MENU

Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

'I've Got a Pen and I've Got a Phone': Obama's Executive Overreach Becomes Trump's Executive Overreach

The dangers of unchecked executive power.

In December 2007 presidential candidate Barack Obama told The Boston Globe that if he won the 2008 election, he would enter the White House committed to rolling back the sort of overreaching executive power that had characterized the presidency of George W. Bush. "The President is not above the law," Obama insisted.

Once elected, however, President Obama began to sing a different sort of tune. "We're not just going to be waiting for legislation," Obama announced. "I've got a pen and I've got a phone...and I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions."

White House / Flickr.comWhite House / Flickr.comObama's pen and phone did not sit idle. For example, despite the fact that the Constitution grants Congress, not the president, the authority "to declare war," Obama unilaterally declared war on Libya in 2011. Similarly, despite the fact that the Constitution requires the Senate to confirm all presidential appointments to high office, except in those limited circumstances in which the Senate is not available to act because it is in recess, Obama unilaterally placed multiple officials in high office without senatorial approval during a period in which the Senate was still in session.

To make matters worse, many of Obama's fervent liberal supporters pretended to see nothing wrong with such obvious abuses of executive power. For example, consider the behavior of the prestigious editorial board of The New York Times. Back in 2006, when George W. Bush had the reins, the Times published an unsigned editorial lambasting Bush for his "grandiose vision of executive power" and his foul scheme to sidestep the Senate and unilaterally install his nominees in high office. "Seizing the opportunity presented by the Congressional holiday break," the Times complained, "Mr. Bush announced 17 recess appointments—a constitutional gimmick."

But guess what the Times had to say a few years later when President Obama had the reins and he utilized the exact same gimmick? "Mr. Obama was entirely justified in using his executive power to keep federal agencies operating," the Times declared in defense of Obama's three illegal appointments to the National Labor Relations Board. (Those three NLRB appointments, incidentally, were ruled unconstitutional by a 9-0 Supreme Court.)

Perhaps you can see where I'm going with this. Once President-elect Donald Trump takes the oath of office in January 2017, he too will have a pen and a phone at his presidential fingertips. Should Trump grow weary of the constitutional limits placed upon him, and decide instead to ignore the Constitution and wield unilateral executive power, he won't exactly have far to look if he wants to find a recent presidential role model to emulate.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Yep, it's time for the Demopulicans and Republocrats to switch positions: time for the former to suddenly "rediscover" the importance of checks and balances, and the latter to suddenly "rediscover" the importance of a strong executive.

    Then the next time the WH changes hands, they'll switch again. Why does anybody believe one word these people say?

  • ||

    My biggest curiosity is to see if the anti-war left reappear. I'm betting that there will be protests even if there's no further escalation of conflict on foreign soils. What will happen if Trump closes Gitmo and gets all of our troops out of the middle east? I'm in no way predicting that, but the amount of derp from the left would be amazing. They would suddenly go all hawkish on us and pretend like there's no irony in it.

  • Chipwooder||

    Paper-mache heads are coming back in a big way, baby!

  • Wizard with a Woodchipper||

    too many in the anti war left weren't so much anti-war as they were anti-Bush.

  • Princess Trigger||

    I don't have a problem with them being anti-Bush (since he sucks) but wrapping themselves in peacenik garb like they give a fuck about wars in far places is grating.

  • Douchey defeats Trumpman, Jr.||

    Trump closing Gitmo would be the biggest troll move of all.

  • jschmidt||

    exactly. Liberals never saw a problem with his exceeding his executive powers and they applauded. But now they'll see the dangers anytime precedent is set. THe level of knowledge of the COnstitution in this country is a direct result of the failure of our education system.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    But now they'll see the dangers anytime precedent is set.

    Show me one progressive who has even intimated as much.

  • WTF||

    ^This. They invariably fail to learn.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    They'll pretend to until the next time one of their TEAM regains the Iron Throne. Then they'll be all "hail to the king."

