By Jack Cashill
Good constitutional arguments can be made for and against President Trump’s evocation of emergency powers to address the crisis at our southern border. But the notion that such a declaration would encourage a future Democratic president to do something similar borders on the comic. Democrats don’t need encouragement.
Under President Barack Obama, the Constitution was violated more wantonly than a goat at a Taliban bachelor party, and the faithful cheered every violation. In early 2014, New Yorker editor and Obama groupie David Remnick wrote about his experience accompanying Obama on a west-coast fundraising tour.
At one stop, when Obama walked out on stage, “It happened again: another heckler broke into Obama’s speech. A man in the balcony repeatedly shouted out, ‘Executive order!’ demanding that the President bypass Congress with more unilateral actions.”
Obama confirmed to the audience that, yes, people did want him to sign more executive orders and “basically nullify Congress.” At that point, wrote Remnick, “Many in the crowd applauded their approval. Yes! Nullify it!” These were not wild-eyed tent-dwellers on Wall or some lesser street. These were potential donors.
By 2014, Obama had successfully nullified any number of laws with negligible media objection. In February 2011, for instance, Obama and “wing man” Attorney General Eric Holder came willy-nilly to the conclusion that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was not “constitutional.” President Bill Clinton signed DOMA into law in 1996 with overwhelming support from Democrats in Congress and nearly unanimous support from Republicans.