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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Presidential prosecutorial discretion

Obama leads the way in developing a useful tool. Republicans, take note:
President Obama completely fumbles when George Stephanopolous asks him how he’d respond if a future president takes the same action on taxes that Obama has taken on immigration. Incredibly, Obama responds as if he’d never heard or thought of this argument before, stumbling blindly along immigration talking points without answering the actual question.

Stephanopolous asked: “How do you respond to the argument, a future president comes in and wants lower taxes. Doesn’t happen. Congress won’t do it; so he says ‘I’m not going to prosecute those who don’t pay capital gains tax.’”

“The truth of the matter is George,” said the President, haltingly, “The reason that we, have to do.. uhm prosecutorial discretion in immigration, is that we know, that we – are not even close to being able to deal with the folks who have been here a long time…” Obama then pivoted to immigration talking points, without addressing the original question.

“The vast majority of folks understand that they need to pay taxes, and when we conduct an audit, for example, we are selecting those folks who are most likely to be cheating,” said Obama. “We’re not going after millions and millions of people who everybody knows are here and were taking advantage of low wages as they’re mowing lawns or cleaning out bedpans, and looking the other way.”

“So you don’t think it’d be legitimate for a future president to make that argument?” Stephanopoulos said.

Obama: “With respect to taxes? Absolutely not.”
Now that the President of the United States of America has declared prosecutorial discretion in immigration to be an executive power, it is obvious that any future president will possess similar prosecutorial discretion in taxation. This is a weapon that any small government party should be able to wield with a considerable degree of effectiveness.

If it is genuinely a small government party.... The Republicans certainly can't pretend they don't have the power to starve the beast anymore, not once they reclaim the White House.

It's always fascinating to see how SJWs have absolutely no ability to grasp logical consequences. Which tends to demonstrate the fundamental illogic of their thinking. It reminds me of the gay "marriage" proponents who genuinely couldn't figure out how redefining the legal nature of marriage once would likely lead to future legal redefinitions of marriage.

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62 Comments:

Blogger Tom Kratman November 25, 2014 4:43 AM  

In a world of limited resources, prosecutorial discretion is a necessary given. Not every crime can be solved. Not every wife trying to use the criminal justice system to beat her husband into submission need be listened to on her 9th spurious complaint. Not every checked passed to a hooker that then (the check, not the girl) bounces need be prosecuted as rape. And, of course, the complaints of Social Justice Warriors should, in every case, be File 13d. (That's the short round file on the floor.)

The solution to instances of abuse of prosecutorial discretion is political, either under Article One or in November, 2016.

Now, personally, given that there is an existing budget to cover things like la Migra, arrests, incarceration, hearings, and deportation, I think a rather good case can be made that this exceeds the proper limits of prosecutorial discretion and probably implicates Article 2, Section 3: "Shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed..."

Blogger Shimshon November 25, 2014 4:51 AM  

What if, instead of "prosecutorial discretion" (would that they were so discrete regarding victimless crimes), he just announced he would pardon anyone convicted of said crimes? It seems that it's just another form of pardon, but less certain, since a pardon is forever and discretion might only last until the next election.

Blogger Rantor November 25, 2014 5:06 AM  

Wow, nearly stuttering incompetence in the answer from the articulate one. And despite seeing weakness, George went for the follow up... Is George actually trying to be a good reporter instead of a biased jerk? As you have said, they are starting to turn on him.

Anonymous kh123 November 25, 2014 5:20 AM  

"...gay "marriage" proponents who genuinely couldn't figure out how redefining the legal nature of marriage once would likely lead to future legal redefinitions of marriage."

Or on an even simpler level, inviting the gov't into the bedroom will make it that much more difficult if/when you want them to leave.

But hey, why bother with societal truth and consequences when you've got a suicidal pact with your own identity politics to deal with. It's as if DUIs had their own lobby and media apologists.

Blogger Tom Kratman November 25, 2014 5:26 AM  

Continuing crime issue, Shim. He can pardon for past crimes, not for future ones, and said illegal immigrant will be committing the same crimes (-entry) tomorrow as yesterday.

