Americans learned last year that President Obama discards campaign promises like most people discard used Kleenex. Among the pledges he cast aside were reducing the deficit, reining in federal spending, not allowing lobbyists to work in his administration, increasing taxes only on those who make more than $250,000, and opposing "government-run health care" because it is "extreme."
This year, Mr. Obama is picking up where he left off.
Consider presidential signing statements. Since Andrew Jackson, presidents of both parties have told Congress that while they are signing a bill into law, they intend to ignore specific provisions because they involve unconstitutional restrictions on the executive branch or are otherwise problematic. A president's power to do this springs from his oath of office, through which each new chief executive promises to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution."
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