Rothman: The Media’s Outrageous Enabling of Obama’s Lawlessness

Obama-ACANoah Rothman writes:  “Whatever the stated reason for the new delay, it is illegal.”

This is the stark verdict of Case Western University School of Law professor Jonathan Adler. Writing in The Washington Post, he notes that President Barack Obama’s administration “is not the first to take liberties with the laws,” but it is doing so with “increasing brazenness” which he finds “disturbing.” Adler is not alone, but he is one of the few to speak out plainly against this administration’s actions.

“Their collective non-reaction has the cumulative effect of acclimating the nation to the rule of man over the rule of law.”

The administration’s 27th delay in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the most overtly political delay yet, designed primarily to insulate the president’s political allies from the voters’ wrath, has sparked some criticism. Most of it, however, has been timid or is emanating from opponents of this president who are easily dismissed.

But these delays are unbecoming of a republican government and worthy of sterner rebuke. They have precedent-setting implications that honest political observers should fear. And this condition is likely to become even more dangerous because it seems that no one has either the means or the desire to do anything about it.

The president’s Democratic allies are content to allow Obama to unilaterally waive or amend portions of the law and ignore Congress’ intent in part because they are unwilling to put the leader of their party in a difficult political position. Congressional Democrats are also loathe to criticize the president’s actions because they make the law less onerous and, thus, improve their own political prospects.

Republicans, meanwhile, are also vexed. Already opponents of the sprawling health care reform law, they, too, approve of Obama’s efforts to mitigate the pain wrought by the ACA. Furthermore, the only tool available to Republican lawmakers to force the president to enforce the law as written, impeachment, is not a politically viable recourse. Recent history shows how the impeaching of a personally popular president can backfire on the mere congressmen and women seeking accountability from such a lofty figure.

The courts, for their part, are unable to impose responsibility on this administration because no one can bring a case against this administration. One would have to demonstrate standing to sue over these delays, and such a demonstration usually consists of being able to show harm. But this administration is acting extra-constitutionally in order to reduce the harm caused by the 2010 health care reform law.

Every actor’s hands are tied.

Given this historically unique situation with broad far-reaching implications, it falls on the Fourth Estate to educate the public about the illegality in their midst. The voting booth is the last venue available to enforce accountability on the executive. The press is also abdicating their responsibilities in that regard.

The Washington Post editorial board meekly criticized the administration for their most recent delay. The Post editorial board noted that the administration is now citing the Treasury Department’s ability to alter tax law – a blessing the Supreme Court bestowed on the law two years after its enforcement mechanisms were passed by Congress as “penalties” – as the legal basis for these delays. The Post is not buying it...

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3 Comments on “Rothman: The Media’s Outrageous Enabling of Obama’s Lawlessness”

  1. Gunny G says:

    Reblogged this on BLOGGING BAD ~ DICK.G: AMERICAN ! and commented:
    GUNNYG !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. […] Pundit from another Planet Noah Rothman writes: “Whatever the stated reason for the new delay, it is illegal.” […]

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