Barack Obama

President Obama Warns Trump About Executive Orders, Unilateral Foreign Policy and War Making

The president warns president-elect against following in his path.

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MICHAEL REYNOLDS/EPA/Newscom

President Obama warned President-Elect Trump about overusing executive orders to get his domestic agenda through. In an interview with NPR that aired today, Obama explained that "the legislative process is always better" than an executive order, "in part because it's harder to undo." He also expressed concern about the concentration of power in the presidency when it comes to the war on terror, insisting his administration has imposed "guard rails internally" where the Congress has failed to do so, but dismissed concerns about domestic power as the fault of Congress and the product of a necessary bureuacracy.

Obama admitted Trump was "entirely within his lawful power" to use executive orders in the same manner he has, but insisted that his "strong preference" was always to legislate where legislation is possible. "In my first two years, I wasn't relying on executive powers, because I had big majorities in the Congress and we were able to get bills done, get bills passed," Obama noted. "And even after we lost the majorities in Congress, I bent over backwards consistently to try to find compromise and a legislative solution to some of the big problems that we've got."

Obama brought up his immigration executive order, insisting he had only resorted to it after failing to get Congress to pass a bill, and pointed to the Senate passing a version of the bill as support for his executive order, which deprioritized deportations for illegal immigrants identified by the administration as low risk.

"So my suggestion to the president-elect is, you know, going through the legislative process is always better, in part because it's harder to undo," Obama said. Executive orders, as well as executive agreements like the Paris climate accord or the Iran nuclear deal, can be unilaterally dismantled just like they are unilaterally imposed. Obama called that "part of the democratic process," but the expansion of presidential powers through methods like the executive order is actually a subversion of the democratic process. While President Obama framed the legislative process as something he personally preferred to the executive order, the legislative process is not something that ought to be bypassed by executive action. That the last century has seen the legislative process increasingly ignored in favor of executive action and bureaucratic feat is a bug in the republican system, not a feature.

Asked directly whether he thought the presidency had grown too powerful, Obama separated foreign policy from domestic policy. He pointed out that the current military campaign against ISIS was being waged under the authority of the post-9/11 authorization for the use of military force. "The concern I have right now is because we're in a nontraditional war," Obama explained. "It's what we call the war on terrorism, although terrorism to some degree is a tactic. We're in a war against a non-state, a set of non-state actors that are operating in the shadows, are in nooks and crannies and crevices around the world."

"The danger is that over time, Congress starts feeling pretty comfortable with just having the president do all this stuff and not really having to weigh in," Obama continued, insisting on issues like drones and the National Security Agency, his administration had imposed guardrails internally where Congress has failed to do so—Obama did not articulate whether acting without the explicit authority of Congress was constructive in the first place.

On domestic policy, Obama resisted the idea that the presidency has grown too powerful. "The truth is that, you know, there hasn't been a radical change between what I did and what George Bush did and what Bill Clinton did and what the first George Bush did," Obama insisted. "It's, you know, the issue of big agencies, like the Environmental Protection Agency or the Department of Labor, having to take laws that have been passed, like the Clean Air Act, which is hugely complicated and very technical, and fill in the gaps and figure out our 'What does this mean and how do we apply this to new circumstances?' That's not new."

"Having federal bureaucracies and federal regulations, that's not new," Obama noted. What was new was "that Congress has become so dysfunctional, that more and more of a burden is placed on the agencies to fill in the gaps, and the gaps get bigger and bigger because they're not constantly refreshed and tweaked."

Obama is, in part, correct. George W. Bush was a disaster on federal regulations, just as he was a disaster on government spending. Yet the assumption that federal regulations are necessary, proper, or constitutional is a dangerous ones—by one account federal regulations have made Americans 75 percent poorer. The passage of complex laws that leave major fill-in-the-blanks for regulators are a big part of the problem, as is the drive to keep them "updated" without further action by Congress. What Obama misidentifies as "dysfunction" is actually a reflection of a politically divided and uncertain populace. Gridlock is good for government—and it's a feature, not a bug, of a republican system.

That point is missed by today's post-Trump chicken littles. Trump is precisely such a threat to the republican system because of the decades of work to dismantle it that preceded him. In an op-ed in The New York Times today, Paul Krugman explains "how republics end," drawing parallels with ancient Rome. Comparisons to Rome are nothing new. We did a segment on it on Judge Napolitano's Freedom Watch five years ago. Krugman notes Rome transformed from a republic into an empire in large part because of Romans privileging strong rulers to the rule of law. Such privileging in contemporary politics is nothing new. How exactly did Krugman think President Obama having "a pen and a phone" fit into a republican system? What did it say about the health of the republic?

