Friday, January 31, 2014

Executive Order Debate? Has Cable News Gone Mad? And what about Bush's mind boggling "Unitary Executive" idea?

If you ask any Republican if they remember the Bush/Cheney argument for the "unitary executive," where Bush would have had ultimate power over everything...they don't remember. I remember it well, and so did Barney Frank in this rare public mention. From Al Sharpton yesterday:

Another phony issue, another major distraction; despite the history of Republican presidential executive orders that should have stopped this media driven debate cold, the conservative low information voter welcomes just one more thing to bash our socialist, undocumented first black Kenyan born president. Of course it has nothing to do with racism or their inability to tolerate another biracial Cheerio's ads.
BloombergNews: In the aftermath of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address, there is a lot of confusion about the phrase “executive actions.” “Executive orders,” issued by the president personally, often involve large-scale, government-wide matters.

Executive orders are nothing new. In his first five years, Obama issued 167 executive orders -- a lower rate than George W. Bush (291 over eight years), Bill Clinton (364 over eight years), George H.W. Bush (166 over four years), Ronald Reagan (381 over eight years), or for that matter Dwight Eisenhower (486 over eight years). 

In the general category of “executive action,” much of the most important work comes from “regulations,” which typically have the force of law.

Before they are finalized, significant regulations are subject to careful scrutiny within the executive branch, and also to a process of public comment. They must also comport with the law. For this reason, it is misleading -- a kind of rhetorical trick -- to suggest that they are “bypassing Congress.” On the contrary, Congress has previously authorized them through legislation. Most of them are not subject to serious legal challenge.

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