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His Royal Imperial Highness, Barack Obama II

Comment

America's constitutional structure is built on checks and balances. The idea behind these checks and balances is simple: We want interest counteracting interest, ego counteracting ego. We don't want any one person to gain too much power — or any one faction or any one way of thought.

Gridlock, for lack of a better word, is good.

President Barack Obama, however, has a different idea. He believes that America must be fundamentally transformed. That fundamental transformation cannot be effectuated without a fundamental transformation of the system of American government.

The most important part of that transformation is the elevation of the presidency from a coequal branch of government to a pre-eminent branch of government. The president shouldn't be seen as just a player in the larger government struggle for power and policymaking; he should be seen as a larger-than-life figure, an almost godlike personage, the sort of fellow who can enact policy single-handedly.

No wonder, then, that President Obama declared war on the Supreme Court this week.

Now, there's a case to be made that the Supreme Court should not have the power of judicial review. That case is basic: If the Supreme Court can strike down anything at any time in the name of the Constitution, that power elevates it above the other branches. The checks and balances break down. The argument against judicial review is an argument in favor of checks and balances, not against them.

But that's not the argument Obama made. Instead, he argued that the Supreme Court should not strike down Obamacare, because that would be "unprecedented" and "extraordinary." What's so new about the Supreme Court's doing what it's been doing since 1803? Nothing, exactly, except that it would cut against Obama. In other words, judicial review is only bad when it rules against Obama.

The same holds true of Congress.

Congress is great when it does what Obama wants. When it doesn't, Obama wants the power to simply ignore it. He has repeatedly stated on various issues, "If Congress won't act, I will." He's used his executive branch powers to appoint dozens of czars with Cabinet-level power but without Cabinet positions so that he doesn't have to have them approved by Congress. He's appointed officers in violation of the Constitution, wrongly maintaining that he has the right to do so.

In essence, Obama detests the checks and balances. He doesn't like gridlock. It stops him from implementing his vision.

Though Obama's power grab is unprecedented, his philosophy is not. It has roots in the progressivism of the early 20th century, when Woodrow Wilson ripped the Constitution as an archaic document that prevented him from crafting social change. He said the president should be a visionary rather than a mere vessel of the people. The president, he said, has to lead.

The "great leader" model of the presidency is extraordinarily dangerous. President Obama proves it each and every day; it's what gives him the power to tell our enemies that he'll have more "flexibility" after his "last election." He's our leader; we're his followers. It's that easy to him.

Fortunately, the Constitution doesn't allow for such egotism acted out in policy. The Constitution requires checks and balances. It requires that we battle out each and every policy change, that we compromise, deadlock and stall. Getting things done is not so important as getting the right things done. And nobody has a monopoly on what the "right thing" is — no person and certainly no one branch of government.

Ben Shapiro, 28, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School and editor-at-large for the Breitbart websites. He is the four-time best-selling author of "Primetime Propaganda." To find out more about Ben Shapiro and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2012 CREATORS.COM



Comments

10 Comments | Post Comment
I am confused.
A good part of Republican argument is....."the President doesn't lead. We need a leader."
So, President Obama is not a leader.
Mr. Shapiro, a Republican columnist says "The "great leader" model of the presidency is extraordinarily dangerous."
Mr. Shapiro then accuses President Obama of leadership.
Not only leadership but abuse of leadership.
He then states ..."President Obama proves (it) each and every day; ..He's our leader; we're his followers. It's that easy to him.
Not that easy to me. Is he a leader or not?
Mr. Shapiro also says "Gridlock is good". Well have you ever been stuck in traffic gridlock? There's no movement. No one is going anywhere. How is that good? Of course the President doesn't like gridlock. No one likes gridlock unless they have a scurillous obstructionist agenda to make sure America doesn't go anywhere under President Obama's term.
It's not all bad, I'm in agreement with Mr. Shapiro that the Supreme Court should not have the power of judicial review.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Steve
Wed Apr 4, 2012 4:25 PM
I don't get the sense that Ben is using the term "gridlock" as in gridlock traffic. All he's trying to say is that things need to be argued, debated, and tweaked. He's right, no one party knows whats best and these issues need to be talked about. If they can't be agreed upon, they should be stalled out. You'd feel the same way if there was a republican president doing the same thing. And I'd be right there with you.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Chris McCoy
Wed Apr 4, 2012 5:52 PM
A true leader figures out how to achieve his objectives within the constraints of position he is in. President Obama thinks he is leading when he has a majority of votes in congress to support him. He has never learned to compromise which is why, when he loses the majority, nothing happens, and why should it. The people who are preventing him from taking the actions he wants are the very people he just finished walking over. He has only be in office one term and hasn't had a chance to put in place the justices needed to support his position, and in the end his position is to ignore the constitution he is sworn to protect. Thank god for the stalemate in congress stopping him from taking the unilateral actions he would like. I can only hope that the supreme court decides to protect the constitution as they are sworn to do rather than decide to bow to the presidents will. I can only hope that voters recognize that the president wants the power to dictate. He has to start to learn the limitations of the office he holds and work within them. To be honest, I fully expect that he will declare marshall law to avoid facing the loss of the presidency through the election process. I fear the crisis he will choose to create to justify the act. I don't think I'm alone. Gun sales are at record highs, people are already voting to defend themselves from the likes of the liberal like him who wishes only that people are free to agree with them.
Comment: #3
Posted by: C Moellers
Wed Apr 4, 2012 7:50 PM
Re: Steve