The newfound concern for the Republic expressed by liberal thinkers like Paul Krugman ought to be welcomed. Recognizing how the republican system of government is being threatened is an important first step in preserving it—but such thinkers, who have too often been boosters of big government and unilateral executive action when they agree politically with the person holding the presidency, need to also recognize and acknowledge their role in getting us here. It's the best way to move forward if the concern for the republic is authentic, and not just more partisan posturing, as much of Republicans' concern for limited government has turned out to be now that they've got a strong man of their own on his way into the Oval Office.

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  1. OK, so Trump should only issue broad and legally-dubious executive orders if Congress fails to give him what he wants.

    Thanks, Obama.

    1. So my suggestion to the president-elect is, you know, going through the legislative process is always better, in part because it’s harder to undo

      I’m reading this with my fingernails digging into my palms because I can’t believe we’re at a point where this doesn’t appall and frighten every single person in the country. To think that a president can govern the US by executive order is another step on the road to tyranny.

      Alexander Hamilton wouldn’t have been protesting Trump, he would be smacking Obama around for this attitude.

      1. I was with you up to the point where you didn’t insert ‘you know’ every other phrase. And using you know so often shows arrogance on his part that what he believes is without question.

      2. Hamilton was a Tory that picked the right side. A Hamilton presidency would have been, in his day, just as bad as an Obama one has been or a Trump one may well be.

      3. Or shooting him in a duel

  2. Oh shit ladies ‘n gentlemen.

    Looks like we may be hurtling towards years of trench warfare and constant shelling. I’m glad I’ve been practicing in Battlefield 1.

    I can get my gas mask on in record time now.

    1. How is Battlefield 1? The visuals look amazing, but I don’t have it yet.

      1. It is very satisfying to bayonet mofo’s on their. Lag can be an issue. Bonus points if you kill someone with a trench shovel. Overall it’s a game to get.

        1. *there
          Frigging edit button, how nice would it be?

        2. i’m in the top 40 for hatchet kills.
          get rekd, brits.

        3. How in the hell do you figure out the controls for BF-1 on Xbox one or PS4 if you’ve never played one of these first person shooter games before?

          1. Late, but in case you check back – there will be an Options menu item where you can remap the controls – but that also tells you what button does what by default.

      2. It’s very good. They’ve done a good job with the mechanics dealing with WWI weapons. Of course if you’re a WWI history buff, there are a lot of exotic weapons that are a tad overrepresented, but that’s probably because if everyone was running around with a bolt action rifle it might not have been very fun.

      1. It’s Gravy, not shit!

    2. It’s just one Archduke, I mean ambassador…

    3. I’ve been playing a round of EU4 as Muscovy/Russia recently to celebrate their apparent total domination of the world now. The Crimean hordes ended up vassals of the Ottomans and were absorbed into their empire. Now I’ve got eighty thousand angry Turks sitting on my border and I have no allies.

      Somehow I sympathize with the Russians at present time.

      1. You know who else sympathizes with the Russians…

        1. Can’t think of anybody, really.

        2. ….Sting circa 1985? Sort of?

      2. There’s no option to hack their elections?

        Complain to the devs.

        1. It’s the 1500s, we’re both ruled by absolute monarchs. Mostly to prevent election hacks.

          1. Well, there’s always the low tech alternative of interfering with the succession.

            1. Which also sometimes involved hacking.

              1. *Polite applause*

        1. Yeah it totally spoiled their party to celebrate finding out something that would lead to Hillary’s indictment..

    4. Will Turkey continue to allow Russian ships to pass through the Bosphrous? I

      1. If Turkey wants to invade Italy from the rear, will Greece help?

        1. +1 euphemism

        2. I always heard it “If Russia were to attack Turkey from the rear…” Plays better given the lack of love betwixt the relevant parties, IMNSHO.

          1. But, then they wouldn’t have “affirmative consent” every step of the way. And, we know how that comes out………….in the end. 😉

    5. Wow, there are live-as-it-happened photos. It’s freaky.

      1. Video of the whole thing. It’s not bloody, but very graphic. You can see the bullets exiting out his chest.

  3. …What was new was “that Congress has become so dysfunctional, that more and more of a burden is placed on the agencies to fill in the gaps, and the gaps get bigger and bigger because they’re not constantly refreshed and tweaked.”