  • Bill Dalasio||

    I have yet to hear a progressive even go through the motions.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Yes and no. My impression is that the entire thing tends to be a little more one way. I've raised the issue of limits to executive power to some of my liberal acquaintances since Tuesday. Really, all I get are blank stares. The notion that progressives are all of a sudden going to appreciate a limited executive mostly look like libertarian wishful thinking. In contrast, every time conservatives are out of power, a few wind up becoming libertarians.

  • Calidissident||

    My experience has been the opposite, regarding liberals. Most of the ones I've talked to the last week are very concerned about the executive power Trump can wield and hoping for checks and balances, the filibuster, etc.

    Granted they took a completely different view of things with Obama, and when the Dems had a Senate majority.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    I think it's important to differentiate between Trump having that power and that power existing in the first place. Every time the conversation gets around to limiting executive power, per se, the conversation dies. And I'm sorry, if you're just talking about eliminating one executive's executive power, you're talking about something other than limiting executive power.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    I was being somewhat sarcastic; I don't expect that any of these statists actually believe what they're saying. They'll just pretend until the "right people" are back in power.

  • WTF||

    So, is dissent patriotic again, or is it still racist?

  • Cynical Asshole||

    It's still racist until January 20, 2017. Then it'll be patriotic again. Unless you're one of the people losing their shit and blocking traffic over the election results. They're uber patriots, bravely defending democracy from the evils of elections. Try not to think about it too hard, normal people's heads explode when exposed to that level of cognitive dissonance.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    So, Trump wiping away Obama's executive orders is the same as tyranny by the pen?

    Because Obama was horrible, Trump might be too?

    This logic is infallible!

  • Jordan||

    Way to completely miss the point.

  • SIV||

    No, that is exactly the point.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I get the point that Executive power is out of control. Blame Obama, W. Bush, Billy Bob Clinton, etc for that.

    The leap that Trump will definitely be as power hungry as some prior presidents is the joke.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    The leap that Trump will definitely be as power hungry as some prior presidents is the joke.

    He is going to voluntarily give up power? Is that one of his initial negotiating positions that we are not supposed to take seriously now?

  • Swiss Servator||

    "OK, you get the phone back, but I am keeping the pen!"

  • Crusty Juggler||

    He is always thinking seventy-four moves ahead!

  • Citizen X||

    Seventy-four of the classiest moves, you won't believe how classy.

  • ||

    So classy, you'll get tired of how classy he is. Oh, wait...

  • ||

    "Blame Obama, W. Bush, Billy Bob Clinton, etc for that."

    Actually you can blame Congress.

  • SDN||

    Just remember that the Congress, especially when controlled by the opposite party, not rubber stamping everything is how the system SHOULD work.

  • ||

    Well, we've been warning the left about this for 8 years now and of course as always, it fell on deaf ears.

  • Brian||

    Listening to them talk for the last 8 years, their theory of government assumed that what just happened, never happens.

  • ||

    It was only 8 years ago that they were predicting a 1000 year reign for Democrat super majority. It lasted 2 years. Now it's been completely reversed.

  • SDN||

    There those socialists go with the "Thousand Year Reich" predictions again.....

  • ||

    or they thought the election of the president was always going to favor the Democrats - forever 'n' ever.

  • Brian||

    It's like an entire party, with the mentality and memory of a 24 year old who can't remember more than 2-3 elections.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Hey, they won two presidential elections based on an inexplicable cult of personality (how is petulant narcissism something that inspires loyalty?) While their actual policies were increasingly unpopular. Of course that meant electoral success forever.

  • Eternal Blue Sky||

    "Actually the Second Amendment is so that the citizens can stage an armed revolt if the government ever becomes tyrannical."

    "That's insane and paranoid, the government will never become tyrannical!!"

    "What are your thoughts on Trump??"

    "He's literally Hitler and if he wins the government will become tyrannical!!"

  • ||

    With the left, cognitive dissonance is a feature, not bug.

  • WTF||

    It's called "doublethink".

  • Jordan||

    Glenn Greenwald covered this as well:

    Trump will have vast powers. He can thank Democrats for them.

