Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) says that President Obama and his administration is “lawless.”
“We have an increasingly lawless presidency where he is actually doing the job of Congress, writing new policies and new laws without going through Congress. Presidents don’t write laws, Congress does,” Ryan said on ABC’s “This Week.”
Ryan drew a distinction between typical use of executive action and the way he believes Obama is using his executive branch powers.
“It’s not the number of executive orders; it’s the scope of the executive orders. It’s the fact that he is actually contradicting law like in the health care case, or proposing new laws without going through Congress,” he said. “That’s the issue.”
Mr. Ryan’s problem isn’t the scope or the number. Presidents — every one of them — have bucked the will of Congress or refused to enforce the laws they pass to the full extent possible, especially when they are clearly — and so adjudged — to be unconstitutional, such as the odious Defense of Marriage Act. It’s that he just doesn’t like it when this president does it as opposed to the presidents he prefers.
What Barack Obama has done pales, so to speak, in comparison to his immediate predecessors. But when he does it, it’s an outrage to the otherwise complacent and approving Republicans who rolled over for their guy. That would explain why tweaking the healthcare law or raising the minimum wage of federal contract workers — both of which are in the enabling language of the laws — is different than ignoring the will of Congress with warrantless wiretapping, using torture on prisoners of war, and objecting to the audit of the books on the war in Iraq.