Well, as to the first part, op-ed contributors Eric A. Posner and Adrian Vermeule state that it would be perfectly Constitutional, and offer an extremely dubious rationale
PRESIDENT OBAMA should announce that he will raise the debt ceiling unilaterally if he cannot reach a deal with Congress. Constitutionally, he would be on solid ground. Politically, he can’t lose. The public wants a deal. The threat to act unilaterally will only strengthen his bargaining power if Republicans don’t want to be frozen out; if they defy him, the public will throw their support to the president. Either way, Republicans look like the obstructionists and will pay a price.
So, the people would supposedly rally around King Barack? Hey, remember when Liberals had a problem with Bush supposedly acting in a unilateral manner?
Where would Mr. Obama get his constitutional authority to raise the debt ceiling?
This should be good – Constitutionality in Liberal World
Our argument is not based on some obscure provision of the 14th amendment, but on the necessities of state, and on the president’s role as the ultimate guardian of the constitutional order, charged with taking care that the laws be faithfully executed.
So, if Obama thinks it is a necessities of state that every drive a hybrid, could he order that? But, that provision in the 14th, not too mention many other parts of the Constitution, puts it squarely at the feet of Congress, not the president, to pass the laws. The President does not pass laws: he is Constitutionally bound to follow the laws that Congress passes, after he signs them. Section 5 of the 14th lays it out. Perhaps a liberal should read the whole thing at some point.
When Abraham Lincoln suspended habeas corpus during the Civil War, he said that it was necessary to violate one law, lest all the laws but one fall into ruin. So too here: the president may need to violate the debt ceiling to prevent a catastrophe — whether a default on the debt or an enormous reduction in federal spending, which would throw the country back into recession.
A deadlocked Congress has become incapable of acting consistently; it commits to entitlements it will not reduce, appropriates funds it does not have, borrows money it cannot repay and then imposes a debt ceiling it will not raise. One of those things must give; in reality, that means that the conflicting laws will have to be reconciled by the only actor who combines the power to act with a willingness to shoulder responsibility — the president.
So, this is like the Civil War, and Obama can just decide to do whatever he wants? And, yeah, that excerpt is the entire rationale as put forth by uber liberals who are …… wait, law professors from the U Of Chicago and Harvard?
Obama should give this a whirl, then we could have something else to focus on: impeachment.