    Blinded by the belief that Obama was too benevolent and benign to abuse his office, and drowning in partisan loyalties at the expense of political principles, Democrats consecrated this framework with their acquiescence and, often, their explicit approval. This is the unrestrained set of powers Trump will inherit. The president-elect frightens them, so they are now alarmed. But if they want to know whom to blame, they should look in the mirror.
  • Red Rocks Dickin Bimbos||

    Greenwald's been fucking fantastic during this election cycle, which has really brought out who the principled leftists are and who are simply blind party hacks.

  • I can't even||

    Hopefully Trump will be so busy issuing Exec Orders reversing Obama's overreach for a couple years he won't have time for his own overreach.

  • ||

    I think most of his effort for the next 6 months is going to be focused on the border and Obamacare. No doubt the GOP can repeal that stinking mess if they have the will, but I bet they will shift to 'fixing' it without any repeal. Which will of course lead to a worse mess. As far as the border goes, Trump won't be able to fund the stupid wall and so maybe that only amounts to increased border security and an end to the catch and release that Obama had been doing. All I wish for is for the government to stop funding illegal immigration. I don't even care if it's happening as long as we're not paying for it. To come here legally, you have to guaranteed be able to support yourself and not cost the government any tax payer dollars. So why should it be different for someone who just walks across the border with no processing at all?

  • ||

    Trump's plan for his first 100 days in office explicitly included reversing many Obama administration executive orders.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Trump has evidently said on 60 Minutes that he would not take a salary as President.

  • ||

    $1 a year. Good move if he actually does it. And hopefully he can avoid the sort of conflict of interest situations Hillary would have been sure to get into. I mean we know that she was going to use tax dollars and cronyism to benefit her private money laundering foundation. Hopefully Trump does not do the same. Hillary would have of course gotten away with it after 4 years of nothing but corruption and scandal. Trump won't be able to because of the media actually doing their job.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I have not picked a position yet. I see where it seems respectable. On the other hand, everyone is entitled to compensation for work and being Trump during a Trump Presidency will be a lot of work.

    It might be better for him to give his salary to veteran's groups or something like that than refuse more than $1. Maybe only take $100k to show that politicians are over paid or something.

  • Tundra||

    By not taking the salary he is.

  • Ship of Theseus||

    ^This. Politicians should be part time, never paid, and have real jobs for the other 90% of the time they're not "governing" or "legislating."

  • ||

    We also need strict term limits. Like 4 year in Congress and you can never run for public office again. Also outlaw cronyism.

  • Juice||

    I think it might be a good idea to means test. If you're already independently wealthy then no salary for you. Otherwise, you get paid.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    False, except in dreamland. The 500+ people who are supposed to run the economy should be being paid along the lines of the apple board of directors. Maybe with stock in the country. I had no problem with posting the president $50 million a year, if he could get performance out of the country. Supply and demand.

  • Ship of Theseus||

    The country isn't a fucking corporation, and I don't want it run like one. I want businesses to be creative, active, forceful, and making money. I want my government.... to do as little as possible while protecting my rights. I don't want return on investment. Just protect my property and back the fuck off.

  • Longtobefree||

    It is just a scam to avoid taxes

  • DesigNate||

    That will be the prog talking point at least.

  • Glide||

    Donating his salary to charity would be a forced taxpayer contribution to charity.

    Not taking it at all would be a forced taxpayer contribution to reducing the national debt, which seems a much more suitable use of taxpayer money.

    Granted, in either case its impact on the whole nation is atomic-scale so it's really just a discussion of principles. And either way it's a step up.

  • steve sturm||

    Think of the argument over executive power in terms of the argument over guns. The left isn't saying that ALL guns are bad, just guns in the wrong hands. Executive power, like guns, is okay if it's in the 'right' hands, and nobody else ('the deplorables) gets to use it.

  • dantheserene||

    SS-
    Excellent comparison. It's all about who has power/force.

  • mpercy||

    Yep. And who shouldn't be allowed to have guns? Why, NRA members. You know, people who actually have more than likely actually had gun-safety training.

