By Herman Cain
May 7, 2012
Remember when Democrats, including a certain senator named Barack Obama,
used to scream that President George W. Bush was abusing his executive
Those were the good old days!
Since becoming president, Obama has turned the abuse of executive power
into a high art form – especially since Republicans took control of the
House of Representatives and rendered him incapable of getting the most
extreme elements of his left-wing agenda through Congress.
Obama is especially brazen in his use of executive orders, and most
astonishingly, he makes no bones about the fact that he does so –
telling a gathering in Las Vegas last October, “We can’t wait for an
increasingly dysfunctional Congress to do its job. Where they won’t act,
In Obamaspeak, “dysfunctional” is a euphemism for “won’t give me
everything I want.” So what are the big emergencies that require Obama
to act on his own without congressional approval? Here are nine of the
most egregious examples:
Force federal contractors to disclose their political contributions.
This is an example of how the government can abuse its role in business
relationships to do things it could never do in the normal course of
governing. Lots of firms want to do business with the federal
government. While Obama cannot get away with an executive order
requiring everyone to tell him the candidates or causes they supported
financially, he can make it a requirement for bidding on federal
contracts. Once he knows where everyone’s political donation dollars go,
who do you think has the best shot at the contracts? Exactly. And what
else might he do with the information he gathers? Here’s one thing . . .
Publicly attack financial backers of Mitt Romney. In
April, the Obama campaign launched a web site publicly naming, and
attacking the integrity of, eight private citizens who contributed money
to the Romney campaign. The Wall Street Journal’s Kim Strassel reported
that Obama accused these people of having shady reputations, making
insinuations pertaining to things like outsourcing of jobs and
foreclosures. Strassel rightly compared this tactic to Richard Nixon’s
notorious “enemies list.” Obama may insist that he takes these actions
as a candidate and not as president, but that is a load of crap. The
fact is that he is president, and he is attacking private citizens for
exercising their right to participate in the political process.
Require private companies to give unions employee phone numbers and e-mail addresses.
Since the 1960s, the National Labor Relations Board has required
private companies who are the target of a unionization effort to give
unions the home addresses of their employees. That is bad as it is, but
it’s not enough for Obama-appointed NLRB Chairman Mark Pearce, who told
the Associated Press in January that he now wants the companies to also
give the unions their employees’ home phone numbers and e-mail
addresses. So they can harass them in even more ways. Why stop there?
Why not just threaten to shut down operations entirely if they are not
unionized? Since you mentioned it.
Let the NLRB threaten to shut down operations entirely if they are not unionized.
You may have heard about this story from South Carolina. Boeing’s
attempt to open a plant in South Carolina was frustrated for months by
the NLRB, which filed a lawsuit against the South Carolina project only
to drop it immediately after Boeing agreed to build its 737 Max jet
using union labor in Reston, Washington. The NLRB is supposed to be an
independent board, but under the control of Obama’s appointees it is
used to blatantly do the bidding of labor unions.
Use ObamaCare money to hide the forcing of Medicare Advantage participants into regular Medicare. Medicare
Advantage is the program in which participants are covered by private
insurance for which the government pays the premiums, as opposed to the
government directly paying the medical bills under regular Medicare. It
is a much more efficient system. But under ObamaCare, many recipients
will be forced off of Medicare Advantage (so much for “if you like your
plan you can keep your plan”) and onto regular Medicare. Bad news for
Obama: This was scheduled to happen three weeks before the election. So
Obama found more than $83 billion worth of ObamaCare funds and announced
a “demonstration project” that will keep these recipients on Medicare
Advantage until after the election – hiding the truth from them just
long enough for him to get their votes.
Force private citizens to provide free services to the government in time of “emergency.”
There has been some overreaction to an executive order Obama signed in
March, which seeks to mobilize national resources in time of emergency.
It is not the onset of martial law as some have claimed, but there are
some things to justify concern. For one thing, Obama claims the right to
compel private citizens to provide consulting services to the
government without compensation. Isn’t that the sort of thing Congress
should have a say in? It also makes clear that this can only be
implemented according to established rules, but then declares a rather
troubling exception – unless determined otherwise by the president or
his national security advisor! So Obama signed an executive order giving
himself more power to make unilateral decisions. That is not right.
After ripping Bush for using technology to track potential criminals, do even more of it.
The issue here might be hypocrisy as much as anything else. Perhaps you
can make an argument for Obama’s move to track cell phone and Internet
use to catch those suspected of involvement with genocide. This order,
issued in April, is supposed to be focused on those in cahoots with the
governments of Iran and Syria, although there’s at least the theoretical
possibility it could be expanded to be used against American citizens.
I’m not inclined to scream bloody murder over potential abuses of such
power. But I remember a lot of people who were during the Bush
presidency. One of them was Barack Obama.
Make recess appointments when there is no recess. Obama
was highly critical of Bush for making recess appointments, in spite of
the fact that such appointments are entirely constitutional. These are
appointments a president makes when Congress is in recess. They don’t
require Senate confirmation but automatically expire at the end of that
congressional session. Bush made several of them to get around
Democratic opposition to his choices. Obama denounced him for doing so.
So guess what Obama has done? He announced a recess appointment to name
Richard Cordray as the acting head of the Consumer Financial Protection
Bureau – even though the Senate was not technically in recess.
Use the IRS to harass your political opponents. Would
President Hope-and-Change do that? You bet he would. Despite protests on
the House floor from more than 63 Republican congressmen, the IRS has
been mailing letters to Tea Party chapters around the country demanding
identification of all their volunteers and donors. This is outrageous.
Even if there was an issue with their tax status, the IRS would have no
reason to demand information like this. It’s pure and simple political
But that’s Barack Obama. He observes no limits to his own power because
he thinks the preservation of said power is the most important thing he
can ever do. When he protested Bush’s use of executive power, he was
obviously 100 percent insincere. Now that the power is his, there is no
way of using it that Obama believes is inappropriate.
This is a long ways from the “hope and change” business people bought in
2008. But that’s because the real Obama is a long ways from what he
portrayed himself to be. There is no excuse for anyone to buy it again