The United States Army once had a definitionof leadership that read: “Leadership is the art of influencing and directing others to an assigned goal commanding their confidence, respect, and loyal cooperation.” Leadership is not among President Barack Obama’s strong suits, as he certainly has failed to lead in the area of immigration reform.
During the overthrow of Moammar Gadhafi in Libya, the Obama White House used the cyber-tech phrase, “Leading from behind,” which is not to be confused with the liberal left and Democrat Party’s opaque “Lean forward.” Both phrases float in the ephemeral ether of Obama oration.
The president apparently remains a follower of the late Saul Alinsky, whose theories called for change and radicalization of government. In turn, Obama has replaced leadership with presidential fiat.
Alinsky devotee Marian Wright Edelman, a mentor of both President Obama and Hillary Clinton, is quoted as saying, “Both Hillary and Barack reflect that understanding of community-organizing strategy. Both just know how to leverage power,” which means they both excel at using their positions to enact their personal agenda.
The Obama team has demonstrated expertise at obfuscating, stalling, stonewalling, defying, ignoring, and just plain “dissing” congressional, news media, or public inquiries.
Obama administration personnel have leveraged their offices for ideological purposes. An example is the gun running by the U.S. Department of Justice to Mexican Drug Cartels (MDC) that resulted in the killings of two federal law enforcement agents.
Other federal agencies bypassing U.S. laws and constitutional requirements by way of administrative and bureaucratic regulations include the National Security Agency (NSA), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the FBI, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Back in July 2011, when Obama spoke to members of La Raza (a radical immigration advocacy group), he stated, “Now I know some people would want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own . . . the idea of doing on my own is very tempting. But that’s not how the system works. That’s not how democracy functions.”
Did Obama know then that he would seek to implement immigration reform by his own hand rather than by the constitutional process of having the legislative branch of government write the bill and the executive branch sign or veto it?
On June 1, 2012, President Barack Obama, during campaign stops in Minnesota, equated Republican activism to a “fever” that has blocked his efforts to enact deficit reduction, highway improvement, and immigration reform. Obama told supporters that he would be successful in his re-election bid, that the Republican “fever” would be broken, and that his legislative proposals, including comprehensive immigration reform, would be passed. Did Obama know then that he would bypass Congress with Executive Orders, administrative directives, and bureaucratic regulations?
Consider that Obama promised comprehensive immigration reform yearly from 2007 (when he was in the U.S. Senate) to the present, always placing the blame for his failures on Republicans. During the 2008 campaign, he promised to sign into law comprehensive immigration reform during his first year in the White House.
Now in the midst of his second term, the president and the mainstream press fail to mention that, in the first two years of his administration, he had both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate controlled by Democrats. From Day 1 of his presidency, Obama could have had then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and/or Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid introduce immigration reform, but he chose not to do so.
Then in June 2011, Obama’s Department of Homeland Security issued a memorandum to all DHS employees that the attorneys and investigators involved in immigration were to exercise “prosecutorial discretion” when determining whether illegal aliens should be deported if arrested. Some DHS employees dared to question the legitimacy of such a directive.
In June 2012, with great fanfare in the White House Rose Garden, Obama announced, that by memorandum, DHS employees were to “defer deportations” of illegal alien “youths” brought to the U.S. by their parents — “youths” up to the age of 30.
This memorandum has become the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA) Executive Order. The Obama administration originally said 800,000 “youths” would apply, but suddenly in 2013 that figure has been revised upward to 1.9 million. Reportedly the DHS has instructed its employees to minimize DACA requirements to let all applicants in. What will this do to the federal budget?
When his plans go awry, as they tend to do — from immigration onward — the president derides and excoriates Republicans and blames them for his failures and missteps, both foreign and domestic. The president, with all his bypassing of Congress, fails to remember his oath of office to faithfully execute the laws of the United States.
One middle-class citizen recently observed, “When is the law not the law? When it interferes with Obama’s plans.”
James H. Walsh was associate general counsel with the U.S. Department of Justice Immigration and Naturalization Service from 1983 to 1994. Read more reports from James Walsh — Click Here Now.
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