    I had expected that under a Clinton presidency, the no-fly-no-gun connection would be made and then Clinton would place all of her enemies--and the NRA was her self-proclaimed number 1 enemy--on the no-fly list. Viola! No NRA member would be able to buy a gun.

  • ||

    Welcome aboard, steve and percy. We'll have a proper initiation for you and all the other noobs soon. In the meantime remember that uncontrollable vomiting is normal here.

  • Douchey defeats Trumpman, Jr.||

    Percy appears to be new. I believe I've seen steve on other threads before. But you...I never forget a face, Mr...Tonio, is it?

  • Bra Ket||

    The sad part is how purely and completely hypocritical they are. They will do a perfect 180 on the issues, and then shamelessly go right back again when it is to their "side"'s benefit.

    Things like consistency and integrity are weaknesses to them and their goal is strength.

  • Brian||

    When you've heard democrats basically say for the last 8 years that they really only care about power and will do whatever it takes, excuse whoever it is, to hold onto it and use it: it just sucks all the energy out of their lamentations when they lose power.

  • mpercy||

    Just wait until the "nuclear option" is proposed as a way to get SCOTUS nominations passed under Trump in the face of probable Democrat filibuster.

    When Republicans had a majority but not a super-majority in the Senate, Democrats regularly withheld cloture. When the "nuclear option" was discussed, Harry Reid lost his mind! The Gang of 14 saved the day by compromising on the nomination of judges.

    Fast forward to 213, when Democrats held the Senate but not a super-majority. Harry Reid invoked the nuclear option and Senate voted 52-48, with all Republicans and 3 Democrats voting against, to eliminate the use of the filibuster against all executive branch nominees and judicial nominees other than to the Supreme Court.

    Watch them scream again if McConnel extends the Democrats nuclear option to include SCOTUS nominations.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Screw cloture, make senators actually stand and fillibuster if they want to delay a vote. When they have to actually put their bluster where their mouth is, it will proceed to a vote.

  • GILMORE™||

    Watch them scream again if McConnel extends the Democrats nuclear option to include SCOTUS nominations.

    \

    They will just sit on the floor again.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    They will just sit on the floor again.

    At which point, if McConnell had any balls he would start handing out blankies, binkies and juice boxes to them. But of course, he doesn't.

  • lafe.long||

    Related:

    From Occupy Democrats FB page Jan 2, 2015:

    Openly defying and brazenly disrespecting your president, while hoping that he fails, is not called patriotism...

    It is called TREASON.

    Just as wrong then as it is now.

  • lafe.long||

    Oh, and the comment that they posted with the image:

    This cannot be stressed enough.

    Image by Occupy Democrats.
  • ||

    Delicious. Time to rub their noses in that.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Someone should compile a list of things like that and keep track of how many of their alleged "principles" they do a quick 180 on. It bet it'll provide endless lulz.

  • Mickey Rat||

    How long before they scrub that?

  • RabbitHead||

    Gone already

  • ||

    Things like consistency and integrity are weaknesses to them and their goal is strength power.

  • ||

    Crap.

    Things like consistency and integrity are weaknesses to them and their goal is strength power.

  • Mickey Rat||

    A "will to power" would you say?

  • ||

    Warming to Trump

    This is a pretty good read. At least some in the media are starting to get it.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Nailed it

  • Brian||

    When Hillary Clinton made her direct appeal to "any little girls watching," my 14-year-old daughter happened to be watching TV. "Yeah, right," she said. "Margaret Thatcher got to be prime minister on her own. And Theresa May. But Clinton was running because she was the last chap's wife. Isn't that slightly, you know, banana republic?"

    Perfect.

    His 14 year old daughter is smart enough to pick up on what American leftists could never see.

  • Tundra||

    Yes, and last week we got the delightful news that Chelsea is being 'groomed' for a Senate run, or some such nonsense.

    *barf*

  • SugarFree||

    groomed

    It takes a while to wax off that much hair. Not to mention all the skin tags they have to freeze off.

  • Citizen X||

    I thought those skin tags were smaller Chelseas budding off of her.

