Remember when President Obama stated, “I have a pen and a phone” referring to taking legislative actions himself? As I may have mentioned before, I think he failed to read the Constitution and understand that whole concept of separation of powers and coequal branches of government.
And we’ve seen him use that pen not just for executive actions but also for presidential memoranda to further undermine our system. Well, it looks like the president will be busy in the next two years with that extra special pen of his – the veto pen.
As reported by the venerable Associated Press (ya know, those folks who queried 85 of their friends to come up with “police killing blacks” as the story of 2014), “Bracing to do business with a Congress run solely by Republicans, President Barack Obama is serving notice he has no qualms about vetoing legislation he dislikes.”
“This would be a significant change in style for Obama, come January when the new Congress will be seated with the GOP not only in command in the House but also the Senate as well. He’s wielded the veto pen through his first nearly six years very sparingly. Since taking office in 2009, Obama has only vetoed legislation twice, both in fairly minor circumstances. I haven’t used the veto pen very often since I’ve been in office,” Obama said in an NPR interview airing Monday. “Now, I suspect, there are going to be some times where I’ve got to pull that pen out.” Obama added: “I’m going to defend gains that we’ve made in health care. I’m going to defend gains that we’ve made on environment and clean air and clean water.”
So let’s take a few moments to analyze what President Obama has said.
“He has no qualms about vetoing legislation HE dislikes.” Obviously he’s ignoring the fact America is a Constitutional Republic and not a monarchy where the likes and dislikes of one is the basis for the rule of law. The basis here in America is in our representative democracy. For Obama to threaten such a rigid ideological position, basically admitting the concerns and betterment of the American people are not his concern is indeed a rather insensitive perspective. However, considering he heard the two-thirds of the people who didn’t vote in the midterm election, I guess such a statement isn’t surprising.
So if a policy has passed both the House and Senate with bipartisan support but does not meet the “liking” of the crowned president, out comes the veto pen.
Sorry, but am I the only one who views this statement as utter petulance? I can just see the press conference, “Mr. President, can you tell the American people why you vetoed the bill eliminating the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB, and if you don’t know what that is, look it up here)?” “Well, I vetoed it because I didn’t like what Congress sent me.” Something tells me James Madison is turning over in his grave.
“He’s wielded the veto pen through his first nearly six years very sparingly.” Remember that in his first two years Obama had a rubber stamp Democrat super-majority in House and Senate so he got his way all the time. There was no need to have a veto pen and unfortunately we’re still paying for those two years from a policy perspective — Obamacare and Dodd-Frank come to mind.
Also, can I ask a simple question of the progressive socialists? Why during those first two years did we NEVER hear the word “compromise” used by the Democrats and the liberal progressive media? Well, that word certainly came into existence in the next four years as the GOP controlled the House of Representatives — “The People’s House.”
But even with that, Obama had no need to use the veto pen because he had the ultimate obstructionist — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. At last count there were some 367 pieces of legislation passed in the House that sat on Reid’s desk. Gee, I guess Reid “disliked” the legislation passed, but I never knew the Senate Majority Leader could “veto” legislation. Then again, I didn’t know Reid could restrict what was brought to the Senate floor, not allow for amendments, and unilaterally change the filibuster vote threshold. Can you imagine if a Republican Senate Majority Leader did the same?
Obama stated, “I haven’t used the veto pen very often since I’ve been in office”. No he hasn’t had to, because in his first two years he had his way. And in the ensuing four years he had Reid to obstruct the GOP and regular legislative order so nothing ever reached his desk. Now, in his final two years, Obama will be forced to govern and have legislation appear on his desk. And we’ve heard his response: “Now, I suspect, there are going to be some times where I’ve got to pull that pen out.” Sounds like he’s planning to stock up on extra ink.
“I’m going to defend gains that we’ve made on environment and clean air and clean water” – which means, as he’s said before, “if you’re in the coal industry, expect to be bankrupt” and it seems any House and Senate legislation passed to support the coal industry and enable middle income Americans to have cheaper energy, Obama will dislike.
It means now that we’re experiencing record domestic oil and gas production — no credit to Obama and his administration — legislation to open the northern end of the Keystone XL Pipeline, Obama will dislike. If legislation is passed in the House and Senate to preclude the EPA from designating private property areas as wetlands for regulation, Obama will dislike.
I’m just waiting for Obama to tell Americans that any legislation which rescinds the individual mandate of Obamacare, “I dislike — now pay me that tax. And if any legislation comes to my desk to relieve the tax on HSAs (Health Savings Accounts), I will veto because I dislike.”
So welcome to Civics 101, courtesy of President Barack Obama. Kids, this is not how our system is supposed to work — hence why it’s not working.