In our system of divided government, Congress passes laws and the President implements them. President Obama, a former constitutional law professor, seems to have forgotten this notion of separation of powers. He now seeks to legislate from the White House, doing through Executive Order and signing statements what Congress has refused to do through legislation.
First President Obama decided not to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act. Then President Obama decided his Czars could remain in power, using a signing statement to overturn the express will of Congress. Now comes word that the Obama Administration is looking to blunt the impact of the Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court decision by implementing the failed DISCLOSE Act through an Executive Order.
Democrats in Congress have not succeeded in their attempts to pass the incumbent-protecting DISCLOSE Act so, facing sagging poll numbers, now President Obama wants to skip the legislative process altogether and rule by decree.
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President Obama and his political team, after seeing the 2010 midterm election returns, have been frightened by the consequences of citizens exercising their restored rights to political speech and want to chill it. In an attempt to prevent similar results in the 2012 cycle, the White House has circulated a draft of an Executive Order that would require companies seeking government contracts to disclose contributions to groups that advocate for or against candidates seeking political office.
Companies should not be penalized if they favor one political party over the other. This action is not about good government, but about enabling the Obama Administration to decide who to punish and who to reward. It is a sad state of affairs when the President may influence his own reelection campaign through the power of the Oval Office.