Heritage Foundation's Feulner: Obama Threatens 'Separation of Powers'
President Barack Obama is a threat to the “whole basic separation of powers” in the United States, Edwin J. Feulner, president of the Heritage Foundation, told Newsmax.TV on Thursday in an exclusive interview.
“This president has done whatever he can, in every way, shape and form to gather more power onto himself and then to the people closest to him,” Feulner told Newsmax. He is co-author of the new book, “The American Spirit,” co-written with Heritage board member Brian Tracy. “Look what he did, for example, vis-à-vis the Senate with recess appointments.
“So he’s not only after the Supreme Court. He’s after the whole basic separation of powers, the independent role that traditionally has been played in terms of Senate confirmation of appointees,” Feulner added. “I could come up with other examples of some of his rule-making authority, where he’s trying to take power away from the House: the Eric Holder business, right now, about Fast and Furious – and what he’s trying to do there in terms of really stiffing the House of Representatives.
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So it’s not just limited to the Supreme Court, I’m afraid. We’re going to have a power grab from the Executive Branch in play, right now,” he said.
In discussing why he and Tracy wrote the book, Feulner said: “Basically, Americans are optimists. They want to see the bright side. They want things to be better for their children and their grandchildren – and they really want to come out of this much better.
“And that’s what we’re trying to remind people of is that, fundamentally, we’re a great country. We’ve gone a little way down the wrong road, but we can turn back. We can get back to basic American principles.”
But many of the policies of President Barack Obama have, Feulner said, drawn “distinctions among Americans that haven’t been there in the past.
“In the past, every American has thought, ‘Gee, things will be better for my children and grandchildren and we’ll be able to actually do better if we look ahead.’ But right now, I take out a picture of my three grandchildren. Each one of them has a $200,000 mortgage – and they’re only 8, 7 and 6, by the way.
“This is absolutely the wrong way for America to be going, and we’ve got to get back to the notion that we’re all together as Americans, we want to be united, that the real American spirit is one of opportunity, rule of law and movement ahead for everybody.
“And sometimes,” Feulner continued, “he gives that lip service, but if you look at his policies they don’t do it. He’s, frankly, trying to remove the intermediate institution between the individuals and the federal government. And if you remove those intermediate institutions – whether it’s our churches and synagogues, whether it’s the Girl Scouts, the Boy Scouts, the local soccer team or whatever – in order to federalize everything, take it away from the people and have it all done by the federal government, boy, that’s the not the American spirit that we know. That’s not what we should be doing in terms of where we should be going as a nation.”
One such policy is health care, Feulner said: “I’m sitting here with my fingers crossed just hoping that at least a 5-to-4 decision will go our way and hopefully it will be for full repeal. If they repeal just the individual mandate, what they will have repealed is, like, 25 pages out of several thousand pages.
“So there will still be plenty for us conservatives to have to worry about, for us to have to fight, frankly, with our allies on Capitol Hill because the rest of the bill that will potentially become law is equally as bad as the individual mandate.”
To win the presidency this fall, Feulner said GOP candidate Mitt Romney needs to heed to the advice of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and offer bold conservative solutions to win over independent voters. Walker last week became the first governor in the nation’s history to win a recall election.
“He’s absolutely right,” Feulner said of Walker’s strategy, “and the basic predicate that I come back to is that, right now, the United States – by Gallup, by every other conventional measure that we use – there are twice as many self-identified conservatives as there are liberals in the United States.
“What we’ve got to do is reinforce the base, make sure that the base understands that this really is a very significant potential set of elections coming up this November and then talk to the ‘saveables’ – if you will – the people in the middle, and point out what opportunity, what real economic progress can be.”