Thursday, November 20, 2014

The President vs. The President


Tonight, President Obama will give a prime time address to the American people on the subject of his decision to grant amnesty to up to 5 million immigrants presently in our country illegally. In doing so, he will be tasked with the difficult assignment of overcoming powerful arguments that have been made claiming that executive action without Congressional approval would be illegal and unconstitutional, claims made by…President Obama.


"America is a nation of laws, which means I, as the President, am obligated to enforce the law. I don't have a choice about that. That's part of my job. But I can advocate for changes in the law so that we have a country that is both respectful of the law but also continues to be a great nation of immigrants. … With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case, because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed …. [W]e’ve got three branches of government. Congress passes the law. The executive branch’s job is to enforce and implement those laws. And then the judiciary has to interpret the laws. There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as President.” 

“I swore an oath to uphold the laws on the books …. Now, I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own. Believe me, the idea of doing things on my own is very tempting. I promise you. Not just on immigration reform. But that's not how our system works. That’s not how our democracy functions. That's not how our Constitution is written.”


“I’m not a king. My job as the head of the executive branch ultimately is to carry out the law,” Obama told Telemundo. “When it comes to enforcement of our immigration laws, we’ve got some discretion. We can prioritize what we do. But we can’t simply ignore the law.”

“I can’t do these things just by myself.” He reiterated that sentiment in a February 2013 interview with Telemundo. “I’m not a king,” he said.

Of course, maybe the President is counting on the famous stupidity of the American voter to not be able to do a Goggle search and find these statements. Or, maybe since he never has to face the voters again, he's just concluded, what the heck?! Or, maybe the role of "King" has evolved.