    WE CAN’T HAVE GAPS.

    1. When he says “gaps”, I think he means “freedom”.

    2. Government is just the noxious, sticky road tar we use together.

    3. Also, I’m at work so I’m not visiting The Chive, but someone should post a Mind the Gap link

      1. Those photos tend to be the most frequently ‘shopped on The Chive. A lot of those gaps aren’t for real.

  4. Obama brought up his immigration executive order, insisting he had only resorted to it after failing to get Congress to pass a bill,

    I heard this on NPR this morning and was a bit shocked at the arrogance. So if Trump can’t Congress to pass HIS immigration bill, then executive action is perfectly justified? Is that really the argument we’re making? If the president can’t get Congress to act in the way he wants them to, then executive action is cricket?

    1. Yeah noticed that. Also he pointed out how he didn’t use executive orders when he had large majorities in congress.

      The man is just not that smart.

      1. Or a great statesman because a great thinker and statesman is able to cross ideological lines and convince his opponents his idea or policy is good for the people and a nation. It’s how we judge the greatness of a leader.

        And Obama clearly isn’t one. He just believes his idea was necessary, was too lazy or inept to fight for it and took an easy way out because fuck you that’s why.

        1. George Fucking W Booooshitler of all people scrapped his plans for social sec reform when it didn’t fly and still got plenty of legislation passed on a bi-partisan basis. I don’t support most of it, but he was able to reach across and get shit done. Compare to Obama, he was a master negotiator.

          1. I only wish presidents didn’t get any shit done. Except maybe in a time of war, God forbid.

          2. Maybe it would have been better to have a unilateral reform of social security than a bipartisan invasion of Iraq…

    2. It would be galling if it were even a little bit surprising.

    3. Trump doesn’t need to take executive action on immigration. He can just enforce the law as it is written. The people who are here illegally can be legally deported. And if you read the refugee requirements strictly, very few applicants qualify for it.

    4. For the left the ends always justify the means. Yes, the fact that he first tried the congressional route is a superficial nod to the constitutional legitimacy of making law in that way, but the progressive cause is more noble and pure than constitutional legitimacy or any notions of “the will of the people”.

      1. Obama is the will of the people. Therefore whatever he does is necessary to express that will.

  5. Obama’s view of executive orders reminds me of something from Batman vs Superman (Yes, I am one of those weirdos who actually loved that movie, while admitting it had a number of specific flaws).

    Lex Luthor explains why he needs the Kryptonite. If you have a silver bullet, then you don’t have to rely on the kindness of monsters.

    Obama is basically saying that executive orders are a totally legit way to get things done when Congress is a bunch of stubborn Republicans. But not when the President is a Republican.

    The Constitution was our silver bullet, so that we didn’t have to rely on the kindness of “monsters” (i.e. tyrants). Unfortunately, we seem to have given up our ability to use it properly.

    1. The Constitution is more like a diagram of a silver bullet. It shows you what you need, but on it’s own, without people who want to use it properly, it’s useless.

      1. The diagram for the gun that shoots the silver bullet is hidden on the back of the Seclaration of Independence.

        1. Then it too must be abolished. That is cleanly not protected by the first.

    2. They stopped fighting because they discovered their moms had the same first name.

      1. Scene:
        George Washington with his kryptonite cherry tree axe, his foot on Superman’s chest. Superman manages to wheeze out “You’re killing Martha! Save Martha.”

        George: WHY DID YOU SAY THAT NAME!?

        1. So the twist is Superman is George Washington’s son? :p

          Well, if you can have Abe Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, why not.

          1. “Abe Lincoln, Vampire Hunter”

            Is that as horrible as it sounds?

            1. I watched it on a late night movie channel once and don’t remember anything about it. So by my reckoning it’s either forgettable or brain-bleachingly bad. Likely the former.

            2. I watched almost half of it, and it is worse than it sounds.

          2. That was actually a fucking AWESOME movie. The vampire one, that is…

            1. Huh, it was on the other day but I didn’t record it. Maybe next time I see it on.

            2. I don’t remember much detail from it, but I do remember having a good time watching it. Just don’t take it seriously. If you go to movies to admire the lighting and quiet introspection, fuhgeddaboutit. Just laugh and whoop and holler and have fun.

