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Examiner Editorial: Obama puts ideology ahead of democracy to impose his agenda

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President Obama's latest "Climate Action Plan" is another example of the chief executive's penchant for using regulatory decrees to do things Congress refuses to approve. Critics contend the Obama plan will force coal-fired power plants - which supply about 40 percent of the nation's electricity - to shut down permanently. Higher utility rates will result. - (AP Photos)

One way or another, President Obama is determined to impose his ideological agenda on the American people. What Congress doesn't pass, he imposes by executive fiat, as with his latest "climate action plan." Recall that Democrats controlled both chambers of Congress during Obama's first two years in the Oval Office. When he couldn't get his cap-and-trade proposal approved by that Democratic Congress, Obama vowed to unleash the Environmental Protection Agency. As a result, 175 of America's 600 coal-fired power plants have been shut down or are scheduled to do so under Obama. Those "skyrocketing" electricity costs Obama promised in 2008 will soon follow.

Obama's decree against coal was merely the latest in a steadily lengthening list of examples. Obama's DREAM Act proposal to grant residency to children of illegal immigrants brought to this country by their parents - failed to pass in a Democrat-controlled lame-duck Congress in 2010. So Obama decided to effectively impose the proposal unilaterally by directing the Department of Homeland Security to stop deporting such children and start granting work permits to their parents.

Similarly, Obama instructed the Department of Justice in 2011 to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act. Regardless of his personal opinion about DOMA, Obama swore an oath to defend the Constitution and uphold the law. Presidents don't get to pick and choose which laws they will enforce. DOMA has since been found unconstitutional, but that ruling was within the Supreme Court's authority, not Obama's.

Then there was Obama's decision in 2012 to force a defacto repeal of the Welfare Reform Act of 1996 by instructing the Department of Health and Human Services to weaken the law's work requirements (which had been approved by a Republican Congress and a Democratic president). National Review Online described Obama's directive as "legally suspect, ignoring both the letter of the law and the clear intent of Congress to specifically shield welfare reform from willy-nilly rewriting at the hands of federal bureaucrats." Even the Washington Post called it "bad policy that isn't going to help either the economy or Obama's economic record."

In January 2013, Obama released a list of 23 executive actions he would take on gun control, regardless whether any of them violated the Second Amendment rights of all Americans and no matter that Obama's new rules would not have stopped the Sandy Hook massacre that he cited to justify himself.

Not content merely to rule over energy, immigration, marriage, the Second Amendment and welfare, Obama issued a new cyber-security executive order in February. The order imposed regulations on industry that were obsolete when they took effect, and added millions of dollars in new compliance costs to the firms involved. Adding insult to injury, Obama claimed his order was voluntary even though the implementing regulations certainly were not.

Those who cheer Obama today forget that he is establishing an extremely dangerous precedent for future presidents to follow by decreeing whatever they choose as law while ignoring Congress, federal judges and the American people. This will not end well.