Dr. Victor Davis Hanson, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and one of the most astute conservative commentators, wrote a column on the Obama administration’s redistributionist philosophy with the best summary and analysis I’ve seen of the administration’s contempt for the law.
He wrote about “instances in which President Obama seems to have either ignored or simply bypassed federal law” and calls them “scary.” According to Hanson:
President Obama made several recess appointments …even though Congress was not in recess…. (T)he president signed a $1 billion omnibus spending bill, but notified Congress that he might not abide by some of the very provisions he had just signed into law. During the Libya war, Obama felt that bombing Qaddafi’s forces did not really constitute military operations, and therefore he had no need to notify Congress under the War Powers Act…. Obama decided to reverse the legal order of creditors in the bailout of a bankrupt Chrysler Corporation in favor of more politically suitable constituencies. The administration does not like the Defense of Marriage Act, and therefore announced that it won’t enforce it.
Hanson said Obama, in opposing efforts to enforce immigration law, acts as if he “can by himself decide that illegally entering and residing in the United States is not a federal crime.” Hanson noted that Obama gave 2,000 businesses and organizations politically driven waivers from his own healthcare law.
(T)here is a new sort of lawlessness unseen in recent governments…. To the degree that he can, on any given challenge Obama assesses the politics of favoring his constituency of the ‘poor’ and ‘middle class,’ and then uses the necessary legal gymnastics post facto to offer the veneer of lawfulness….
Hanson ascribes the lawlessness of the Obama administration to “postmodernism:”
(W)hy has the Obama administration shown such a disdain for the integrity of the law? In a word, Obama is a postmodernist. That is a trendy word for someone who (believes) that there are not really absolute facts, but merely competing ideas and discourses. In this view, particular ideologies unfortunately gain credibility as establishment icons only from the relative advantage that arises from race, class, and gender biases.
In postmodern jurisprudence, ‘critical legal theory’ postulates that law and politics are inseparable. Those with power call their self-serving rules ‘the law.’ But ‘laws’ are not sacrosanct. Instead, they are mere embedded reflections of wealthy, white, and male privilege—dressed up in some bogus timeless concept of ‘justice….’ In other words, we are witnessing with this administration the ancient idea of the supposedly exalted ends justifying the somewhat ambiguous means—albeit dressed up in trendy Ivy League legalese and progressive moralizing.
Our postmodern president is not content with just picking and choosing which laws he will follow in advancing his social agenda. The war against the myth of disinterested Western jurisprudence extends also to free-market economics, as we see with the monotonous demonization of the so-called 1 percent and those who make over $200,000 per year.
The Obama administration and its supporters are trying to impose on us a government of men and not of laws. Those of us who believe in a government of laws and not of men will have our say in November.