    3. Yes, I am one of those weirdos who actually loved that movie

      This is why we need to curb pagan immigration.

      1. I liked the movie. I also liked Ben Affleck as Batman. Loved Wonder Woman.

        1. I also liked Suicide Squad although thought Will Smith was lame in that.

        2. Affleck as Batman was actually the best part of the movie, but goddamn is the script bad.

          1. Well you start out with the premise that Batman could survive even a slap fight against the Man of Steel and you’ve already put yourself in a corner.

            1. Yeah, but that was part I actually think Snyder did a great job of. Initially, Superman doesn’t want to kill Bruce. So he holds back. But when he is getting real pissed, and just about decides to actually kill him to save his mom, then comes the kryptonite.

              I know the whole Martha thing bothers people, but their mothers names have been the same for decades. And, in this iteration of Batman, his mom’s death still haunts him. Hearing something so unexpected from Superman I think could very well be a shock to him. And since one of the main points is that Bruce is a good man, who was turning cruel, I don’t think it is a stretch to shake him up and pause just long enough to see the pieces come together.

              But hey, my first Halloween costume was Batman, and he has been my favorite hero my entire life.

          2. I hated the idea of Affleck as Batman when it was announced. But he nailed it. Gal Gadot is a beautiful woman, and did a great job in the limited time she had. But, I struggle with the fact that her physical presence just doesn’t jibe with the character.

        3. Does she get kinky with her Lasso of Truth?

          1. She’s freakin’ hot.

      2. I watched it recently. It was not a terrible movie, but it was so random and disjointed at times that I don’t know how it could be loved by anyone.

        1. If you were a fan of the comic genre the movie tried to cram years of plot into a single movie, and did it poorly. Without the background the movie was just too much disjointed crap happening all at once along with some really illogical crap going down.

          1. I don’t disagree. It was a damn near impossible task trying to connect MOS to the Justice League with only 1 movie (2 if you count Wonder Woman, but that will stand quite a bit on its own). But, I don’t think another Batman origins story would have worked.

            I have watched it at home a number of times, and some of the problems I originally had with it, actually became clearer. I definitely had problems with pieces of it (Barry’s time travel part was incredibly hard to understand in the theatre, and it wasn’t even entirely clear it was Barry Allen in the first place, which it should have been to the viewer). The dialogue at times was disjointed (for example some of the talking heads about Superman seemed completely off-topic). And sometimes, the scheming of Luthor behind the scenes was almost too subtle for a movie with so much going on. It kind of pulled together at the end.

            But, I admit I have always been a DC guy, and to finally have the Justice League done in live action in a way that isn’t cartoonish is awesome to me.

            1. I think the only other thing that DC may have tried to do, was do a MOS 2 where Luthor is introduced, and starts to develop him as the bad guy. Or his first attempt, might not have so clever. Then near the end, see Bruce Wayne come into the picture, and give Luthor an idea. Then Batman vs. Superman wouldn’t have had to do so much in 1 movie. But, DC was already way behind compared to Marvel, so I don’t think WB would have patience enough to do that.

              Overall, I think they could have tightened it up a bit, but with the constraints they had to work with (albeit, their own fault), it was a very good effort.

              And based on the trailer, I think they are going to get Justice League right (“so, you’re fast.”)

          2. That, I think, was its biggest failure. Way to much story for one film.

    4. Yeah and then he unleashes a fcking monster.

  6. Obama will go down in history as an insignificant President and part of that is because of his heavy reliance on executive orders.

    Executive orders, non-ratified treaties, can all disappear with the President that latched onto them.

    Things that defy economic reality like Dodd-Frank and ObamaCare, likewise, disappear when they become more trouble then they’re worth.

    Will there be anything left of Obama’s legacy after Trump has been in office for 100 days?

    I doubt it.

    If and when Iran tests a nuclear device, I suppose that will be what’s left of Obama’s legacy.

    1. Trump could wipe away much of Obama’s legacy in the first 100 days all by himself, I think.

      Anything that requires Congress (OCare repeal?) is much iffier.

      Reason might work up an article on the President’s ability to simply cancel (or functionally cancel by amendment), agency regulations. What, if any, are the constraints on this? Because this is probably the biggest single libertarian issue on the table – the metastatic, seemingly unstoppable growth of the bureaucratic state.

