Ethics Quote of the Week: The Detroit News

“While it may be politically expedient, rewriting a law passed by Congress simply to avoid ballot box consequences is an outrageous abuse of executive power…No law should be reshaped for the sole purpose of benefiting a single political party.”

—-The Detroit News, condemning the cynical and nakedly political decision by the Obama administration to postpone the consequences of the Affordable Care Act until after the 2014 mid-terms, to protect vulnerable Democrats from voter anger.
train-wreckSo many of Ethics Alarms’ reflexive Obama administration apologists have fled lately that I wonder if anyone will have the fortitude to take to the parapets and defend the latest turn of the Obamacare Ethics Train Wreck. Highlights from the clear-eyed Detroit News editorial:
  • “In announcing the latest postponement this week — this one allowing individuals to keep their existing health insurance policies through 2016 — the Obama administration carefully credited Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Udall of Colorado, Ron Barber of Arizona and 10 other vulnerable Democratic lawmakers. All face tough reelection fights in the fall in races in which Obamacare is a key issue.
  • “It doesn’t say it will use the time to reconsider those mandates or to fix Obamacare’s many flaws, nor did it cite the need for more time to implement the law. The clear intent is to spare Democrats from the outrage that will come when consumers are notified that they’re either losing their policies because they don’t meet the standards, or their premiums are soaring.”
  • “Under the Constitution, the president must implement laws as written by Congress. The implementation dates for Obamacare are specified in the law, and should not be changed without congressional approval.”

Lest one think that this is just a jaundiced eye at work, even the left-devoted New York Times won’t deny what is obvious:

“Ideally, President Obama would not have extended the period for retaining the less-comprehensive policies, but in the current political environment, he opted to take a step to protect health care reform against a Republican takeover in the Senate.”

The Times doesn’t have the integrity to pronounce this an abuse of power, but that’s what it is.

Like so much we have seen in the last six, sad, dispiriting and destructive years, this is the desperate measure of incompetent leadership. Politics in the pursuit of the public good is a noble and necessary pursuit. Politics employed to hold power alone, especially when those who would wield the power are not worthy of it either by expertise or character, defiles the ideals of democratic government. This is just accountability avoidance, degrading and cowardly.


Pointer: Instapundit

18 thoughts on “Ethics Quote of the Week: The Detroit News

  1. I wonder what reaction the people would have if the administration decided to delay the elections until the ACA was fully implemented. How would the NY Times cover that story?

  2. Gotta love the NYT language. “Well, in a perfect world the President would follow the rules and obey the law, but you see, he really doesn’t WANT to, so I guess he won’t.”

  3. It’s even worse. More like:
    In a perfect world the President would follow the rules and obey the law, but you see, he can’t do that or those reactionary right wing nuts would win and we can’t have that.

  4. Jack- Two questions, is there any President that comes to mind which has rewritten laws on this level? I am trying to grasp just how far this President has stepped compared to his predecessors, or if this amounts to a continuation of unconstitutional behavior. Second question, without implementation is there damage or cause for this to get taken to the Supreme court prior to the elections?

    • Andrew Jackson openly defied Congress. FDR secretly defied Congress. Bush II expanded the use of “signing statements.” But the answer to your first question is No. This administration, from DOMA on, thinks it can refuse to enforce whatever laws it wants to. And there is no clear remedy, other than impeachment.

      Regarding the second—lots of legal minds more well-tuned than mine are trying to make that happen. I think the odds are against it.

  5. It’s not an abuse of power. Rewriting laws is NOT a power the president has, therefore he’s not abusing power. This is simply a usurpation of Congressional power in clear violation of the LAW of the land (the Constitution).

    But the constitution doesn’t matter to this generation any more. Schools have covered it and civics less and less since the 80s, some schools have outright tought that our system is wrong. Why, then, re-educated thusly, should the voting public care when His Elected Highness is ruling in a manner like this. Why would the Democrat Party care one but about accountability? Most vitriol spewed towards our system comes from their side of the country, and when the day ends, they don’t care about policies, they care about power.

    We still sit on the edge of that precipice, tottering more and more… The Democrats just need to keep rocking things a little more and over we’ll go into the country they want… A country the Founding Fathers desperately tried to keep us from and many sacrificed all to give us…

  6. There’s just nothing to do. No real checks or balances. Congress is broken and won’t be accountable. Judiciary is overwhelmed. Executive branch controls its own standing army. FBI, Police, etc, etc, etc.

    The president can do as he pleases without legal authority because he’s hitting that “legal snafu sweet-spot”. Even if by some miracle someone knocks him down, it will have been too late.

    What they should do, possibly, is call his bluff. Make the delays permanent.

      • If the Army does control the Executive Branch, that would explain partly why the Executive Branch is cutting it to a point where it’s doubtful whether it could successfully lay siege to Des Moines, Iowa.

        • The “standing army” comment doesn’t refer to the actual Armed Forces but to the better equipped and much larger FBI, CIA, NSA, ATF, Homeland Security, Border Patrol, Secret Service, TSA, DEA, IRS, etc, etc, etc.

  7. Legal procedure question:
    Does any party (other than Congress) have standing to contest the unilateral delay in implementation, and (if so) how would they do so?

  8. Perhaps in their zeal to postpone the political effects of the current ACA wreck, this exposes their ultimate plan for a Hillary Clinton Administration to announce the “fix” for ACA is the much hoped-for National Single Payer system – just moving everyone to the existing Medicare Plan, at a much increased rate. If they can string us along until then, they will have accomplished their ultimate goal, and perhaps kept Political Power.

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