Reading the first few paragraphs of this Bloomberg article really begins to give a feel for what the Obama administration is:
When President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, the biggest question he’ll face will be how to get an ambitious second-term agenda through a divided Congress.
The answer: Go around it.
On climate change, gun control, gay rights, and even immigration, the White House has signaled a willingness to circumvent lawmakers through the use of presidential power. Already, plans are being laid to unleash new executive orders, regulations, signing statements and memorandums designed to push Obama’s programs forward and cement his legacy, according to administration aides and allies.
“The big things that we need to get done, we can’t wait on,” said White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer. “If we can take action, we will take action.”
Congress is unpopular because there’s no face to congress other than that of the whiny weakling John Boehner. The right hates congress because they’re constantly surrendering, and the left hates congress because the right in congress isn’t surrendering enough. The low information voter just hears complaints about congress and believes it, rather than looking at their own representative.
There is no congressional media office out trying to paint a picture of congress as a benevolent deliberative body in the same way that Obama has his numerous official and unofficial propaganda wings. Half the country that supports Obama’s agenda (until they find themselves targeted) represents a great amount of support. Half the country that supports their half of congress doesn’t support the other half of congress, so popularity remains low.
And in this void, with the elected representatives of the people both hated and demonized, comes that powerful figure to simply work around them. Checks and balances exist for a reason, and working around those checks and balances – imposed by free people who vote for their representatives to represent them – is someone who will simply make things happen. There is a certain allure to a “man of action” who will make decisions while others deliberate – it’s those exciting, dynamic “men of action” who seize power that make for compelling stories. A president who merely presides and works to uphold the rule of law and execute the orders issued by the citizens through congress isn’t as fascinating as a heroic figure who goes it alone and tells off the yammering talkers.
But in governmental context, that’s a dictator.