Obama’s policy strategy: Ignore laws

by
June 17, 2012

By STEVE FRIESS | Politico

President Barack Obama returned Friday to a trusted tactic — satisfying his political allies by not doing something.

Conservatives were angry when Janet Napolitano announced the administration would stop deporting certain undocumented immigrants, but they should have seen it coming. On issue after issue — gay rights, drug enforcement, Internet gambling, school achievement standards — the administration has chosen to achieve its goals by a method best described as passive-aggressive.

Rather than pushing new laws through a divided Congress to enact his agenda, Obama is relying on federal agencies to ignore, or at least not defend, laws that some of his important supporters — like Hispanic voters and the gay community — don’t like.

“If the president says we’re not going to enforce the law, there’s really nothing anyone can do about it,” University of Pennsylvania constitutional law professor Kermit Roosevelt said. “It’s clearly a political calculation.”

A White House official said the strategy is the result of a stalemate in Washington.

“We work to achieve our policy goals in the most effective and appropriate way possible,” the official said. “Often times, Congress has blocked efforts (ie [No Child Left Behind] and DREAM) and we look to pursue other appropriate means of achieving our policy goals. Sometimes this makes for less-than-ideal policy situations — such as the action we took on immigration — but the president isn’t going to be stonewalled by politics, he will pursue whatever means available to do business on behalf of American people.”

To read more, visit:  http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0612/77486.html

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