      What we have now, unfortunately, is a ratchet that only turns one way – functionally, if any branch of government thinks its Constitutional, then it gets done. Roberts pretty well wrecked the judicial brake on that ratchet with his extreme deference in the OCare case. What we are supposed to have is a ratchet that turns the other way – if any branch of government thinks its unconstitutional, then it doesn’t happen. The agencies are one of the big reasons the ratchet is reversed, IMO.

      1. “Because this is probably the biggest single libertarian issue on the table – the metastatic, seemingly unstoppable growth of the bureaucratic state.”
        I absolutely agree.

    2. Things that defy economic reality like Dodd-Frank and ObamaCare, likewise, disappear when they become more trouble then they’re worth.

      That remains to be seen

      1. In addition to the problems with escalating premiums, huge deductibles, insurers fleeing the exchanges, etc., the reinsurance authorization ends this year.

        If you thought things were bad before, just wait until there’s no more pool to help insurers with their magnificent losses.

        ObamaCare cannot survive in its current form. They might not change it unless they had to, but they don’t have any choice at this point. It’s killing the insurers. It’s crushing the consumers.

        Dodd-Frank was never long for this world anyway. I’ve long argued around here that there’s a regulation cycle that moves in phase but against the credit cycle. When the credit bubble bursts, the regulators rush in, but that tends to get dismantled when Americans want their credit again. When times are relatively good, few politicians are brave enough to stand between banks that want to lend and voters who want to buy a new home. All that legislation succeeded in doing was making it harder for banks to lend at precisely the time when the economy was starved for credit.

    3. Syria collapsing, Russia and China emboldened, Cuba’s immiseration cemented in place…

    4. “Obama will go down in history as an insignificant President …”

      Eventually.

      But he will be around and mouthing off for years to come about his great legacy with lots of aid and assistance from the liberal mainstream media.

      1. The hagiographies in thirty years are going to be fun. “We can’t actually point out anything he did or any lasting effects he had, but he was the first black president… and quite possibly the last, at least for a couple more generations. Also, Republicans thwarted his grand dream.”

    5. Everything you said is probably true, except the first phrase. That detestable man will have a statue on the mall within 20 years, probably within 10. Lincoln memorial, Jefferson memorial, Washington monument, Obama colossus straddling the Potomac. Throw up a bit in your mouth, then get used to it.

      PS – If HRC had won, we’d have two statues by 2030, like the fucking Argonath.

      1. They didn’t finish the monument to Crazy Horse, I don’t think. Maybe we can just chisel over it with Obama’s face.

    6. If and when Iran tests a nuclear device

      You let a little stupid show. Better put that thing away before people catch on.

    7. “Will there be anything left of Obama’s legacy after Trump has been in office for 100 days?”

      I was tempted to reply ‘thousands upon thousands dead in a Persian dominated Middle East’ but realized that’s not exactly a new thing.

  7. Best TROLL ever, or just least self-aware human being of ALL TIME?

    Please vote…

    1. I’m voting the latter. I think the guy actually does sort of spout this shit without any actual malice. I think he’s one of those sorts who just knows that what he’s doing is the right thing to do. And he knows the Republicans know it. So, if he does it by Executive Order, it’s all good. He’s done the right thing and spared them the embarrassment of having to go to their voters and explain why he’s right and they’re wrong.

    2. I think he really thought he was doing the world some good.

      And that’s about the meanest thing you could say about him.

      You could say the same thing about a retard who burned the house down trying to boil an egg.

      1. Except that, being actual nutritious food, cooking an egg is an attempt to do an objective good.

        Would that Obama’s ‘goals’ were remotely so.

    3. Latter, Obama’s basically been a textbook example of narcissistic personality disorder for years. His petulance and lack of self-awareness speaks volumes.

      1. Latter, Obama’s basically been a textbook example of narcissistic personality disorder for years.

        THIS!!!!!!

      2. It’s only a personality disorder if it interferes with your life/causes you real harm.

        Most of us are poorly served by excessive narcissism, but there are others – surgeons, fighter pilots, etc. – where it is almost a requirement.

      3. This is similar to something I’ve been thinking about for years.

        You have to have some narcissistic tendencies to want to be President period. The job is just to big and consequential for someone want otherwise.

        Looking at the Presidents post-Reagan, both Bush’s are sort of the “I’m the best man for the job so it is my civic duty to be President” type. Bill Clinton just loved politics and being President is the biggest political job in the world.

        The impression I got from Obama is the being President validates his opinion of himself — the most important job in the world needs the most important person in the world, himself.

