Monday, November 10, 2008

Executive Orders

Barack Obama has released a statement to the effect that he is going to "undo" a great many of the Bush executive orders, ones damaging to the environment and such, by issuing executive orders of his own countering them. Many are cheered by the news, but I find it rather disturbing. The fact that one agrees with, or is of the same party as, the executive issuing orders does not make it any better that he is doing so.

Our founding fathers did not design our form of government to be one that was run by a President issuing orders. I seem to recall Obama promising to abolish the "unitary executive" theory; assuring us that he "understood the constitution because he had taught the constitution." I have never taught the constitution, have never read it from start to finish that I can recall, but I do not believe it contains anything about governing by means of presidential executive order.

I'm beginning to worry about just how much the times are changing.


  1. Note the he proposes UNDOING executive orders done by Bush. I agree with your point, but Bush is the one who is the problem (although most presidents take advantage of their "last days" to get their will done with executive orders). I have a problem with the executive orders, but not with undoing them, even if it takes another executive order to accomplish that.

  2. Anonymous11:32 AM

    If it takes an executive order to undo another one, well, maybe that's what has to be done. But, in any case (or all cases) it needs to be done carefully and wisely, otherwise it will be a governance by fiat and whim, rather than by law. Even if you;re trying to undo bad decisions.

    And I also thought it was a bad idea for (any) president elect to advertise what they were going to do in advance (in terms of exectutive orders). Hey, this is tactics 101.. in politics or in war. or whatever...