President Obama’s decision to use signing statements to modify Congressional legislation directly attacks the ‘checks and balances’ to our government set up by the Founders. He is attempting to ‘accumulate more power in the Presidency’, using the claim that he ‘can basically change what Congress passed’ when it comes to legislation; Obama thinks that he has the right to indicate that he can ‘choose to interpret it this way, or that way’, depending on whether he agrees ‘with this part or that part’. In short, he wants to ‘make laws as he’s going along’, and ‘that’s not part of his power’.
Hey, if you don’t believe me, listen to this guy. He’s pretty vehement on the subject:
Just do it fast, before YouTube takes it down for whatever the excuse is this week.
You’ll notice that Obama’s flat rejection of the practice above varies from what was being put in print at various parts of the campaign: the Washington Post reported that Obama would continue to use the practice, only not anything like that awful George W Bush (I believe that a similar distinction was made at the time on FISA, Iraq, and detainee policy). This was not really covered during the campaign, mostly because it wasn’t helpful for Obama to explain why he was contradicting himself on this, but now we’re in the actual Presidency, and it looks like signing statements are fine after all.
I’m not entirely certain that I agree, by the way: I understand the central point of why Presidents use them, but I don’t quite trust ad hoc workarounds that are totally at the discretion of the executive. It’s not so much any individual use that worries, so much as the precedent itself. It’s also pretty hard to track, unlike actual legislation. That being said, this issue does remind us yet again that Jim Geraghty’s quip that “All statements from Barack Obama come with an expiration date. All of them.” remains true. Say what you like about former President Bush, but he has the virtue of consistency. We’re not yet a hundred days into this administration, and it’s looking unlikely that the same will ever be said of his successor…
Share on Facebook 1 1 SHARES Tonight on “The O’Reilly Factor” on Fox News, Donald Trump was the first guest, and at the beginning of his segment, Bill lightheartedly and briefly touched on EffGate. During the bantering exchange, Trump repeatedly denied that he used the actual word. However, since it was on video, this claim is verifiable. As they say in the business, let’s go | Read More »
Share on Facebook 1 1 SHARES It seems Donald Trump constantly re-tweeting white nationalists on Twitter has paid off. A group of white supremacists has formed a Super PAC and they are supporting Trump. Isn’t that lovely? From CNN: New Hampshire voters may be stunned to hear the latest robocall asking for their vote; it’s from white nationalists with a simple, disturbing message. “We don’t | Read More »
Share on Facebook 1 1 SHARES New Orleans has a habit, it seems, of being ignored by the press. At least, ignored when it comes to mass shootings. Or this case, attempted mass shooting. You may remember that, back in November, there was a mass shooting in the city which received virtually no national press. Now we have a story where not only did someone | Read More »
Share on Facebook 1 1 SHARES Hillary Clinton is the ultimate Washington DC insider. She has been there for over 20 years. She was a first lady. Then she was a Senator. Then she ran for President. Then she was a lousy secretary of state. Then she went and made tens of millions of dollars giving speeches thanks in large part to her status as | Read More »
Share on Facebook 1 1 SHARES With Iowa in the rearview and New Hampshire just around the corner, more and more people are lining up to take official sides, and Rubio is starting to run away with the endorsement game, for whatever that is worth. FiveThirtyEight’s endorsement tracker gives Rubio a clear edge over the rest of the field, as he is pulling away from | Read More »