        I realize I”m kind of broad-stroking it here but this is just my impression.

  8. Both of those guys have awful posture.

    1. They both look like they have to drop the Huxtable kids off at the pool as soon as that meeting is over.

      1. Is that what Cosby drugged all those women to do? No wonder they were so upset.

        1. Kinda makes you never want to eat a Puddin’ Pop again, don’t it?

          1. Didn’t think they made those anymore…..

            Do you remember the Philidelphia Ice Cream Snack Bars?!?!?

            Jesus, those things were the TITS….

        2. Roofie plus Ex-lax?!

          Death. Penalty.

      2. CitezenRacist X.

    2. They’re both manspreading. So cis-micro-aggressive!

      1. That’s not actually a thing, is it?

        1. Of course it is

  9. Never even stops to consider that inaction on the part of Congress is a sign that 1) we shouldn’t be taking action to begin with or 2) there isn’t enough agreement on what action we should take, so maybe let’s sit tight for a while.

    People with power never stop to consider a path that doesn’t involve using that power.

  10. ” In an op-ed in The New York Times today, Paul Krugman explains…”

    Stopped reading right here.

    1. Why? Didn’t you take his excellent advice and sell all your stocks on 11/8, after it became apparent Drumpf was going to steal the election?
      He’s a fucking Oracle!

  11. This guy. He never ceases to amaze.

    He’s the ultimate ‘I didn’t do it – wink’ guy.

  12. The fucking balls on BO to say that shit. How stupid he thinks we all are.

    1. Half + of the voters seem happy to swallow his mendacious balderdash.

      1. you know who else swallowes balderdash?

  13. Obama admitted Trump was “entirely within his lawful power” to use executive orders in the same manner he has, but insisted that his “strong preference” was always to legislate where legislation is possible. “In my first two years, I wasn’t relying on executive powers, because I had big majorities in the Congress and we were able to get bills done, get bills passed,” Obama noted. “And even after we lost the majorities in Congress, I bent over backwards consistently to try to find compromise and a legislative solution to some of the big problems that we’ve got.”

    Obama brought up his immigration executive order, insisting he had only resorted to it after failing to get Congress to pass a bill…

    My preference is for you to voluntarily give me your wallet, but if you won’t cooperate I’ll sadly find it necessary to stab you in the face and take your wallet. But don’t blame me for the face-stabbing, it’s only your own intransigence that necessitates it.

    1. ***Applause***

  14. I just heard that Putin plans to send billions of dollars worth of armament to Armenia for some reason.

    1. from certain angles that shooter looks like Remy

  15. What Obama is saying here is actually more galling than it appears. He is not saying that Trump should refrain from doing new things via executive order. That would be bad enough. No, he is saying that Trump should not use his executive power to undo the things Obama did by executive order. Obama is all about the separation of powers and respect for Congress and that means Trump can’t undo his executive actions without going to Congress. The arrogance and double standard is epic even by Obama’s standards.

  16. Who the hell cares? Don’t go away mad Obama, just go away.

  17. Christ, what an asshole.

  18. Obama clearly sees the function of government, and of the president, as solving problems. See a problem that doesn’t seem to be resolving itself? That’s why we have government. Congress is preferred because it’s harder to undue, but EOs are still fine if they are solving problems. I mean, what would you have him do, not solve problems?

    The idea that, yes, actually, we would have him not try to solve problems because they may not actually be problems, there may not be a solution, we may not know the solution even if there is one, or that the solution we think we know will actually make the problem worse, never occurs to him. It’s the fucking hubris that infects our entire government (and of course it does, because when you have a hammer everything looks like a nail – especially to people who love using hammers). There is no problem that the right amount of scientific study, the right group of dispassionate experts, can’t solve. If they even understand what Hayek was trying to say, they’ll just claim he wasn’t bold enough.

    1. Obama clearly sees the function of government, and of the president, as solving problems.

      No, he doesn’t. He sees his primary function as rectifying grievances and injustices, real or imagined. Rewarding his friends (the people he likes, who he sees as being victims) and punishing his enemies (the people he hates and and who sees as being the aggressors and wrongdoers).

    2. Unfortunately, historians consider presidents who “get things done” are, by definition, better presidents. For history books, the deck is stacked against conservatives and libertarians who would consider a substantial dismantling of Leviathan a noble accomplishment.

