WASHINGTON — Worse than Richard Nixon. An unprecedented abuse of powers. The most un-American president in the nation’s history.
Nat Hentoff does not think much of President Obama.
And now, the famous journalist says it is time to begin looking into impeachment.
Hentoff sees the biggest problem as Obama’s penchant to rule by executive order when he can’t convince Congress to do things his way.
The issue jumped back into the headlines last week when, just before his first Cabinet meeting of 2014, Obama said, “I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone … and I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions.”
“Apparently he doesn’t give one damn about the separation of powers,” Hentoff told WND. “Never before in our history has a president done these things.”
And just to make sure everyone knew how extremely serious he regarded the situation, the journalist added, “This is the worst state, I think, the country has ever been in.”
Many have regarded Hentoff as the conscience of civil libertarianism and liberalism for decades.
Recognized as one of the foremost authorities on the Bill of Rights and the Supreme Court, Hentoff was a columnist and staff writer with The Village Voice for 51 years, from 1957 until 2008, when his columns began appearing in WND.
Hentoff left the Voice after he looked into the abortion industry, was shocked by what he found and had a falling-out with colleagues.
The First Amendment expert still hews left on many issues, railing against former President George W. Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney, the prison at Guantanamo Bay and the National Defense Authorization Act.
But he hasn’t liked Obama from the start.
“Within a few months after he was elected, I wrote a column saying he was going to be the most destructive, dangerous president we’ve ever had,” he said.
Hentoff said people he’d known for years told him to stop being so negative and to give Obama a chance.
“Well, we’ve given him a chance. I understated the case a little.”
In other words, Hentoff thinks Obama is the most dangerous and destructive president ever.
And, that’s why the veteran journalist thinks it’s time to begin looking into impeachment.
“He has no right to do these executive orders,” Hentoff insisted, his voice reaching a crescendo of indignation.
He says Obama gets away with it only because there is no outrage in Congress, no coverage by the media and no knowledge by the public.
“He’s in a position now where he figures he’s going to do whatever he wants to do.”
In fact, Hentoff said, Obama doesn’t even pretend to care about the separation of powers between the executive branch and Congress anymore, because “He’s the boss and hardly anybody cares enough” to stop him.
The most well-known examples of Obama changing or issuing laws with the stroke of a pen by issuing executive orders include:
- Delaying the employer mandate in Obamacare
- Changing the types of plans available under Obamacare
- Ensuring abortions would be covered under Obamacare
- Enacting key provisions of the failed Dream Act to halt deportations of illegal immigrants
- Enacting stricter gun-control measures
- Sealing presidential records
- Creating an economic council
- Creating a domestic policy council
- Changing pay grades
As WND previously reported, even the the far left-leaning FactCheck wrote, “It’s true that President Obama is increasingly using his executive powers in the face of staunch Republican opposition in Congress. He’s changed federal policies on immigration and welfare and appointed officials without congressional approval.”
“I would say that never before in our history had a president done these things,” Hentoff mused.
He noted that while Nixon merely claimed that winning an election gave him the right to do what he wanted, Obama is actually doing whatever he pleases.
The journalist said he doesn’t think any other president has acted so lawlessly as a matter of habit.
“So, if this isn’t a reason for at least the start of an independent investigation that would lead to impeachment, what is?”
Hentoff is baffled that Obama should escape such scrutiny when former President Bill Clinton faced impeachment just for being “a lousy liar.”
A big part of the problem, the journalist believes, is what he calls the utter ignorance of a huge portion of the population, which is not outraged at losing its basic right to be self-governing.
And Obama “doesn’t give a damn, because he can get away with whatever he wants.”
That’s why Hentoff called this the worst state the country has ever been in, “Even worse than Woodrow Wilson’s regime, when people could be arrested for speaking German.”
Compounding the problem he says, is the digital age, which has allowed the president to engage in unprecedented domestic spying with the apparatus of the National Security Agency.
WND asked if Obama really posed such a threat, considering he was a professor of constitutional law.
“People forget, he taught a course that he was not fully qualified to teach. But nobody seemed to care,” Hentoff observed.
He also pointed out that as president of the Harvard Law Review Obama never published an article, something that went virtually unnoticed when voters considered his qualifications.
“See, that was a case of affirmative-action and people feeling, ‘Hey we ought to do something important, symbolically, and here’s a black guy, and he’s articulate, so we’re gonna do this.’”
Hentoff mentioned that former U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, the man Time Magazine once called “the most doctrinaire and committed civil libertarian ever to sit on the court,” once personally lectured him that “Affirmative-action on a racial basis is a total violation of the 14th Amendment, no doubt about it.”
And, referring to Obama’s presidency, the journalist said, “That’s what that kind of affirmative-action did for us.”
He told WND that he firmly believed the president does not care about due process, the separation of powers, the concept of a self-governing republic or many other basic American ideals.
And that’s why, he said, “What Obama is doing now is about as un-American as you can get.”
Hentoff wanted to make sure no one thought he was engaging in hyperbole.
He said it was literally true that Obama is “the most un-American president we’ve ever had.”
And just to make sure everybody heard him, he added, “I hope the FBI got all of that.”
Hentoff is just the latest public figure to be added to the growing list of those mentioning the possible impeachment of President Obama.
WND has been keeping track, and that list now includes:
Reps. Steve King, R-Iowa; Blake Farenthold, R-Texas; Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas; Rep. Bill Flores, R-Texas; Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif.; Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.; Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, R-Mich.; Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas; Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla.; Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah; Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C.; Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.; Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas; Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., and Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla.
Follow Garth Kant on Twitter @DCgarth.