David, You cannot lay the issue of executive overreach at Obama’s door. You could just as easily lay it at George W. Bush’s doorstep. Or Clinton’s, or Nixon’s, even Johnson’s and FDR’s. It’s a problem that has been growing with each successive administration — Democrat or Republican, Liberal or Conservative. How many Conservative voices were raised in opposition to Bush’s overreaches? A few, to be sure, but nowhere near the volume as was raised with Obama. It goes both ways.
The core of the problem is the Legislative branch. It has refused to check the executive power in many cases and, in too many cases, ceded its own power and authority to the executive. e.g. When was the last declaration of war? Then count the number of wars in which we’ve been engaged since. Why was Obama able to mount a massive drone strike policy? Because the Congress gave him the authority. Why did Bush set up secret rendition sites? Because the Congress gave him the authority.
You can go through the whole list of Executive Orders and Executive actions from any administration and find that a huge percentage were put in place because Congress either could not or would not act. Every time you cede power or liberty, it’s hard to get back.
Conservatives certainly talk a good game, but when it comes down to the hard work of scaling back government and regulations, the only ones they seem to care about are the ones that benefit the existing power structure and many of the same cronies, lobbies, and corporations Liberals favor.