Choosing ‘right thing to do’ ignores the law

The editorial (Herald, June 21) about the Obama administration’s executive fiat on immigration indicates that it is “the right thing to do.”

“The right thing to do” has become a lightweight joke for “here’s what I’d like to see done, regardless of the law”.

President Barack Obama has basically taken it on himself to amend a law as he sees fit to pander to Hispanics and some far-left liberals. The problem is that Obama is the president and not the legislative branch of the government.

His job is to sign laws, not write them. Congress writes the laws. Because Obama cannot get even the Democratic lawmakers to subscribe to some of his far-left ideas, he’s taken to using his Cabinet agencies to write unsupported laws and regulations. Or Obama has unilaterally decided not to enforce laws that he doesn’t like.

Let’s imagine for a minute that a Republican president comes into office and tells the Department of Justice not to enforce environmental laws because they’re too onerous. That would be his opinion of “the right thing to do.” Or let’s say a Republican president has his secretary of commerce amend the Dodd-Frank legislation so it doesn’t apply to businesses of his choosing.

What sounds like “the right thing to do” is actually outside of our system of laws. People either bipartisanly support the laws or get them changed, or they agree to ignore the law. If laws are ignored, the door opens for everyone to ignore any law they choose.

There have now been numerous occasions where Obama has simply ignored the law, each time saying “it was the right thing to do.” If we all play that game our society will implode.

While the Herald has unceasingly failed to promote every announcement by Obama’s White House, it might be worth a thought sometime that “the right thing to do” needs to be looked at a more than satisfying partisan desires. Sometimes “the right thing to do” isn’t supported by the law. That’s why you vote for lawmakers in a civilized society.

Mike Sigman