Blogger Anthony November 25, 2014 5:34 AM  

Stephanopolous doesn't have the imagination to go for the realistic payback: refusing to enforce the Obamacare mandates. Imagine President Christie (or President Walker) saying that the IRS won't enforce the tax penalties on people who don't buy health coverage, or on companies who don't insure their employees.

Anonymous Stilicho November 25, 2014 6:14 AM  

Tom, use of discretion requires possession of discretion. I see neither here. You are correct that the solution is political, but wrong to adhere to Constitutional solutions--that ship has sailed and will not return absent overwhelming victory. In the meantime, the Marquis of Queensbury has no place in a street fight. The leftists have grown complacent by getting away with using tire irons and broken bottles while their opponents still wear the gloves required by polite political discourse. That time is over. To quote you: I wonder who will protect them from me.

Anonymous MendoScot November 25, 2014 6:21 AM  

the Marquis of Queensbury has no place in a street fight

Ahem. The Marquess of Queensberry. We aren't frogs.

Anonymous Stilicho November 25, 2014 6:29 AM  

So quick to abandon the auld alliance, Mendoscot?

Blogger vashine November 25, 2014 6:34 AM  

Republicans, conservatives, and libertarians should ALL be running on the platform of using executive actions to cease prosecution of all tax offenders, and to release all non-violent tax "criminals" from prison.

Better yet, let's start calling them "tax illegals" and then whine that there is nothing "illegal" about them, they're human! Then start the Tax Dreamer Campaign, with requisite documentaries, news stories, etc., about their persecution. This would be far more justified than the entire illegal immigrant campaigns.

Also, executive actions halting the investigation and prosecution of any and all "crimes" against Muslims, even in the case of murder or suspicious death, should be next on that list. I guess you could say 4GW can only be fought with 4GW. Open the floodgates, let good, righteous people defend themselves against the culture and communities that breed these terrorists scum.

Legalizing vigilante justice against any adult Muslim or Muslim property will be the fastest and most just way to rid the world of Islam and its devil-worshipping culture and society.

Anonymous PhillipGeorge(c)2014 November 25, 2014 7:24 AM  

.....talking about him is like giving oxygen through the nasal prongs of the recently deceased. It's over.

Anonymous bw November 25, 2014 7:39 AM  

The vast majority of folks understand that they need to pay taxes

The lie is in not admitting the actual number of people who do not pay taxes and exactly who those people are. They might even be rioting somewhere right now, destroying businesses that, once again, the taxpayers will rebuild, while seeing their insurance premiums rise as well.
He's only referring to about, what? 40% of the country - the dwindling, shrinking middle class that Fed govt have purposefully destroyed? How long is that percentage going to remain in total denial? Think of the children.

Blogger FALPhil November 25, 2014 7:40 AM  

The level of discretion we are talking about here amounts to anarchy.

Anonymous bw November 25, 2014 7:42 AM  

Social Welfare and Redistribution is expensive as all hell.
That's the hilarious irony.
Tack on an all out Warfare State? Long live the FED and Prog Income Tax Ponzi.

Blogger Tommy Hass November 25, 2014 7:53 AM  

"Also, executive actions halting the investigation and prosecution of any and all "crimes" against Muslims, even in the case of murder or suspicious death, should be next on that list. I guess you could say 4GW can only be fought with 4GW. Open the floodgates, let good, righteous people defend themselves against the culture and communities that breed these terrorists scum.

Legalizing vigilante justice against any adult Muslim or Muslim property will be the fastest and most just way to rid the world of Islam and its devil-worshipping culture and society."

Vox can you spam this fool? This is the upteenth time he has attempted to derail a thread which has nothing, I mean NOTHINg to do with Sialm to preach hate and genocide against people who believe other things than he does. (and no, he doesn't specify "invaders" he wants you to do what you consider the cause of "deserved blowback")

Blogger Tommy Hass November 25, 2014 7:55 AM  

"This is the upteenth time he has attempted to derail a thread which has nothing, I mean NOTHING to do with Islam"

Sialm, haha

Blogger FALPhil November 25, 2014 7:59 AM  

Here's the clip: http://bit.ly/11TBlln

I like the idea of a new party whose platform is small government by prosecutorial discretion, anarchy or not. This could be much better than line item veto!

