Obama’s nation-killing legacy: Ignore the law

By Sean Harshey

Last week the mayor of Pittsburgh dared authorities to “arrest me” in his efforts to enact blatantly illegal anti-gun ordinances. Chicago, New York, the entire state of California and other locales openly invite people to violate federal immigration law. Groups of leftist “antifa” protesters block highways, assault people attending speeches and videotape themselves destroying public and private property. Local prosecutors publish entire lists of crimes they refuse to prosecute.

Why are Americans – from governors to mayors to mobs of street thugs – suddenly resorting to open lawlessness? They are following the example of Barack Obama.

It is tempting to believe the policies and legacy of Obama were repudiated and America could move in a new direction beginning with President Trump’s election in 2016. Obama’s legacy, though, is one of example – one that will be much more difficult to unravel than it was to defeat his ideological heir, Hillary Clinton.

Obama’s legacy is not something traditional such as a legislative achievement, shaping of the Supreme Court or guiding our nation through a difficult period. He assumed the presidency not from a background in corporate, financial or political leadership, but from a background in “community organizing.” Agitating in the streets. Ignoring rules. Obama’s legacy is having taken community organizing to the highest office in the world and showing leftists at every level how to accomplish their goals – that is, simply ignore the law.

Presidents have had lots of different opinions and worldviews. But there is a process by which leaders enact their agenda. If a president wants a new law passed, he advocates for that law to the people and to members of Congress. If he believes a law should be repealed or changed, he works through the same process. But, no matter what, the president is charged with upholding and enforcing the law, whether he agrees with it or not. Obama, having taken the same oath as every other president, simply ignored laws he did not like and ordered his officials to do the same.

For example, although growing, selling and possessing marijuana is a federal crime, Obama’s Department of Justice simply stopped enforcing federal marijuana laws. He also ignored states that passed their own laws legalizing the drug in violation of federal law. Whatever one’s opinion on drug laws, the federal laws remain in place. Instead of working to change the law, the laws were merely ignored.

Obama took the same course regarding immigration and largely stopped enforcing federal immigration laws. As foreigners illegally poured across our southern border, wreaking havoc on communities in states on the border, some states grew weary of begging for help with the problem and hostility from the federal government at every attempt to regain control of the chaos and expense brought on by mass illegal immigration. When federal courts ruled states could not enforce federal law, they tried novel approaches to address the issue. Arizona passed a state immigration law mirroring the federal law and began enforcing that law since they were barred from enforcing federal law.

Obama Attorney General Eric Holder sued the state of Arizona, and the U.S. Supreme Court found in Arizona v. United States (2012) that immigration enforcement is a uniquely federal function pre-empting states from enforcing immigration laws. Why the Trump administration has not used that case to stop states and cities from enacting conflicting immigration laws in the form of “sanctuary” areas is anyone’s guess.

When Obama was unable to change immigration laws he did not like, he just stopped enforcing those laws and used his officials and courts to stop others from enforcing them. This remarkable breakdown of the rule of law has metastasized to the point where liberals now scream bloody murder at the very idea of President Trump enforcing U.S. immigration law. That congressional leaders openly demand the president of the United States not enforce the law is unprecedented in American history.

Obama’s precedent has spawned a new wave of leftists simply ignoring any law they do not like.

Authorities in California, Illinois and New York openly flaunt their refusal to comply with federal immigration laws with which they disagree, even with repeated deadly consequences for Americans.

The new social justice trend in liberal cities across America is prosecutors refusing to prosecute crimes such as shoplifting, drug possession, fare jumping, assaults and other crimes claimed to have a disparate impact on blacks. The newly elected district attorney in Boston has a published “Do Not Prosecute” list of laws she and other social justice activists claim target blacks. These crimes include theft, burglary, malicious destruction of property, shoplifting, drug possession, drug dealing and resisting arrest.

The mayor of Pittsburgh has introduced sweeping gun control laws despite their blatant violation of the Pennsylvania Constitution, state statutes and judicial precedent. The mayor responded to notice of his illegal acts by daring the attorney general to arrest him.

We have reached a place in American history where the political left has gone off the rails and is no longer participating in our nation as parties to an organized form of government. They are acting lawlessly, boldly daring anyone to stop them.

This has to stop. If we are to have a nation at all, there must be order and the rule of law. At this time, Democrats across America are following the lead of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, who both violated laws with impunity and politicized the federal government to harass and attack political opponents. Because there were no legal consequences of any kind to either of them, Democrats at every level have been emboldened to disregard the law and taunt Americans to do anything about it.

Obama and other officeholders took an oath to support and defend the Constitution. But, when they ignore laws they do not like, they are specifically violating that oath. They must be held accountable.

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