I included a link to this article in my earlier post on how Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) suggested Obama use executive orders as often as possible to get around Congress, but figured it deserved its own post. The Hill’s recap of it is a bit more thorough:
President Obama told donors Sunday night that he’s not “particularly ideological.” He made the comment at one of two Democratic fundraisers he attended in Seattle.
”I’m not a particularly ideological person,” Obama said, according to the White House pool report. “There’s things, some values I feel passionately about.” Those include, he said, making sure “everybody gets a fair shake” and “everybody being treated with dignity or respect, regardless of what they look like or who they are.” [Don’t you love the ‘humble brag‘ there? Ugh. –ST]
Congress, Obama said, is the “biggest barrier and impediment” to achieving progress. He added that, without politics, there’s strong agreement on how to tackle infrastructure, immigration reform, early childhood education and investing in science and research.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) attended the event, and Obama said she’s “soon-to-be speaker again.”
“More than anything, what we’re looking for is not the defeat of another party, what we’re looking for is the advancement of ideas,” he said. “But to do that we’re going to need Nancy Pelosi as speaker because there’s a lot of work to be done right now.”
And, dammit, they can’t have the opposition “impeding” them at every turn, ya know.
At another left coast fundraiser, a heckler brought up the possibility of Obama using an executive order on the issue of immigration. Here was his response:
SAN FRANCISCO – President Obama pushed back Monday against supporters who want him to sign more executive orders to overcome opposition to his policies from Republicans in Congress.
After a man repeatedly shouted “executive order” during Obama’s speech at a fundraiser here Monday afternoon, the president said there is “no short-cut to democracy” and that he could not sign executive orders to bypass Congress.
“A lot of people have been saying this lately on every problem, which is just, ‘Sign an executive order and we can pretty much do anything and basically nullify Congress,’ ” Obama said at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser at the SFJazz Center in San Francisco.
Many in the audience of more than 400 supporters began applauding. “Wait, wait, wait,” Obama said. “Before everybody starts clapping, that’s not how it works. We’ve got this Constitution, we’ve got this whole thing about separation of powers. So there is no short-cut to politics, and there’s no short-cut to democracy.”
That’s a very nice defense of separation of powers, but don’t get too relieved. This President – and many high profile power brokers in his administration are very good at paying lip service to the Constitution, but the reality is another matter entirely …