Rules may have been made to be broken, but laws were not.
Unfortunately, over the last four and a half years, the Obama administration has ignored its duty to uphold what Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution requires—that the President “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”
Time and time again, on issues ranging from immigration to National Labor Relations Board appointees, Obama has sidestepped his constitutional obligation to respect the people’s representatives. Yet the coup de grâce came recently, when Obama unilaterally delayed implementation of Obamacare’s employer mandate by one year.
This mandate, passed by Congress and signed into law by the President, is the law of the land. As inadvisable of a policy as the mandate might be, it is still law. For a President to so blatantly ignore the text of a popularly enacted piece of legislation is troubling.
While the President’s partisan defenders have been quick to defend Obama, the rule of law matters. Michael Barone explains why Obama’s partisan defenders shouldn’t be so quick to back him up. Barone writes:
Dispensing with the rules is a game that can be played by two. What if, as American Commitment’s Phil Kerpen suggested, a President Mitt Romney decided to dispense with all the provisions of Obamacare?
Or what if another Republican president instructed the Internal Revenue Service not to collect income taxes over 35 percent of adjusted gross income? Enforcing only the parts of laws that you like or find politically convenient can start verging on tyranny.
Those who argue President Obama is exercising appropriate executive discretion ignore the impartial and neutral role law is intended to play in society. Power is fleeting, and neither Republicans nor Democrats will hold onto it permanently.
What might seem convenient today can become tyranny tomorrow. Ignoring legislation enacted by the people’s representative is a dangerous game, and unfortunately, it is a game this President has shown himself all too willing to play.