Blogger buzzardist November 25, 2014 8:03 AM  

Shimson,

Gotta go with Kratman on this one. A pardon would excuse the person for illegally being in the country yesterday or last year or whatever other time in the past. For a person wanting to then legally apply to enter the country, such a pardon could be useful. For the person still in the process of breaking the law, who will still be violating immigration law tomorrow, a pardon is worthless. A deportation proceeding could still be opened at any time.

And then there is also the political consideration. Immigration activists insist that these people are not illegal, that they aren't breaking any laws whatsoever. Obama is already toeing the line of claiming they are by appealing to prosecutorial discretion. Giving a pardon, however? It's a clear statement that this person committed criminal actions. Immigration activists would throw a fit. And once an anti-immigration president took over, that president could cite the pardon to argue that these immigrants are lawbreakers by fact of being here. Even if the pardon were of any value, it would light a political firestorm among those begging for immigration reform.

Blogger buzzardist November 25, 2014 8:22 AM  

I keep reading over Obama's comments, shaking my head.

Stephanopoulos, if he'd had half a spine, should have retorted at the end, "Is this the kind of legal anti-logic that you impressed upon your students when you taught constitutional law?"

If Obama's action is allowed to stand, any future president will have justifiable precedence to ignore any law and anything Congress says. Obama hasn't directly defied the Supreme Court yet in quite the same way, but I'm sure he'll leap at the chance to set a precedent for that, too.

His justification is that because a lot of people have broken the law, we ought to look the other way? Interesting standard, and perhaps even a justifiable one in some cases. If everyone, a majority, or even just a very large number of people is breaking a particular law, is this a law that ought to be on the books in the first place? The fact that so many people ignore the law ought to make us question the law's utility. But setting this as a fast standard more or less invites masses of people to break any and every law. If we get enough lawbreakers, this will trigger the end of prosecutions under that law. Three cheers for anarchy!

I'm sure we can get 20 million people to stop paying their taxes, so we can stop prosecuting tax dodgers entirely. I'm sure we can get 20 million people who will ignore EPA rules, too, so environmental regulations are out the window. Drug laws? Gone. Labor laws? Finished. With the Obama prosecutorial doctrine, the president can nullify just about any law on the books.

My guess? The Court will let this immigration action stand, but will draw the line at any further presidential nullification should a libertarian-leaning or conservative president try to claim the same power. As Obama has claimed, everybody knows we aren't going to deport 11 million people. Obama is going to ride this political calculation to victory on this issue--everybody is going to give in and let it happen because not enough people have the spines to actually deport three percent of the population currently within the U.S. borders.

Anonymous MendoScot November 25, 2014 8:40 AM  

So quick to abandon the auld alliance, Mendoscot?

Never was so much an alliance as mutual bulldog-baiting. As during the revolution, they are all currently decamping to London, you'll note, rather than Edinburgh. Observe what they do, not what they say.

On a related note, I just reread The Scarlet Pimpernel. Amusing from a Game point of view, as Marguerite despises her gamma husband Lord Blakeney, but is in love with his alpha alter ego. I hadn't remembered that part of the story.

Blogger YIH November 25, 2014 8:52 AM  

I willing to bet Stephanopolous got a real chubby from that.
Remember from whence he came. He had 0bola right where he wanted him and took full advantage of it.

Anonymous Stilicho November 25, 2014 9:17 AM  

I'm sure we can get 20 million people to stop paying their taxes, so we can stop prosecuting tax dodgers entirely. I'm sure we can get 20 million people who will ignore EPA rules, too, so environmental regulations are out the window. Drug laws? Gone. Labor laws? Finished. With the Obama prosecutorial doctrine, the president can nullify just about any law on the books.

