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Sunday, January 20, 2013

'Republicans accuse Obama of using position as president to lead country'

Gun Lovers Freak Over Obama’s Executive Actions

From the piece:

It is difficult to take these arguments seriously, but we’ve already learned that when Republicans can’t beat a Democratic president at the ballot box, they’re more than ready to impeach him. So let’s go through it one more time: Executive orders are commands the president gives to administrative agencies under his charge to take some type of action. They can be used to implement existing federal statutes the president is responsible for enforcing, and to carry out the president’s constitutionally granted powers, such as his role as commander-in-chief. The legal status of the president’s power to issue executive orders couldn’t be more clear. Presidents dating back to George Washington have issued executive orders. And the Supreme Court has clearly and consistently held that executive orders are constitutionally permissible.

Obama’s critics don’t seem to care that he has in fact issued fewer executive orders than any president in a century—including George W. Bush. (Remember him?) Yet now that Obama may want to use executive orders to do something his foes don’t like, they insist that such actions are a profound threat to democracy itself. This is despite the fact that the president’s executive actions don’t even rise to the level of “orders”; most are only recommendations to agencies or promises to do things that every president does, like nominate an agency head (here, to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which has been without a confirmed chief for years).


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