posted on February 17, 2014 16:12
It’s got to be a temptation – but it may not have a happy ending.
Lately, President Obama’s taken to running the country by Executive Order – for instance, the other day he found a part of Obamacare wasn’t going to work so he simply announced he wouldn’t enforce that part of the law.
Which, in a way, sounded pretty good – even Republicans agreed that part of Obamacare was broken. So, by not enforcing the law, the President avoided a train wreck.
On the other hand, there is a right way and wrong way to do things.
Years ago, if a President believed we should go to war, he had to get Congress to pass a Declaration of War. That system worked out pretty well. During the first half of the last century we only fought two wars: World War I and II.
Then, in the second half of the century Presidents dispensed with the legal formalities and started sending troops to attack other countries on their own – without a Declaration of War. Since then we’ve landed in six wars. Korea, Vietnam, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.
The old traditional way of doing things – Congress passing the laws and the President enforcing them – wasn’t a foolproof way to run the country. But it led to less mischief than giving one politician the power to say, This is what I want to do – and now that’s the law.
Naturally, President Obama wants to see his agenda succeed but changing laws he doesn’t like is a step down a dangerous road. Today he may be changing laws to avoid a train wreck. But tomorrow he (or another President) may use the same power to open Pandora’s box.