Ross Douthat’s Due Alarm

The mild-mannered, even-tempered (even though he’s a, you know, conservative!) Ross Douthat, usually a breath of fresh air in the pages of the ideologically polluted New York Times, is clearly alarmed that the “American political class,” which includes the major media, seems poised to allow Obama to get away with Constitutional murder by despotically issuing an executive immigration diktat ignoring and hence undermining the current law.

“The president,” Douthat virtually shouts, “is contemplating — indeed, all but promising — an extraordinary abuse of office: the granting of temporary legal status, by executive fiat, to up to half the country’s population of illegal immigrants.” Such an extreme abuse of power, he continues, “simply does not happen in our politics…. It would be lawless, reckless, a leap into the antidemocratic dark.”

Douthat’s alarm is of course entirely justified. And yet what the president seems on the verge of doing now regarding immigration policy is no more unconstitutional than what by now are almost countless other examples of his trampling the borders that previously marked the separation of powers in our government. He has trespassed so often and so unopposed by the “American political class” on the law-making authority of Congress that by now he may have already taken adverse possession of it (“A method of gaining legal title to real property by the actual, open, hostile, and continuous possession of it to the exclusion of its true owner….”)

Say What?