying the social fabric himself when it comes to hints about what he claims is motivating those non-lawyers to be against him.
“But there’s not an action that I take that you don’t have some folks in Congress who say that I’m usurping my authority. Some of those folks think I usurp my authority by having the gall to win the presidency. And I don’t think that’s a secret.”
“Having the gall” to win the presidency? He might as well have said Republicans think he’s “uppity.”
Coming on the heels of his disquisition about the George Zimmerman acquittal – “Trayvon Martin could have be me 35 years ago …” – the interview asked if Obama had any plans to mark the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington. Obama didn’t answer the question directly, but used it to paint a none-to-cheery vision of the future if the economy doesn’t improve
“And racial tensions won’t get better; they may get worse, because people will feel as if they’ve got to compete with some other group to get scraps from a shrinking pot,” he said. “If the economy is growing, everybody feels invested.”
There was more, of course, but the transcript shows none of it new – Obamacare (wait and see), Keystone (undecided still), immigration (pro-reform) etc. – but it wouldn’t be unfair to boil it down to this:
Obama says he’ll use executive orders to improve the economy; anyone who resists those orders is an unqualified racist who doesn’t want the economy to improve; and if the economy doesn’t improve, racial tensions will get worse.
That’s what we’ve been seeing and since the re-election. It’s what we’ll keep on seeing and hearing for the next 1,200 days.
The “post-racial” imperial presidency isn’t going anywhere.
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