    Please tell me she doesn't reproduce sexually.

  • ||

    Do American leftists actually ever reach the maturity level of your average 14 year old? What I've seen from American university campuses over the last year, tells me no. I mean I bet his daughter doesn't need a space with coloring books and puppies every time she hears something she doesn't agree with.

  • WTF||

    American leftists have the emotional maturity of toddlers.

  • Douchey defeats Trumpman, Jr.||

    I think it's the other way around.

  • Chipwooder||

    A link from that brought me to the delicious salty tears of John Oliver. Man, he sounds like someone DESTROYED him!

    "For the last eight years, we've had a president we could assume would generally stand up for the rights of all Americans. But that is going to change now," Oliver said.

    BAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • ||

    Yeah, Obama stood up for the rights of ALL Americans who were a member one of his special groups of snowflakes. The guy was the most divisive president in modern history. Constant divisive rhetoric. He's set racial relations back 50 years.

  • Glide||

    I just watched it over lunch today. That was the line that stood out to me as pure hilarity too.

    Fairly predictably, Oliver devoted about as much time to analyzing the failure of Hillary Clinton as he did criticizing Newt Gingrich, one sentence.

    I also laughed at his assertion that Pence (by every account a completely boilerplate Midwest Republican) was even worse than Trump based solely on the one thing he probably knows about Pence, his support of religious freedom. Crying wolf is fun!

  • Bra Ket||

    Dan Hannan is a British right wing politician, not a member of the media.

  • Unintended Consequence||

    I have a pen... I have a phone... UNH! Phone Pen!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RY7vcYvb69k

  • Zombie Jimbo||

    It's UUUGE!

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I've seen some people trying to make the argument that not only would it be constitutional for Obama to just unilaterally appoint a Supreme Court justice, but the Senate has unconstitutionally withheld their consent. Though if it was a pro alt-text justice...

  • Glide||

    For what it's worth, I think that the Senate would have been better off letting the vote go through and rejecting Garland, and any subsequent nominees who weren't constitutionalists.

    I'm sure that their blocking of any vote at all is strictly legal or it would have been dragged to the Supreme Court already, but PR-wise I think it does look evil to a moderate/independent perspective to just run out the clock.

  • TapDancingXenomorph||

    I have no doubt that Trump would conveniently forget his promises and use executive actions to get what he wanted. But he doesn't seem to have enough conviction or interest in the details to actually use that power too often. O'Buttfuck had an agenda to push through; Trump will go with whatever's politically expedient. Just give him a good bill and he'll find a way to sell it.

  • dantheserene||

    TDX-
    And unlike Obama's overreach that was supported by all the right people, Trump overreach will face pushback from all directions.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    But guess what the Times had to say a few years later when President Obama had the reins and he utilized the exact same gimmick?

    How much turnover is there in newspaper editorial boards? Would it generally be the same group in that ten year period?

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Root, you fucking retard, Trump is going to undo all the bad Obama did using his pen and phone.

  • Swiss Servator||

    Maybe the Hat and the Hair will get them as souvenirs?

  • Crusty Juggler||

    You make your jokes, but I think we can all agree that Trump is a master negotiator because he knows business, and a master negotiator of business knows that one strengthens one's bargaining position by intentionally weakening some of the leverage one may have.

  • Swiss Servator||

    "Lead with your chin!"

  • Brian||

    It's not that I'm looking forward to the Trump presidency.

    It's watching everyone on the left, from the talking head elite to the lowly SJW twit, completely melt down in their own comeuppance.

    Delicious, delicious tears.

  • Juice||

    I'm waiting for the next wave of butthurt. It'll come from Trump supporters when he starts walking back some of his more outlandish promises. Trump delivers a schadenfreude two-fer.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    There will be butthurt and tears of unfathomable sadness a-plenty the next 4 years, I suspect. More than enough schadenfreude to sustain us.

  • Swiss Servator||

    We just HAVE to barrel this up and age it properly.

    What do you think - white oak barrels?

