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Are Congressional Democrats Finally Waking Up To Obama’s UnConstitutional Power Grab?

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Unread 02.03.14, 10:55 PM
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Are Congressional Democrats Finally Waking Up To Obama’s UnConstitutional Power Grab?

02.03.14 10:01 PM

An interesting trend may be emerging among Senate Democrats in the twilight period between President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address and the perilous midterm campaign season: some of them – even Obama’s staunchest supporters – may be ready to signal to the President (and to voters) that he’d better keep his hands off their Constitutional powers.

The reasons, so far, are hard to discern. Certainly some Democratic incumbents, as well as their safe-for-now peers, are eyeing the midterms as a potential date with the hangman when it comes to retaining a Senate majority. Obama’s policies aren’t exactly political winners in States where GOP candidates pose a credible challenge to their tenure in the capital, and Congressional Democrats have to be aware that taking a public stand against Obama’s executive overreach is a populist move that their partisan rivals will employ during the campaign season. Who’d want to be on defense for that?

Too, it’s remotely possible that some lawmakers are awakening to the idea that Obama’s virtual threats to legislate with his pen pose a real threat to their already-diminished role in balancing the Constitutionally-devised Separation of Powers. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) – infamous among defenders of the 2nd Amendment for co-sponsoring failed gun control legislation last year – tried to wish away Obama’s State of the Union pledge to act without Congress in a weekend interview.

“I don’t think that’s what he meant. I swear to God I don’t,” he said. “Could he have picked these words better? I would have thought he could have; I would have hoped he would have. But it came out offensive to a lot of people.”

More on point is outright criticism of the President’s mealy-mouthed leadership in reforming the immensely unpopular National Security Agency’s program of systematic and warrantless surveillance.

“I think the framers did an incredible job of finding the right balance, so, we’ve gotten away from that. And when we get back to that, my outspokenness [against the President] will diminish,” Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) told POLITICO.

Heinrich isn’t up for reelection anytime soon. But he’s carrying the populist water for embattled peers who are. The telltale signs appear in the Obama-bashing of Democrats like Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu, who’s in a fight to hang on to her Senate seat after vocally supporting the President’s disastrous Affordable Care Act.

“This White House has been very – how shall I say – it’s not their strong suit to give anybody a heads-up on anything,” she said in the same article.

Whatever their motives, Congressional Democrats may be showing early signs that they’re coming to grips with an unusual (for them) situation – learning, like their GOP adversaries in recent years, how to play defense.

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