Fox News Opinion presents an excerpt from Phil Kerpen's new book, "Democracy Denied: How Obama Is Ignoring You and Bypassing Congress to Radically Transform America -- And How to Stop Him" published by BenBella Books. It's available from bookstores everywhere.
When the American people headed to the voting booth on November 2, 2010, they thought they were putting an end to President Obama’s “fundamental transformation” of America. They were wrong.
In the face of an unprecedented wave of public discontent expressed at the ballot box and throughout his time in office, Obama has remained committed to an extreme left-wing agenda. If the separation of powers described by the U.S. Constitution remained intact, Obama’s disrespect for the American voters wouldn’t matter—he would be unable to move the country further left because he would be unable to pass his agenda through the Republican House. Unfortunately, for decades Congress has been delegating away its legislative power to bureaucratic agencies that Obama is now using to bypass Congress and the American people to pursue his agenda.
Obama’s fundamental transformation agenda, which proceeds apace despite Republican control of the House of Representatives, would turn America into a very different country. A country where:
- the federal government has vastly more control over our jobs, businesses, and families;
- judgments of individuals are supplanted by the judgments of Washington politicians and regulators;
- life-and-death decisions on health care are taken away from patients and doctors and given to regulators;
- every aspect of our financial lives is managed by regulators;
- our energy supply is tightly controlled and regulated;
- government regulators control the Internet; and
- regulators “nudge us” into the paths they choose.
This book started with a chart scribbled on the white board in my office. It was early 2010, and it was already becoming clear that Democrats were headed for a tea party buzzsaw in the midterm elections. Moreover, with President Barack Obama’s limited political capital exhausted by the pushes for ObamaCare and the Dodd- Frank financial regulation bill, any other significant legislation was dead. But Obama’s ambitions had not been diminished at all.
I wanted to show how the Obama administration was disregarding Congress and the American people to accomplish its objectives through regulatory back doors.
My original version was developed into what you see by clicking here by Americans for Prosperity’s graphics whiz Tommy Downs.
As the chart shows, Obama will not take “no” for an answer—from either the American people or from Congress. And the vast regulatory apparatus of the federal government gives him the machinery to disregard the legitimate legislative process and move forward to impose huge “cap-and-trade”-style energy taxes via Environmental Protection Agency regulation, to use his friends at the Federal Communications Commission to regulate the Internet, and to pursue his failed union agenda at the National Labor Relations Board.
The pattern extends to the two signature pieces of legislation that did pass: ObamaCare and Dodd-Frank, which addressed health care and the financial industry, respectively. Both of these sweeping laws included vast expansions of regulatory power that are, even now, being pushed further left through abuses of the appointment process and aggressive use of federal regulatory power.
Glenn Beck loves the Obama Chart. The day I sent it to him, he said on his radio program: “This just came in from Phil Kerpen. It is the Obama way of subverting the Constitution.”
Beck continued: “He has subverted the process, the legitimate process every step of the way. And nobody seems to have a problem with this. My thanks to Phil Kerpen for this. Phil, I’ve got to show this on television. It’s unbelievable. It’s just unbelievable.”
That was on March 16, 2010, and he did show an earlier version of the chart on his television program that night. Standing in front of the chart, Beck and his guest, Judge Andrew Napolitano, explained what was happening:
BECK: Congress, you’re out of your mind because you are giving so much power to the president and you’ve been doing it, as you said, president after president after president. You are going to become irrelevant. Judge, tell me that Congress is not irrelevant.
NAPOLITANO: Congress will become irrelevant when the president can tell the EPA what to do, the FCC what to do, recess appointments, executive orders that the Congress wants to bypass. Look, the Supreme Court has said, power that the Congress has, it can’t give to the president. But it has done that and this president is using it in the extreme.
This book is an extended commentary on the chart. In it, I suggest we can seize on the opportunity created by Obama’s extremism, and by revealing these power grabs to the public and demanding that Congress stop them, reverse the long-term trend.
Reprinted with permission from BenBella Books.
Phil Kerpen is the founder of American Commitment Action Fund, on the web at www.BookerFAIL.com.