"It's not all bad, I'm in agreement with Mr. Shapiro that the Supreme Court should not have the power of judicial review."

So whatever 218 House members and 51 Senators can be bribed or bullied into voting for is, by definition, Constitutional?

That's the implication of eliminating judicial review.
Comment: #4
Posted by: Jeff Gunn
Wed Apr 4, 2012 10:28 PM
C Moellers you are not alone. I too am preparing for the worst. I am about to purchase a single shoot carbine and store up food and water in case the stink hits the fan.
Comment: #5
Posted by: Chris McCoy
Thu Apr 5, 2012 7:04 AM
Re: Chris McCoy

What? Chris, politics today are no different than they were in 1776, everyone accused everyone else of being treasonous and vile, it's no different, don't get drastic, or dramatic, everyone will still be predicting doom and gloom, and arguing, long after we're both gone.


Ben said:

What's so new about the Supreme Court's doing what it's been doing since 1803? Nothing, exactly, except that it would cut against Obama. In other words, judicial review is only bad when it rules against Obama.

Not true Ben, the Supremes have always voted majority party lines, illustrated by the massive fights during the New Deal. Obama is putting them on notice that unlike their votes on the Bush selection and Citizen's United, the world is watchinng that they don't rig the votes for the GOP, once again, regarding Obamacare.


Conservative Mantra, we have the Supreme's majority, screw you America
Comment: #6
Posted by: Bloom Hilda
Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:27 PM
It is so amusing how Broom just assumes Obamacare is Constitutional and that so-called Consevstive judges will vote along party lines while liberal judges will vote the right way. Typical condescending, elitist, uninformed comment from a clueless liberal. By the way Broom, the consevatives don't have the majority on the court as it usually breaks down 4 to 4 with Kennedy being the swing vote. Like I said uninformed.
Comment: #7
Posted by: Thetruth
Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:45 PM
You must have missed all Bush's signing statements,ten times Obamas.Basically putting the Bush Presidency above the law.Perhaps your not old enough to remember Bush? I see Moellers also missed the Bush Presidency.
Comment: #8
Posted by: WILLIAM KELLEY
Fri May 4, 2012 2:39 AM
"President Barack Obama, however, has a different idea. He believes that America must be fundamentally transformed. ....The most important part of that transformation is the elevation of the presidency from a coequal branch of government to a pre-eminent branch of government."
Everything else aside and apart from President Obama, to my mind that statement reduces Ben Shapiro's opinion to the level of plain old lying propaganda--as if the Unitary Executive Theory were a new idea with President Obama! I remember well and bitterly that Richard Cheney was (and is?) a major proponent of the Unitary Executive Theory. And of course President G.W. Bush enjoyed the advantage of having that major influence from Richard Cheney. Whatever good points Ben Shapiro may have, he's lost me by ignoring those major facts, pretending they do not exist.
Comment: #9
Posted by: Larry Scott
Sun May 13, 2012 12:55 PM
I think it was President Jackson that defied the Supreme Court and forced the relocation of the natives that is known as the trail of tears. The balance of power can always be subverted if the citizen does not care. If we the voter allow it the president, wether it be Bush or Obama, can do what ever he or she wants.
Comment: #10
Posted by: SCOTT
Wed May 16, 2012 7:51 PM
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