Now, now...Obola told us last night that we are a nation of laws and that we must respect the process...

Blogger Tom Kratman November 25, 2014 9:29 AM  

Hope springs eternal, Stil. Until they come for the guns, hope remains. I'll wait for the lanterns in the North Church Tower.

Blogger Northern Hamlet November 25, 2014 9:42 AM  

VD,

He's identifying that one is a large issue that needs a solution, while the other isn't. Pragmatism isn't about logical argument per se.

Granted, I disagree with the solution, and agree with you that it will likely cause bigger picture issues.

Blogger RC November 25, 2014 9:44 AM  

Continuing crime issue, Shim. He can pardon for past crimes, not for future ones, and said illegal immigrant will be committing the same crimes (-entry) tomorrow as yesterday." - Kratman

Indeed but, while he's in office, he could issue a pardon each morning at 8:00 a.m. as he drinks his morning OJ, allowing for a massive surge to hit the 48 before the 2016 elections, then - as his last act - pardon all election crimes that might have been committed during the election.

Anonymous A Pardon Here, A Pardon There, A Pardon Everywhere November 25, 2014 10:07 AM  

Not that any RINO would ever do such a thing, but what if some imaginary future President woke up one day and decided to issue a blanket pardon into the Federal prison system to every person incarcerated for gun law violations?

What if some future President decided that the ATF needed to quit prosecuting NFA-34 violations, and used pardon power to make that stick?

If that's too far fetched, then how about ending the drug war with the power of the pardon? Or pardoning anyone convicted of campaign law violations? Environmental law violations? Yes, Virginia, there are people in minimum security Club Fed prisons for filling in the wrong pothole on their own land or running a combine too far into the brush where a protected species supposedly exists. Turn 'em loose? Why not?

The squealing of the SJW piggies and the left in general would be deafening. But Obola has set the precedent.

Blogger darkdoc November 25, 2014 10:30 AM  

Blanket order to no longer allow involuntary collection of union dues, or allow collective bargaining.

Blogger Rabbi B November 25, 2014 10:30 AM  

"Obola told us last night that we are a nation of laws and that we must respect the process..."

And this from someone who illegally decrees that that those who are already living here illegally can continue to remain living here illegally in this so-called 'nation of laws'. I think China is a nation of laws, as well as any number of other nations on the planet, nations that are willing to do far more than just 'respect the process'.

Lawlessness only begets more lawlessness and sustains itself by more and more lawlessness. The rains and the gale force winds are already blowing across this land and you don't have to be a prophet to see the writing on the wall. Ours may very well be a nation weighed in the scales and found wanting.

May G-d, in His mercy, preserve and sustain the faithful who have built on the Rock that is higher than all of us.

Anonymous Will Best November 25, 2014 10:32 AM  

I don't know why anybody has a problem with what the President has done. Its not like he hasn't done it before. Like when he lets black people off the hook for voter intimidation. Not investigating the sale of firearms to Mexican drug cartels. Not investigating DNC election finance fraud. Only real difference is this time he has stated it publicly.

Anonymous Will Best November 25, 2014 10:36 AM  

Not that any RINO would ever do such a thing, but what if some imaginary future President woke up one day and decided to issue a blanket pardon into the Federal prison system to every person incarcerated for gun law violations?

That law disproportionately gets black people. That and drug possession laws are how we get them off the street without cooperating witnesses.

Basically, you are looking to get rid of the diversity coping mechanism. Which is okay if your goal is to hasten the march toward civil unrest I suppose.

Blogger Rabbi B November 25, 2014 10:44 AM  

"Its not like he hasn't done it before."

Precisely.

Blogger FALPhil November 25, 2014 10:46 AM  

A Pardon Here wrote:

What if some future President decided that the ATF needed to quit prosecuting NFA-34 violations, and used pardon power to make that stick?


Never happen. The people who supply money for political campaigns are greatly chagrinned at the fact that the unwashed masses in America can own firearms.

