Ben Johnson, The White House Watch
Historians agree empires and presidencies die from imperial overreach. Now Barack Obama’s closest allies in the Democratic Party, the far-Left, and the media are encouraging him to take actions that will lead inexorably to his impeachment. The president’s hubris and lawlessness seem destined to collide with Washington’s tense polemical atmosphere in a showdown that will put his presidency on the chopping block.
The leaders of the House Democratic Caucus this week urged the president to usurp Congressional authority and order the government to continue borrowing money, (mis)using the 14th Amendment. Caucus Chairman John Larson of Connecticut called the provision “the fail-safe option” to assure Republicans do not hold the American people hostage.” Larson added House Democrats are “prepared to stand behind” Obama all the way.
Congressman James Clyburn of South Carolina played the race card in justifying his call for an executive power grab:
I was joking to my staff the other day: “Tell me the bill number for the Emancipation Proclamation.” It was an executive order. We integrated the armed services by executive order. We integrated the public schools by executive order. Sometimes executives must order that things get done…If the president gets up to August 2 without a piece of legislation, he should not allow this country to go into default. He should sign an executive order invoking the 14th Amendment and send that to all the governmental agencies for us to continue to pay our bills.
This, Clyburn said, would “calm to the American people.”
He added, almost as an afterthought, “discussion about the legality of that can continue.”
Xavier Becerra, D-CA, went further. He said Obama had to raise the debt ceiling “just as the president took out Osama bin Laden in a way that some presidents wouldn’t have done it.” Thus, preserving big government spending from Republicans takes on the same moral urgency as saving America from al-Qaeda. Becerra sidestepped the legal issue altogether, saying, “The Republicans through their failure have given you license to do whatever it takes.”
The press conference was the most assertive lobbying for this dangerous course of action, which is enjoying increasingly broad support in both houses of Congress. Earlier this week Connecticut’s Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who defeated wrestling executive Linda McMahon in 2010, said the measure “might be something that arguably could be done in the face of genuine crisis, in the face of catastrophe.”
Other prominent party leaders have lent their rhetorical support, however dissembling. Bill Clinton lied that, if were he ever faced with an imminent government shutdown, he would act unilaterally “without hesitation, and force the courts to stop me.” (What was this, “Tweet to my 49-year-old self”?)
Ironically, as these Congressmen encouraged Obama to take unprecedented (and unconstitutional) power over the nation’s purse, Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz accused House Republicans of trying to impose a “dictatorship.”
The Democrats’ allies in the media have done their share to keep talk of this political crime alive….