“So this is how liberty dies, to thunderous applause.”

With respect to the fictional Sen. Amidala, truer words were seldom spoken, as we have seen since President Obama unilaterally declared de facto amnesty for at least 800,000 and as many as 3 million young illegal immigrants.

The praise from the Left and in the servile media has been loud and long, with President Obama’s election ploy the subject of editorials, talk shows and Time magazine’s Monday cover (which was unveiled the day before the announcement in yet another obvious case of media connivance).

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio villaraigosa was ecstatic: “This is the right thing to do. I applaud the president for doing it.”

New York Mayor and menu planner Michael Bloomberg said, “Ending deportations of innocent young people who have the potential to drive tomorrow’s economy is long overdue.”

The New York Daily News trumpeted in an effulgent editorial, “Obama dreams big,” while the New York Times praised him for “seizing the initiative” (not to mention the throne).

Opposition has been muted, in some cases by the opposers themselves, in other cases by the media.

Mitt Romney, who admittedly does need to tread somewhat cautiously, came out with a flaccid condemnation of Obama’s maneuver as “political,” which the White House denied.

(It’s easy to see why we conservative types are so excited about the possible Romney Administration.)

John McCain said the maneuver was an attempt to “divert attention from very bad news the president’s had for the last three or four weeks,” and he called it “a rather serious step.” In McCain’s closest brush with a spine, he did manage to squeeze in the word “dictating” in discussing Obama’s executive order.

Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, said, “The president’s job is to build consensus on tough issues, not pick and choose what laws he enforces based on campaign polling data.”

It’s also not his job to crown himself emperor, Rob.

You have to look further afield to find any expressions of the outrage that all Americans should be feeling today.

Sen. Chuck Grassley was getting warmed up: “The president’s action is an affront to the process of representative government by circumventing Congress and with a directive he may not have the authority to execute.”

Sen. Rick Santorum showed why he’s too hot for the GOP leadership to handle by concisely stating his condemnation of the president: “Today, President Obama blatantly ignored our Constitution, the role of Congress in making laws, and the separation of powers. He showed us all that he believes he is above the Constitution and the law on health care, marriage, religious freedom and now immigration. President Obama’s ideology, his inability to lead and build consensus, and his political self-interest guide his policies rather than the public interest. The contribution of immigrants to our country is central to our success, but so is the Constitution and the rule of law.”

Bingo. We have a winner.

Rep. Steve King of Iowa also got it right: “Americans should be outraged that President Obama is planning to usurp the constitutional authority of the United States Congress and grant amnesty by edict to 1 million illegal aliens. There is no ambiguity in Congress about whether the DREAM Act’s amnesty program should be the law of the land. It has been rejected by Congress, and yet President Obama has decided that he will move forward with it anyway. President Obama, an ex-constitutional law professor, whose favorite word is ‘audacity,’ is prepared to violate the principles of constitutional law that he taught.”

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer hit on the other key aspect of Obama’s power play — undermining the Supreme Court. “This unilateral act is a preemptive strike against the United States Supreme Court in its decision on Senate Bill 1070 which may come as early as this Monday. It doesn’t take a cynic to recognize this action for what it is: blatant political pandering by a president desperate to shore up his political base.”

There’s another potential outcome here that deserves mentioning, and that is an effort to blunt fallout from Obama’s battle with the Catholic Church. The church has filed suit against the administration over another of Obama’s unilateral declarations — that it be required to carry employee health insurance that provides for abortions, sterilizations and contraceptives in violation of church moral teachings. Included with the Catholic archbishops’ documents in declaring their opposition to the policy, however, was a call for immigration reform.

Now with the church’s planned Fortnight for Freedom set to begin June 21, Obama may be trying to throw the bishops a bone in hopes of tempering Catholic outrage, coverage of which has already been all but banned from the media. If Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez’s reaction is any indication, it may work.

Regardless of liberal praises, what Obama did by declaring amnesty is an unmitigated disaster for this country for multiple reasons, including its effect on the economy.

The most crucial point, however, is that Obama has run the Constitution through. The Constitution has been trampled on, spat upon and torn by this administration, but this is a potential killing blow.

If one man can void the will of Congress and alter the law for millions of people with a mere stroke of his pen, and the act is allowed to stand, then what can he not do? What court decision, what motion of congress, what election will stop him if he chooses to ignore it?

With our leaders either in cahoots with Obama’s actions or simply too weak to stand up to him, it’s going to be up to the people of America to preserve the country.