Following Obama’s radical State of the Union threats to bypass Congress and impose his unconstitutional agenda on America by decree, more than a few lawmakers in both chambers have expressed outrage and announced efforts to rein in the administration. Among other comments, Republican congressmen and senators said the “lawless” and “imperial presidency” of Obama must be restrained. Other legislators said the president was behaving like a “king” or even a “socialistic dictator” — and that the pledge to violate his oath of office and rule by decree needed to be urgently addressed.
A CNN poll after the speech revealed that more than two thirds of viewers opposed Obama advancing his extreme plots on everything from “global warming” to gun control by executive fiat. Liberty-minded Republican lawmakers, meanwhile, vowed to rein in the lawless plans if possible. In the wake of non-stop mega-scandals, public support for impeachment has been surging, too. Democrats in Congress, however, consistently and bizarrely applauded the president’s dangerous vow to bypass the legislative branch of government in his zeal to “fundamentally transform” America, as Obama once put it.
“America does not stand still — and neither will I,” Obama threatened during his January 28 State of the Union address. “So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that’s what I’m going to do.” Based on the rest of his speech, by “expand opportunity,” the president was clearly referring to expanding anti-constitutional government and his own usurped power. Americans were not amused, though, and neither were many of their elected representatives in Congress who would be made redundant under Obama’s “executive action” schemes.
Liberty-minded and conservative Republicans in both houses of Congress — as opposed to members of the establishment wing of the GOP accused of enabling the lawlessness — were at the forefront lambasting the president’s myriad threats. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, for example, threatened a lawsuit by lawmakers against the administration’s machinations. “He may think he’s king, he may declare he’s a king, but that’s not what he is under the Constitution,” she explained. “We’ll sue the president of the United States and force him to no longer act unilaterally.” Efforts are already underway to restrain the administration, she said.
A coalition of at least 74 representatives so far has also introduced a resolution to “Stop This Overreaching Presidency” (STOP) that would bring legal action against Obama for unconstitutional executive orders. “It is sad that we must take this step for the President to follow his Constitutional duty but given yesterday's speech it is clear the President does not respect the balance of power our Founders intended,” said Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.). “Sorry Mr. President, but the Constitution trumps both your pen and phone.”
Rep. Randy Weber of Texas, meanwhile, sent out a message blasting the president as a lying “Socialistic dictator” shortly before “Kommandant-In-Chief” Obama began issuing his extreme threats to rule over America unilaterally. In a series of State of the Union twitter posts, Weber, who represents former Congressman Ron Paul’s district, also slammed Obama over everything from the Benghazi scandal and trashing the United States to his “phone and pen” scheming.
Another prominent Texas Republican, Rep. Steve Stockman, walked out during Obama’s speech, noting that the president’s abuse of executive orders to legislate without Congress was unconstitutional. “I could not bear to watch as he continued to cross the clearly-defined boundaries of the Constitutional separation of powers,” Stockman said, noting that Obama still refuses to admit that his policies have failed. Indeed, the president’s agenda of higher taxes and spending represent a “blueprint for perpetual poverty,” he said.
“Even worse, Obama has openly vowed to break his oath of office and begin enacting his own brand of law through executive decree,” continued Stockman, who has publicly suggested that there was already enough support in the House of Representatives to impeach Obama for numerous crimes. “This is a wholesale violation of his oath of office and a disqualifying offense.” Stockman has also called for a special prosecutor to investigate.
After the speech, Rep. Steve King of Iowa noted that it was the job of Congress to pass laws, and that Obama knows that full-well. “This threat that the president is going to run the government with an ink pen and executive orders, we’ve never had a president with that level of audacity and that level of contempt for his own oath of office,” the congressman explained about the administration’s lawless threats to bypass lawmakers. “We need to take our oath seriously and defend the Constitution.”
Rep. Raúl Labrador of Idaho, responding to the outrageous schemes to make Congress irrelevant, blasted the machinations in a press release as well. “Unfortunately, what I heard from President Obama tonight was hostility toward our foundational principles, condescension toward a co-equal branch of government, and a general aversion to common sense and bipartisanship,” he said. Rep. Gregg Harper of Mississippi, meanwhile, said Obama had attempted to “intimidate Congress by abusing executive power.”
In the Senate, multiple liberty-minded senators also expressed outrage over Obama’s plans to essentially rule America by decree. Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, who offered a response for the Tea Party, pointed out that the real inequality plaguing America is the result of government — “every time it takes rights and opportunities away from the American people and gives them instead to politicians, bureaucrats and special interests.”
However, Lee also acknowledged that Obama and his party were not the only guilty ones. “The Republican establishment in Washington can be just as out-of-touch as the Democratic Establishment,” he said. “I believe we need to do what Americans have always done — come together and press for positive change. Protesting against dysfunctional government is a great American tradition, going back to the original tea party in Boston, about 240 years ago.”
Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, widely considered among the frontrunners for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, released a stinging rebuke of Obama’s threats in a widely celebrated 10-minute video. “President Obama and the Washington elite are driving our great nation right into the ground,” he said, adding that many Republicans were contributing to the problem. “From ignoring the Constitution to drowning our children and grandchildren in unbearable debt, President Obama and Washington politicians on both sides of the aisle are destroying everything that America stands for.”
Another popular senator who has earned broad respect for his efforts to rein in lawless government, Ted Cruz of Texas, also had harsh words for the Obama administration. “Of all the troubling aspects of the Obama presidency, none is more dangerous than the president's persistent pattern of lawlessness, his willingness to disregard the written law and instead enforce his own policies via executive fiat,” Sen. Cruz wrote in the Wall Street Journal. “The president's taste for unilateral action to circumvent Congress should concern every citizen, regardless of party or ideology.”
Despite sharp rhetoric by the growing cadre of liberty-minded lawmakers, however, conservative leaders are warning that serious action is required if the U.S. Constitution, liberty, the rule of law, and self-government are to survive the relentless and accelerating wave of assaults. “In the past, there were some analysts willing to complain that Congress had become a rubber stamp,” explained Jack McManus, president of the constitutionalist John Birch Society. “Today, the occupants of Capitol Hill have become a doormat. To conclude that there’s a great need for angry Americans willing to stop the juggernaut leading to total government is to accurately assess our nation’s plight.”
With Tea Party groups, libertarians, Republicans, and a growing number of Americans across the political spectrum becoming increasingly alarmed at the Obama administration’s push for unilateral autocratic rule, it remains to be seen whether enough lawmakers to make a difference are ready to act. At this point, though, Congress and state governments have an obligation to restrain a federal government that two thirds of Americans say is “out of control” and threatens their basic liberties. Absent a drastic change in course, the fundamental transformation of America promised by Obama will accelerate — destroying what remains of the Constitution and the economy in its wake. That should not be an option.
Photo of President Barack Obama at the State of the Union address: AP Images
Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, politics, and more. He can be reached at