Some Imperial Presidencies Are More Equal than Others

To wit: President Obama has issued a form of executive action known as the presidential memorandum more often than any other president in history — using it to take unilateral action even as he has signed fewer executive orders. When these two forms of directives are taken together, Obama is on track to take more …

Our Very Wise and Poorly Implemented New Immigration Policy

In reacting to President Obama's recent speech on immigration, I find myself in the same position as Ilya Shapiro; I commend the president on a truly excellent, much-needed policy change, while deploring the way in which the change is being implemented. Like Shapiro, I cannot get past the fact that previously, the president swore up …

Barack Obama Is Not George W. Bush

As Bruce Ackerman--who is no one's idea of a right-wing legal theorist--points out, George W. Bush never came close to running the type of imperial presidency that his successor is running: PRESIDENT OBAMA’s declaration of war against the terrorist group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria marks a decisive break in the …

Obamacare and the Setback in Civics

Once again, if a Republican president did this kind of thing, we would be complaining about an imperial presidency: For the second time in a year, the Obama administration is giving certain employers extra time before they must offer health insurance to almost all their full-time workers. Under new rules announced Monday by Treasury Department …

At the Risk of Insisting that the Constitution Be Followed . . .

Isn't this the kind of thing that requires--oh, what is the word I am thinking of? Oh yes, I remember now!--legislation? Or are we actually claiming that the president has the right to amend Obamacare by fiat? The Obama administration is considering an extension of the president's decision to let people keep their individual insurance …

The State of Speechmaking about the State of the Union

Last night's State of the Union address was replete with platitudes, buzzwords, lame rhetorical tricks, and the same old same old. There was nothing, new, path-breaking or consequential that came out of it. Given former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs's admission that President Obama "stopped trying to change Washington years ago," I suppose that none of …

Obama-Induced Intellectual Whiplash

Ron Fournier continues to have the Obamaphiles' number: For months, the White House and its allies mocked critics of Barack Obama's leadership, arguing that no president has "Green Lantern" superhero powers. Now these same people are predicting that Obama can salvage his agenda by waving a magical "pen and phone." The contradiction illustrates how far partisans will …

It’s Time for a Big, Giant Health Care Reform Roundup

I have been neglectful in posting about the continuing travails of Obamacare; real life demands mean less time for blogging. There is a lot of news to cover, and the news does remain bad for Obamacare fans. Let's start with what might be the next big problem for Obamacare: Obamacare’s rollout dented the Department of …

Slightly Amending George Will’s Title

Whether President Obama's "unconstitutional steps" are indeed worse than those of Richard Nixon's is, in my view, not that much of a pressing issue. For me, it suffices to point out that we have ourselves an imperial presidency and the people who complained that George W. Bush was an imperial president are strangely silent about the …

How Obamacare “Works”

$12 billion ain't exactly chicken feed: President Barack Obama's decision to delay implementation of part of his healthcare reform law will cost $12 billion and leave a million fewer Americans with employer-sponsored health insurance in 2014, congressional researchers said Tuesday. The report by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office is the first authoritative estimate of the human and fiscal cost from …