    3. Sowell put this succinctly, something to the effect of: “govt doesn’t provide solutions it only provides trade-offs”.

      1. I wish more people understood this. The government doesn’t make anything; it only shifts resources around.

  19. Also, way to steal Derpetologist’s schtick with the alt-text, Eddie Kray.

  20. Obamas arguement is basically ‘1. congress 2. if that fails, executive order’. Does he really not think that its ok to just do nothing until you can get an agreement. Where is the checks and balances? Does congress pass congress orders when Obama doesnt do what they want?

    1. “Does he really not think that its ok to just do nothing until you can get an agreement.”

      The man is narcissistic to an extreme not recently seen:
      ” l’?tat est moi”

    2. I don’t know about you but, my checks don’t balance. And neither have any POTUS’ since….er……….long before my time.

      We’ve reduced the office to a benevolent dictatorship and we have only ourselves to blame.

  21. He said the same thing to Hillary over all her promises to abuse the power of the executive order to erode Constitutional rights.

  22. President Obama warned President-Elect Trump about overusing executive orders to get his agenda through.

    Jesus tittyfucking christ. I’ll echo Suthen: This prick cannot get out of office fast enough.

  23. Trump should definitely use EO to undo Obama’s EO’s, preferably one very short EO. On Obamacare he should follow obamas lead and just issue waivers to his supporters until the dems beg for repeal.

  24. Hitler warned Admiral Doenitz to not start a third front war.

    Mussolini warned the successors to not invade Ethiopia.

    Hirohito warned Akihito to not attack Hawaii.

    Napoleon warned his children to not attack Prussia.

    1. Oh sure, throw some relevant history on it. 🙂

  25. “He also expressed concern about the concentration of power in the presidency”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  26. ” ..you know, going through the legislative process is always better, in part because it’s harder to undo..”

    About as much honesty as you are ever going to get from Obama.

    How about it’s always better because in a representative republic it might actually better reflect the will and sentiment of the people???

    Not that a narcissistic asshole such as Obama might ever conceive of any principle that doesn’t revolve directly around him.

  27. Hmmm….it’s an interesting thought that Obama doesn’t actually see a problem with the way he operates because he sincerely thinks he’s doing good and solving problems.

    So Obama is like my Pomeranian. Always doing stupid shit and leaving a trail of messes, but without any malice or self awareness.

  28. Limited gummit when my team aint’ in power

    Unlimited gummit when my team is in power

    got ya.

  29. So, Obama to Trump: Do as I say, not as I do. Oh, and don’t undo anything I did for the last eight years?that would be just wrong. Gotta go, it’s tee time.

  30. Another great analysis Ed. This is the kind of journalism that brings me back to Reason.

  31. All hail the chief(s)!

  32. The newfound concern for the Republic expressed by liberal thinkers like Paul Krugman ought to be welcomed.

    No, it shouldn’t. It is entirely feigned and will be used solely to protect their sacred cows for the next 4 years; as soon as their party is back in control, they go back to demanding the expansion of govt power.

    Krugman already made his position on executive power abundantly clear. As far as I’m concerned, that is still his position regardless of what words ooze conveniently out of his piehole now, and that’s how he should be treated. If at some point in the future he takes a stand for limits on government power, on an issue where his own ox is getting gored, maybe I’ll consider his flip sincere. But we all know that’s never going to happen.

  33. “…liberal thinkers like Krugman…”

    173 comments already and no outrage over the oxymoron.

    1. Is being programmed still thinking?

  34. My take away from the photo, and the sub-text of the alt-text=Trump is finally giving Obumbles and his free advice the kind of respect it has always deserved and was never really given during his reign.

  35. “The danger is that over time, Congress starts feeling pretty comfortable with just having the president do all this stuff and not really having to weigh in”…but I thought you were a lame duck president for 4 years because Congress and the House were obstructionist racists and bigots?

  36. I Quit my office-job and now I am getting paid 99 USD hourly. How? I work over internet! My old work was making me miserable, so I was forced to try something different, 2 years after…I can say my life is changed-completely!

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  37. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail.
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  38. happy christmas

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  39. my friend’s sister makes $79 /hour on the laptop . She has been out of a job for 10 months but last month her payment was $19847 just working on the laptop for a few hours…

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  40. upto I looked at the paycheck saying $9861 , I accept that my father in law was like they say trully bringing in money in their spare time online. . there best friend haz done this less than 8 months and a short time ago repayed the dept on there appartment and bourt a great Citro?n 2CV . see at this site

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