Author, actor, economist and all-around Renaissance Man, Ben Stein, wrote a harsh op-ed piece this past week about President Obama. Stein took Obama to task for acting in an imperial manner, stretching beyond the authority of the Constitution. We have seen several examples of this in the past eighteen months. Even the David Sanger of the New York Times details a list of how Obama has been strong-arming corporations since taking office. Firing the head of General Motors, forcing Chrysler into a merger, forcing GM and Chrysler to close dealerships, restricting executive pay at Wall Street firms, and forcing health insurance companies to rollback rates. The latest move to force BP to fork-over $20 Billion dollars into some dubious fund is only the latest in a series of such actions.

For a president who claims to have been educated at Harvard on Constitutional law, even later teaching it himself, to flaunt the Law of the Land in such a manner is shocking, to say the least. During this week’s meeting with BP executives, Obama had at the table Attorney General Eric Holder, who, under Obama’s direction, has already begun a criminal investigation against BP. There is also the subject of recent language used by Administration officials, such as “putting the boot to the throat” of BP, and Obama himself saying he’s looking for, “who’s ass to kick”.

The bully-pulpit of the presidency is not intended to serve a position to be a bully. The reason it’s called a “pulpit” is to inspire moral leadership. To define right and wrong, justice versus injustice. Carrying out a range of activities that defy or exceed the limits of his Constitutional authority does not endear neither confidence or moral leadership. This is why Obama’s poll numbers continue to slide downward, both here at home and abroad.

Since taking office, Obama’s economic policies have not helped reverse the Crash of 2008. Unemployment is still high, credit is still tight and GDP growth has been sluggish at best. Meanwhile, he has spent faster and more freely than all other previous administrations combined, from George Washington to George W. Bush. Even all that spending has only served to put us deeper in debt.

With the upcoming G20 summit, Obama addressed his unhappiness to the other world leaders that they should refrain from austerity and keep on spending more money. In Europe, the nations there are bound to the Maastricht Treaty, legally binding them to keep deficit spending at or below 3% of their GDP. Not only does Obama disregard our own laws under our Constitution, but he thinks little of the laws of other nations.

His one major accomplishment in his first eighteen months in office, Obama’s health care plan, also stretches the limits of the Constitution, Forcing citizens to buy private insurance or be penalized by the government through the IRS. One can also say it is bad enough that with health care, as well as many other Federal provisions, Washington mandates how the “several states” must spend their money. Now it’s trickling further down, mandating to individual citizens how they must spend their money.

If asked to grade Barack Obama on his first eighteen months in office, I’d have to give him a D-minus, and even that may be generous. The violence in Iraq and Afghanistan has yet to decline. We are no safer here at home than we were before his taking office. Illegal immigration is still a huge problem, probably made worse now by the announcement this week that the Federal government will challenge Arizona’s SB1070 law in court. The economy is still a mess. The environment is in even worse shape now, especially in the Gulf of Mexico. I suppose if he had exceeded his Constitutional authority and actually corrected some of these problems, we might not mind his feeble attempts at dictatorship. But since he’s failed at all of them, how would you grade his first eighteen months?