Newsmax reported yesterday that “President Obama’s penchant for executive orders is leading the government down a dangerous path, and Congress should act to correct it, Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich, tells The Daily Caller.”
Yes, yet another Republican is saying that Obama must do what Congress tells him to do. And he did everything but stomp his feet and hold his breath to get his point across.
Of course, I went right to the Daily Caller in a panic that our Republic was about to collapse and discovered, to my dismay, that Obama “is setting the state for something very dangerous in the future” and that according to Amash, Congress must “step up and take charge and point out when the President is going beyond his constitutional powers.”
In other words, Republicans think the president, at least when he is a Democrat and a black man, has to do what Congress tells him to do. That this is not how the Constitution orders our government matters to Republicans not at all.
Watch Rep. Amash embarrass himself publicly courtesy of The Daily Caller:
I think it’s scary the direction the government is going, regardless of whether you have a Republican President or a Democratic President. We have an executive branch that is getting way too powerful, and President Obama is setting the stage for something very dangerous in the future.
I think as a Congress we have to step up and point out when the President is going beyond his constitutional powers, which is frequent, and we have got to do something about it and we haven’t done that as a Congress.
Oh dear, I thought. Not this again. We’ve seen this over and over, from Rand Paul (R-KY) to Mike Huckabee (who you know would write a whole slew of executive orders as president) to Steve Stockman (R-TX), to name just a few. And my colleague Muse wrote here just last week that “a cabal of House Republicans is calling for civil action against the President for “moving his administration in the direction of an imperial presidency.”
The Republican leading the charge, Representative Tom Rice (SC), introduced a House resolution directing the Republican-led chamber to bring action for “declaratory or injuctive (sic) relief to challenge policies and actions taken by the executive branch.” Co-sponsors of Rice’s resolution include the regular cast of Obama haters Michele Bachmann, Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), Tom Price (R-GA), Joe Wilson (R-SC) and Ted Yoho (R-TX); definitely not the best Constitutional minds in Congress.
What, did they miss George W. Bush entirely? Well, that would hardly be a new development now, would it? It turns out, if you look at the numbers (and what Republican these days will bother to do that?), President Obama has, where executive orders are concerned, actually limited the growth of an imperial presidency.
As Jason Easley reported last January, New York Magazine took a look at presidential executive orders and determined that far from acting like a king or a dictator, President Obama has been fairly moderate in his use of executive orders:
Obama has issued fewer executive orders per day in office than conservative heroes like George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, and Calvin Coolidge. In fact, you have to go all the way back to Grover Cleveland in the nineteenth century to find a president who has issued executive orders at a lower rate than Obama.
Yes, facts DO matter. Just not to Republicans. In the first four years of his presidency, George W. Bush issued 171 executive orders. President Obama issued 147. Yet to hear it, nobody else in American history had ever issued a single executive order until President Obama, as though it were some sort of Kenyan Muslim innovation.
All they had to do was ignore over a century of American history – and the Constitution – and hope the American people ignored them too.
As Muse pointed out ,some of this has to do with the audacity of a black man to get himself elected president. Who is a black man to issue an executive order? Another is the Republican insistence and reliance upon their made-up facts: that President Obama is not an American, that he is a Kenyan Muslim terrorist sympathizer, a communist (and impossibly, at the same time a Nazi), a demon, the anti-Christ, you name it.
It’s a wonder he has time to issue any executive orders, what with tending that massive watermelon patch Republicans imagine surrounds the White House.
Not that they’re racists, or anything.
The real problem is that President Obama, by issuing executive orders, can circumvent Republican obstruction of his administration. That cannot stop him from legally issuing executive orders. You would think President Bush’s example would be an impediment, but not to a party so well versed in ignoring or re-writing history, and assured of the complicity of the corporate media elite.
But if history can be re-written, so too can be the facts. Where there is nothing wrong with executive orders when issued by a Republican, they are suddenly a threat to our Republic when issued by a Democrat and President Obama is taken out of his context – that of the 43 presidents who have preceded him.
Republicans can claim that Obama doesn’t like how the Constitution works so he ignores it by issuing executive orders, but the truth is, the Constitution did not give Congress control of the Executive and it never intended Congress to hold the Executive hostage. If anyone has a problem with the Constitution, it is the Republicans now complaining about President Obama doing what every president for a hundred years before him has done. They complain that Obama ignores the Constitution, but the Constitution nowhere says a black president cannot do what a white president can do.
Just wait till a woman starts issuing executive orders.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.