In the year 49 B.C. Julius Caesar led his army across the Rubicon River in northern Italy. The river was the dividing line between Cisalpine Gaul and Italy proper. By crossing the river with a single legion, Legio XIII Gemina, Caesar deliberately broke the law. In doing so Caesar uttered the famous phrase “alea iacta est” – the die is cast.
Fast forward to November 20, 2014. Barack Obama crossed his own Rubicon with his announcement of amnesty to at least 5 million illegal immigrants.
His reasoning: Congress hadn’t acted so he did. Using the phrase ‘something must be done’ Obama violated his oath to faithfully execute the laws and instead is attempting to make the laws himself.
Using a variety of ginned-up legal opinions Obama and his allies have justified most of the amnesty under the guise of prosecutorial discretion. He claimed that he had the power to suspend deportation for millions of people when in fact prosecutorial discretion has always been used in a limited fashion.
He and his allies claimed that his amnesty was no different than amnesty dispensed by previous American presidents. In fact, most previous instances of amnesty were set against the backdrop of actual law that was debated and passed by the Congress.
Instead, Obama has simply created his executive orders out of whole cloth. He did it because he thinks that he can and no one can stop him. This is the way of the dictator.
Does this mean that Obama and future presidents can simply bypass the Constitution and the Congress because they don’t or won’t pass bills that he wants? It certainly would appear that way.
What’s next? If he signs an inadequate deal with Iran over their nuclear ambitions will he simply declare it a done deal and not send it to the Senate for ratification?
He recently sign a global warming deal with the Chinese. It will need to be ratified by the Senate but nothing seems to be forthcoming from the White House. Is it his intent to simply declare it a done deal and neglect to send it to Capital Hill.
This seems to be Obama’s new mode of operation for the last two years of his term in office. Bypass Congress at every opportunity and declare things settled because he said so.
The messy workings of democracy seem not to be to his liking. We saw plenty of this in the first six years of his Presidency. But mostly it was small stuff and he skirted the line between lawfulness and lawlessness.
However, with this giant amnesty, it seems that he has broken through to really big actions. If Congress does not push back and hard, he will simply continue along this same path of lawlessness.
With this travesty he has inserted himself back into the narrative despite a second midterm shellacking. The national narrative had gone the Republicans way and Obama simply was unable to stomach that. After all he is the President.
Let’s hope that the Republicans can gain control of this situation before it becomes too late. The fate of the nation and all of our futures depends on it.