  • Adans smith||

    He will strike down Obama's orders ,including the climate deal and many regs. Good show. Give him time to over reach and bitch about ir WHEN he takes the oath and does it. Dumb ass gotta ass I guess.

  • Jerryskids||

    It's not hypocrisy or double standards when the Left proclaims "it's okay when our side does it". That is exactly the way they see it, like a spoiled brat throwing a temper tantrum when he doesn't get his way. It doesn't mean a thing to him when you say "how would you like it if somebody did that to you?" because you're missing the point - of course he wouldn't like it if others did it to him, but so what? It's not him doing unto others, it's the others doing unto him that just isn't fair. It's like this morning on NPR I hear about these protestors "protesting the election". No, dumbass, they're not protesting the election, they're protesting the results of the election. What's fair and right and just and proper is a matter of outcomes, not the process by which you reach the outcomes for these people. Telling them that the rules they created for Obama now are the rules for Trump is just stupid - why would you have the same rules for Chocolate Jesus as you have for Cheeto Hitler? That don't make sense and it's not any kind of logical argument for a leftist. The same way that the election obviously wasn't fair if Trump won, a fair election - by definition - is one Hillary wins.

  • Jerryskids||

    I've been bitching about this shit for years, how I grew up thinking the purpose of the law was to draw a bright line between what you may and may not do so that everybody knew beforehand what was forbidden. "Fairness" was a matter of clear rules that everybody followed. Not anymore, now we have this "reasonable" outcome crap where you aren't able to know ahead of time whether or not what you're doing is illegal because it ain't illegal until after a judge and jury get done looking at the results of whatever it is you did. Like - is it illegal to have a qualifying test for prospective employees? Well, that depends - did the right number of every grievance group get hired? If not - bzzzzzt! - off to the pillory with your ass. And that uncertainty and unpredictability in the law is not a bug, it's a feature.

    This "rule of law" crap is old dead white male stuff - it's now might makes right and the mightiest are the ones who aren't afraid to abandon the rule of law. I mean, how come we don't just go beat the shit out of those whiny-ass cry-baby SJW's and make them shut up? Because we still respect the rule of law and somehow think it's "wrong" to forcibly silence people you don't like. Those people aren't handicapped by that same constraint, they'll forcibly shut you up in a heartbeat. If there's only one side who feels compelled to follow the rules, well, that side's gonna lose every time.

  • Chipwooder||

    The only thing a prog respects is power. So long as the law suits their ends, it is good. When it stands opposed to their ends, it is bad.

  • John||

    It is worse than just "only we can do this". That would be bad enough. But the left manages to be even worse. It is not just "only we can do this". It is "after we do this by executive action, you can't undo it by executive action and if you try and do it, we are going to accuse you of tyranny." That is even worse than the normal hypocrisy you see from the left.

  • Bra Ket||

    The smarter among them do actually pivot to principled arguments about the importance of limits on govt power, once they lose control of that power. They fully imply the limits should apply to all sides.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Cheeto Hitler

    That's gold. Consider it stolen.

  • DesigNate||

    "Cheeto Hitler"

    That is fucking perfect. Consider it stolen.

  • Trigger Warning||

    The Onion is going full nuclear retard. I can taste their tears from here.

  • dantheserene||

    TW-
    Holy crap, they really have lost their minds.
    They were pretty funny and often prescient, once.

  • Chipwooder||

    that was before it was bought by Hillary's single biggest financial backer.

  • John||

    Undoing a bunch of illegal shit the previous administration did by executive order, is not executive overreach. It is a proper and necessary correction.

    Maybe Trump will do a bunch of new things by executive order like Obama did. Time will tell. If he does, he will be guilty of executive overreach just like Obama. If, however, all Trump does is undo the executive overreach of Obama, then Trump is not guilty of overreaching. In fact, he should be credited with a necessary correction.

    So, lets wait and see what Trump does before accusing him of overreach. What Progs are going to try and do is say that Trump undoing Obama's illegal executive actions makes him just as bad because apparently what Obama did by EO can only be undone by Congress lest the President not be guilty of abusing his position. Bullshit.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    ack in 2006, when George W. Bush had the reins, the Times published an unsigned editorial lambasting Bush for his "grandiose vision of executive power" and his foul scheme to sidestep the Senate and unilaterally install his nominees in high office. "Seizing the opportunity presented by the Congressional holiday break," the Times complained, "Mr. Bush announced 17 recess appointments—a constitutional gimmick."