OTOH, a presidential candidate who ran on the campaign that he would use prosecutorial discretion to undermine enforcement of OSHA and EPA regulations would have donors lining up to stuff money in his pockets.

Anonymous Stilicho November 25, 2014 10:50 AM  

Hope springs eternal, Stil. Until they come for the guns, hope remains. I'll wait for the lanterns in the North Church Tower.

I don't disagree with the sentiment, I simply believe that the genie is out of the bottle and we should prepare accordingly. Treating them as honorable opponents only encourages their continuing criminality. These pirates have not struck their false colors, but they've run out their guns and are maneuvering to bring them to bear. Shall we honor what we know are false colors? I think not.

To use your metaphor: The Redcoats are coming regardless of whether the lanterns have been lit. Is it still possible for them to turn around and go back to their barracks? Sure, but I think it is increasing unlikely with every step they take.

That's quite enough mixing and mangling of metaphors for now. I expect you understand my point.

Blogger The Remnant November 25, 2014 10:51 AM  

True. Leftists and other barbarians often commit the fallacy of ceteris paribus, or assuming that everything else will remain equal after they've "fixed" whatever they're obsessing over at the moment.

They want to invite foreigners into this country, but never consider that too many will transform the country rather than the foreigners. They want to re-distribute wealth to those in need, but never consider that this will discourage wealth creation and encourage more poverty. They want federal courts to nullify state and local laws they dislike, but never consider that this empowers federal courts to do a host of other things they hate.

The essence of leftism is juvenilism and magical thinking. What's worse, leftists rarely learn from failure but rather cry out that they need even more power to fix everything.

Anonymous MendoScot November 25, 2014 11:00 AM  

A Pardon Here, A Pardon There, A Pardon Everywhere

I see what you did there.

Anonymous Mike M. November 25, 2014 11:18 AM  

I could justify not prosecuting NFA violations in the absence of another crime of violence easily enough - there are serious accuracy issues with the NFA Transfer Registry. About a 5% error rate, which is certainly enough to invalidate a prosecution for simple posession.

Anonymous RM November 25, 2014 11:23 AM  

"The vast majority of folks understand that they need to pay taxes"

Let's see... our betters print any money they need anyway, don't feel obligated to pay taxes themselves, use the IRS as a political weapon, and feel free to lie to us.

Tell me again that I need to pay taxes?

Blogger Rabbi B November 25, 2014 11:27 AM  

"Tell me again that I need to pay taxes?'

Yes, because: "Must. Work. Harder." - Boxer, Animal Farm

Blogger RobertT November 25, 2014 12:06 PM  

The Republican wing of our single party don't seem to have any interest in doing anything like that.

Blogger Tom Kratman November 25, 2014 12:10 PM  

By the way, if anyone wants to see a rather creative use of the pardon power, go on and read Caliphate. Oh, go ahead; it's free.

Anonymous Jack Amok November 25, 2014 12:19 PM  

In a world of limited resources, prosecutorial discretion is a necessary given.

Of course, but in a world with leftist politics, the politicization of everything is also a given. If this wasn't such a naked political act, using - and stretching to the point of abusing - prosecutorial discretion to favor one's constituency, it wouldn't be quite as remarkable. But it would still be remarkable, as it is one supposedly co-equal branch of government giving the middle finger to another. Worse, it one branch carrying on it's political agenda in spite of opposition and saying "whaddya gonna do about it?" That's not how the system is supposed to work.

The solution to instances of abuse of prosecutorial discretion is political...

Always, c'est la vérité. But what excactly constitutes "politics" is different for different systems. In some systems, "politics" is voting unwanted leaders out of office. In other systems, it's hanging or shooting them to clear the way for someone else. "Whaddya gonna do about it?" pushes us ever towards the latter system. The ultimate destination of prosecutorial discression is deciding we just can't prosecute physical attacks on opposition politicians. Paging the Gracchi brothers. Gracchi brothers to the Blood-Red courtesy phone please.

This is another brick falling out of the wall, another step towards barbarism.

