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Tuesday, June 24, 2003
The liars club
There's nothing like one blogger who can't seem to figure out Google and another who hopes nobody else knows how to use it. We're talking about Ann at A Frustrated Artist and good ol' Bill Hobbs talking about Dick Gephardt. Let's start with Ann.
I just want to say that this is exactly the kind of thing that makes me not ever want to vote for a Democrat ever again; it makes me want to see the Democratic Party go down in vicious flames. When one of the nation's top Democratic politicians declares his contempt for the Constitution so openly, you know the sickness has spread into the mainstream.
Thing is, Bill Clinton (my least favorite person in this country, aside from serial killers and the like) actually governed this way. I forget where I saw the statistic, but the fact is he issued more executive orders than any President in history. While it was going on, it made me sick. The way his aide, Paul Begala, offhandedly characterized the power of executive order as "Stroke of the pen, law of the land. Kinda Cool" made me even sicker. The power of the executive order was designed to be used sparingly, not as a means to get around the Legislative and Judicial branches.
Clinton's abuse of this power, and Gephart's stated intent to similarly abuse it, should be well enough to demonstrate that the agenda of the Left is in opposition to the way the Founders set up our government to run.
Ann couldn't be bothered to actually look anything up. I mean, why let a few facts (as we will see) get in the way of a semi-coherent rant, or even let it go down in "vicious flames" for that matter. She forgot where she saw the statistic but, hey, this guy in line at the liquor store said his cousin told him that he thinks he heard it on either Fox News or maybe at the barbershop...so that's good enough for Ann to post. Don't look for her over at A Frustrated Historian any time soon.
Now on to Bill Hobbs, who should know better. Bill says:
Gephardt's Wish Was Clinton's Command
Ann over at a frustrated artist reminds us the President Bill Clinton issued executive orders at a blistering pace, often using them to circumvent the judicial and legislative branches of government.
I've been Googling trying to find out just how many EOs Clinton issued. Answer: 364.
Clinton issued a blizzard of EOs, in an effort to use presidential diktat to write into the law that which he couldn't achieve through the democratic legislative process. But he didn't issue more than any president in history. That honor falls to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, according to a phenomenal research paper on the history of executive orders by presidents all the way back to George Washington, published Feb. 21, 2001, by Todd F. Gaziano is Senior Fellow in Legal Studies and Director of the Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation.
Bill Googled alright...but he doesn't tell you everything that he found. Here's a list of Presidents since Hoover and the number of Executive Orders they signed. Let's see how Clinton's "blistering" "blizzard" matches up:
Hoover 1929-33-----------------1011 EO's
G.H.W. Bush 1989-93----------166
G.W. Bush 2001-03-------------110*
(*At his current rate and assuming that "W" finally gets elected for an additional 4 years, he is on track for approx. 340 executive orders)
So let's recap the two termers: Ike: 486.....Reagan: 381.....Bill Clinton: 364.
So...is Bill bad at math or just dishonest? Did I miss the part where Bill said, "Oh, I'm not counting Republicans in my little screed."? I mean the FDR mention was a semi-clever feint to keep people from fact-checking his ass, but you know us curious West Coast lefty elitists. As a former Governor of ours once said "Trust but verify".
Thanks for playing kids, it's been fun.
(UPDATE): Bill Hobbs is gracious enough to admit that, yes, he didn't list all the presidents. He does go on to link to Todd Graziano's paper regarding the quality of presidential executive orders. Fair enough. But, maybe it's me, I would prefer so see something on this topic by someone other than a paid flack at The Heritage Foundation. They seem, I don't know, kind of....partisan.
(UPDATE II): Prof. Pollkatz has more on EO's.
Ann the Frustrated Artist admits she brought this down on herself and then selectively quotes some emails she has received. I don't think that she gets it.
(SON OF UPDATE II: Bloggers Revenge): Jesse weighs in.