    But guess what the Times had to say a few years later when President Obama had the reins and he utilized the exact same gimmick? "Mr. Obama was entirely justified in using his executive power to keep federal agencies operating," the Times declared...

    It's almost as if TEAM takes precedence over every other concern. Pricipals > Principles

  • Longtobefree||

    I rise to a point of order - -
    The editorial board of the new york times is no longer "prestigious", if it ever was.
    Random thought, should they change their motto to "all the news that fits, we print"?

  • John||

    If the Times can't persuade the country not to elect Trump, what can they persuade the country to do? And if they can't shape opinion, then why do they matter?

  • Mickey Rat||

    As Andrew calls it "The New York Times, a former newspaper..."

  • Mickey Rat||

    Andrew Klavan that is.

  • Mainer2||

    The courts slapped Obama down because he declared the Senate was not in session, so that he could make recess appointments. That was unprecedented.

    Anyway, the whole idea of recess appointments has been hopelessly abused. It's to fill positions that become open when the Senate is not in session; not wait till the Senate is not in session to make your appointments.

  • ||

    Obama's Executive Overreach Becomes Trump's Executive Overreach

    What is the evidence of Trump's executive overreach? Because it hasn't even been a fucking week since the election. And the man hasn't spent 24 fucking hours in office. He hasn't issued a single executive order.

    Back into the Stupid Closet Reason.

  • submandave||

    The idea of an unrestrained HRC was a big factor in my vote for Trump. Congressional Dems backing her every whim, Congressional Repubs too afraid of being called "sexist" to oppose, and the press serving in their traditional role as cheerleader/fud. The campaign at least seemed to indicate that everyone was willing to stand up to Trump when he said dumb things, so I gave them much better odds of standing up to executive overreach by him.

  • ||

    Here is a letter to the editor I just sent to a local paper:

    This is invite Democrats to link up with Libertarians to advocate limited government,.

    For the last eight years Democrats have tossed Republicans to the wolves, and forgot that some day it could be them. Well now it is their turn and man is it going to hurt. Those Executive Orders are now going to aimed at them. Those deals that were cut with other countries will do a 180. War powers unchecked by congress will be turned on new enemies. And on the domestic front, Homeland Security, the FBI, NSA and even the IRS will have a new target list and guess who will be on it. Knowing this, you must ask yourself if you are willing to endure it with the hope it that some day it will once again be your turn.

    Libertarian have been an advocates of limited government for years. We watch with horror as the Republicans and Democrats take turns gaining power and proceeding to take no prisoners

    If you would like to end the ongoing oppression of the losers, now is the time to work with Libertarians to reduce the power of the Federal government. Democrats and Libertarians already agree on stopping senseless wars, legalizing pot, eliminating "pay for play" restrictions that raise drug prices, open boarders plus GLTG and women's rights plus much more.

    Libertarians will on the ballot now so why not work with us to limit the size of government and protect your freedom.

  • Unable2Reason||

    Both parties have spent decades creating the Imperial Presidency. Trump is the only one that can save us by going off the deep end and finally forcing Congress to do its job. Why in the hell do we sit around and allow the President to essentially write law when he has no authority to do so?

  • woodNfish||

    A "what if" fiction article by a fictional loser editor at a loser magazine. Go figure.

  • Right_by_Choice||

    What if Trump pulls an Obama, and has border ranchers sue the Dept of Homeland Security.
    Then his DoJ can choose not to defend the suit and concede to building the wall.

    The funding for the wall can come from the same place as the Obama ransom payment to his homies in Iran, for the unlimited claims fund in the Treasury.

    Just to be consistent, they can pack all the cash on pallets and fly it to the contractors building the wall.

    Surely Democrats can't complain about Trump emulating Obama, can they?

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online