If President Barack Obama does not get what he wants from Congress this year, he will take the desired action on his own, White House aides have warned. So, what else is new?
"The president sees this as a year of action to work with Congress where he can and to bypass Congress where necessary," White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters recently. Other advisers to the president said that means action by executive order, not legislation from Congress.
That is not a fresh approach by this president, however. During much of his five years in office, Obama has taken it upon himself to issue wide-ranging executive orders on matters that properly should have been left to Congress. He has made the Environmental Protection Agency a virtually unfettered tool to do his will, whether lawmakers agree or not.
His signature legislative achievement, the Affordable Care Act, in many ways does not resemble the law approved by Congress. Obamacare has been altered over and over again by the president, sometimes to benefit his political cronies.
Whatever else Obama's plans, and no matter how harmful they are to the nation, he has signaled he will not allow the elected representatives of the people to stand in his way.
Thus far, with support from liberal Democrats, Obama has been allowed to run roughshod over the Constitution. Thoughtful members of his own party should join Republican lawmakers in turning back the assault - in defeating Obama's attempt to make his an imperial presidency of historic proportions.