A Most Unused Pen
Oh, what a Republican president would give for a goose-stepping media to pre-emptively defend his remarks prior to a big speech. I find it not the least bit coincidental that the day before Obama's State of the Union address, news anchors everywhere showed America digital tables that clearly laid out how un-imperial the current caesar is. Why, only a dullard would question how Obama could be overreaching when the number of his executive orders is lower at this point than this of his most recent predecessors.
The most obvious rebuttal is that what matters more is what those executive orders actually do. If Victor Hugo wrote fewer novels than I have written Post-It reminders, he's not somehow a less aggressive author. Making up laws, modifying statutes ad hoc, and refusing to fully enforce others are by any reasonable definition at least debatable practice within a republic (if not impeachable). And, of course, a president and his cabinet can do things that are unconstitutional without these edicts. Executive orders aren't required as some kind of grade-school hall pass for would-be autocrats. Meanwhile, given how bad the economy is and how little Obama claims to know about every new scandal that rears its head, the nation could probably do with a few more (lawful) executive orders from this president, who clearly has a distaste for hands-on management.
In the most recent reincarnation of his perpetual 2008 campaign, the president is promising to circumvent Congress if he doesn't get his way. This sounds like a bully who asks for your lunch money instead of just taking it. Either way, you're giving him under duress something that isn't his.
On the other hand, if Obama is promising to do something that is legally and ethically legitimate, then why doesn't he just do it? Why is there a need to drum up support for doing things collectively that he is already empowered to do individually? He is now fond of sermonizing, "I've got a pen, and I've got a phone." Okay, great. Instead of talking about it, why don't you just use them, Mr. President? In fact, are you telling us that you could have saved us from a stagnating economy all this time by just writing some stuff and making some phone calls? Heck, why didn't you do all of this back in 2008?
Mr. Obama is promising us a "Year of Action." Given the track record, this is a bit like Justin Bieber promising a year of sobriety. But more importantly, why not just save us the suspense and fast-forward to the end of the story? How about a "Day of Action"?
The president knows that he'll need popular cover and plenty of time to successfully complete his shredding of the Constitution. If he can boil the frogs of freedom slowly, impeachment may be averted, and his liberal dreams shall be fulfilled.