Yes, it’s all the fault of the Republicans. If only Congress would simply comply with the executive all would be well. This is an argument many of us encounter, as if the legislature shouldn’t have a rule in, er, legislating. It also suggests that observing checks and balances have become a courtesy, something many critics of executive power might even say is already happening.
Having said that, those that repeatedly blame Republicans in Congress regularly ignore this point below by A. Barton Hinkle at Reason. In his quest for more powers, Obama often ignores areas that already fall under his purview. His pathetic excuse over marijuana is another case in point.
Some of the president’s defenders have tried to portray him as the victim of an intransigent Republican Congress. Republicans have indeed been unhelpful. Yet the president can do a great deal without Congress. The NSA is an executive agency, after all. It answers to him — or ought to. By the same token, it is not Republicans’ fault that Obama has created the most secretive administration in memory and prosecuted more whistleblowers than all other presidents combined. It is not Republicans’ fault that he has violated his own expressed standards for military intervention abroad. It is not their fault he became what a writer for Salon has called “a civil libertarian’s nightmare: a supposedly liberal president who instead has expanded and fortified many of the Bush administration’s worst policies.”