Poll: Americans reject Obama’s end-run around Congress

President Barack Obama has said that he will continue to take action into own hands when he can — what has been referred to as the “pen and phone” strategy — if Congress doesn’t act on contentious policy issues.

The White House and the administration has already defied the constitutionally-defined separation of powers, using executive orders and administration actions already on several different occasions. The most recent examples of his the illegal delay of Obamacare’s employer mandate and the minimum wage increase on federal contractors.

Interestingly, this legally questionable approach to policy-making is something that then-candidate Obama decried in 2008. “I taught constitutional law for ten years. I take the Constitution very seriously,” he said on the campaign trail. “The biggest problems that we’re facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all and that’s what I intend to reverse when I’m President of the United States of America.”

It seems that Americans agree more with candidate Obama on separation of powers than President Obama, who has continued the trend of concentrating power in the executive branch.

A Fox News poll released on Wednesday found that 74% of Americans — including 54% of Democrats and 80% of independents — don’t believe a president taking action to advance policy is how government is intended to work.

Fox News poll question on executive orders and government

The poll also found that 60% of Americans disapprove of President Obama’s “pen and phone” strategy of going around Congress to enact various parts of his agenda, while 37% approve.

Fox News poll question on executive orders approval

President Obama may not like that Congress has taken a skeptical approach to his agenda since Republicans took control of the House of Representatives in 2011, but that’s the system of government setup by the Founding Fathers. The very same one that candidate Obama once defended.

While he likes to remind us that he was reelected by voters in 2012, President Obama ignores that the members of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives were also chosen by their constituents to represent them in Washington. That may not an ideal situation for the White House, but voters have opted for a divided government, meaning that a president has to actually reach across the aisle to hammer out compromise. It’s not a blank check to subvert the Constitution.


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