For years we on the right have called Obama a want-to-be dictator – mainly due to his usurpation of the legislative branch through his reckless and unconstitutional use of executive orders. It seems that practically every month we discover Obama is doing another end around Congress, because, as he says, we just can’t wait for them.
So instead of living with the reality of his office and the limitations the Constitution places on the executive, he writes legislation with the stroke of his pen. It’s outrageous and possibly the No. 1 complaint Republicans have of our current president.
We all know, regardless of intention, this is not the way the founders set things up. This is truly the stuff of dictators. Even the king of England at the time of the American Revolution didn’t have such power over the British Parliament.
Imagine how much better shape our nation would be if the president, any president, was without the dictatorial authority to write executive orders. And apparently The Donald, now the self-professed conservative Republican standard bearer, agrees – or does he?
At a Jan. 7 rally in Burlington, Vermont, Trump exclaimed: “And now Obama – he’s got so little respect for the Republican leaders, that he just goes along and signs executive orders for everything,” for which the crowd rightfully boos. “No, no – it’s all executive orders – because that’s easier to do.” Trump then goes on to explain that, “the one good thing about an executive order is that the new president comes and with just a signature – they’re all gone.” To this he received roaring applause. Good for you, Mr. Trump!
That same week, on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Trump was asked if he generally likes executive orders. The reporter asks: “Let me ask you about executive orders in general. Like ’em, don’t like ’em – that the president uses them to go around Congress.”
Trump’s response: “Well, I don’t like ’em, and our country wasn’t based on executive orders. Nobody really knew that we even had an executive order, such a thing. It’s supposed to be you get along with Congress and you cajole and you go back and forth and everybody gets in a room and we end up with deals.” Trump then says that Obama has just given up on the process and “just goes and signs executive orders.”
By his words and his tone, any reasonable person would therefore conclude that Trump is dead set against executive orders. However, he does need to brush up on his American history. George Washington, our first president, signed eight executive orders, between 1789 and 1797. They were not of any major consequence, and he certainly didn’t sign them to “go around Congress.” Some were mere clarifications of congressional acts, and one was to officially recognize Thanksgiving Day.
Within a seven-day span in January, Trump had, in at least two stump speeches and a nation interview, railed against Obama’s use of executive orders. Yet within that same seven-day period in January he goes on “Meet the Depressed” (hat tip – Rush) with Chuck Todd, and Chuck broaches the topic of executive orders. Todd says, “You’re willing to use them too yourself.” “I’m not going to rule it out,” says Trump. The Donald then adds, “But I’m going to use them much better, and they’re going to serve a much better purpose than what he’s done.”
Well, you might say – maybe that was just tough talk. That was months ago. Maybe he has seen the light and changed his mind. He does that, don’t ya know.
Just last week on “Good Morning America,” George Snuffleupagus had the Trumpster on, fresh off his Indiana victory where he vanquished both Cruz and the mailman’s son. George asked him about his pick for VP. The Donald said, “I would like to have somebody who could truly be good with respect to dealing with the Senate and dealing with Congress – getting legislation passed. Working toward something where we’re not signing executive orders every three days like President Obama does.”
So there you go. He, like Obama, is going to the give the whole legislative thing a go, but if that doesn’t work, as much as he doesn’t want to, he’ll be forced to sign executive orders every three days because, you know, he must get “deals” done, no matter what.
But don’t worry, for Trump is “going to use them much better, and they’re going to serve a much better purpose than what [Obama’s] done.”
That’s good news. Instead of Obama, the malevolent dictator, we get to look forward to Donald Trump, the benevolent dictator. And I was worried.