Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Presidential Power

Query:  If a declaration that "we can't afford to wait for a paralyzed Congress to act" is sufficient authority for a president to enact sweeping change and determine new federal expenditures, what constrains the President from acting in any area where "common-sense" change is "necessary"?

Query:  If an executive order is a modest, or even bold, determination of executive policy, why would a president ever delay its implementation?

This morning it's guns.  Earlier, in a self-admitted (later ignoring the admission) overreach, it was immigration.

I happen to favor most of the policies implemented in the two executive orders I mention.

But it's MY job and especially the PRESIDENT's job, to teach, convince, persuade, cajole, or arm-wrestle the legislature to make the change.  Or to stay within traditional modern notions of executive power, perhaps the ones our current president once recognized, and implement the changes that you can.  But if those changes aren't big enough, a president can't just declare a problem too big to wait for Congress and then act unilaterally.  Checks and balances out the window.  For Donald Trump.  Or worse -- because make no mistake, we elect some doozies. . . .

And if you feel that an executive order was within the bounds of traditional notions of executive discretion, then ask yourself why they were delayed until some later date.  Should a president defer to a Congress when an action is within the executive's authority [and thus outside Congress' authority]?