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Anonymous rho November 25, 2014 12:32 PM  

Back in the '90s I declared that I would happily vote for the first presidential candidate who promised to submit a sane budget and would pardon all tax offenders if the budget wasn't passed.

It's nice to see that the option isn't off the table anymore. Thanks Obama!

Anonymous Stilicho November 25, 2014 12:41 PM  

Please don't delete that Markku.

Blogger Rabbi B November 25, 2014 12:43 PM  

I am SO calling that number!

Blogger Rabbi B November 25, 2014 12:44 PM  

The answer to my prayers ....

Blogger Rabbi B November 25, 2014 12:45 PM  

Truth is indeed stranger than fiction.

Anonymous Jack Amok November 25, 2014 12:48 PM  

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Anonymous Dichromium Cob November 25, 2014 2:55 PM  

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Blogger Miguel D'Anconia November 25, 2014 3:05 PM  

I've never understood how anyone can consider obongo intelligent. Hearing him speak without the teleprompter is painful. He's incapable of stringing together a complete sentence without an um or an ah. His degrees are strictly the result of affirmative action, not scholastic achievement. I'm not shocked in the least at his retard answer.

Anonymous Legion November 25, 2014 3:14 PM  

buzzardist November 25, 2014 8:22 AM
"Obama hasn't directly defied the Supreme Court yet in quite the same way, but I'm sure he'll leap at the chance to set a precedent for that, too."

There is the old Andrew Jackson line, "How many battalions does the supreme Court have?"

VD, are you Cherokee?

Blogger FALPhil November 25, 2014 3:20 PM  

I am going with #19 for POTUS, and if you subscribe to #DreadIlk on Twitter, I will use my executive authority not to prosecute you if you do not pay your taxes. If you are DreadIlk on Twitter, and you own a business and do not want to participate in Obamacare, I will exempt you from prosecution.

Anonymous VD November 25, 2014 3:26 PM  

VD, are you Cherokee?

No.

Blogger Rabbi B November 25, 2014 4:07 PM  

" . . .and you own a business and do not want to participate in Obamacare."

Some will need #22, I imagine.

Blogger Hd Hammer November 25, 2014 5:17 PM  

"..how SJWs have absolutely no ability to grasp logical consequences.."
Would love to see their reaction once they realise they have this trait in common with hardcore rightwingers..I'm talking neo nazi hardcore.

Blogger Tom Kratman November 25, 2014 6:23 PM  

"Of course, but in a world with leftist politics, the politicization of everything is also a given".

Well...you become what you fight; it's us, too, now, even if we didn't start it. Of course, the left misses that, while they're perfectly competent to running Gulags, re-education centers, death camps, and the like, _we_ are a lot better at war.

Blogger Robert What? November 25, 2014 8:07 PM  

I would say that the likelihood of a Republican government trifecta lowering taxes or spending - except maybe by a token amount - is close to zero.

Anonymous MendoScot November 25, 2014 8:54 PM  

By the way, if anyone wants to see a rather creative use of the pardon power, go on and read Caliphate. Oh, go ahead; it's free.

Thank you. I downloaded A Desert Called Peace when it was free, and I will pay for the rest of the series when I have time to read it.

Anonymous TheVillageIdiot(Ret.) November 25, 2014 10:06 PM  

_we_ are a lot better at war.

Yes!
Pray you never see the WASP go full Saxon.

DannyR

Blogger Tom Kratman November 25, 2014 10:22 PM  

It's not just the WASP.

Anonymous Jack Amok November 25, 2014 10:57 PM  

Well...you become what you fight; it's us, too, now, even if we didn't start it.

Unavoidably. As long as leftists have a voice, every damn thing, right down to the shirts we wear and the toilets we use, will be political. If even one barbarian is allowed to roam the city free, it won't be civilized.

Of course, the left misses that,

To a man with a hammer... the only thing the left is good at is cheating, playing by Marquis de Sade rules while their opponents stick to the Marquess of Queensberry. So they go with it and hope it will last. I suspect the more intelligent of them realize it won't but think maybe they'll be dead before things turn.

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