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Governing by threat?

by Greg Krehbiel on 29 January 2014

There are different ways to spin President Obama’s decision to do what he can by executive order when he can’t get his way in Congress.

On the positive side, why not? If he has the power to do something as the chief executive — IOW, if it’s something he can legitimately do as president without Congress’ approval — then … sure, go ahead, and why are you even talking about it? Just do it.

However, I suspect he’s “talking about it” because it’s more of a threat. IOW, he will do things that presidents don’t typically do, and that he might not actually have the authority to do, because he can’t get his way with Congress. If that’s what he means, then whatever happened to being “a uniter and not a divider,” and “post-partisan” and all that?

“I can’t get my way so I’ll break the rules and do it anyway” is childish and it’s bad for the country, so I really hope that’s not what he intends to do.

I heard a quote from Paul Ryan the other day to the effect that there are lots of things Republicans and Democrats disagree on, and with divided government won’t get done, but there are some things that both sides do agree on and should get done. Why aren’t they?

I think it’s because the political parties are no longer thinking about governing. They’re only thinking about tactics to get an advantage in the election so they can take over and ram their own ideas through.

Update: Ted Cruz makes some good points about Obama and the law.

Update2: Have you seen this? Rand Paul’s response to Obama’s speech

-- 2014-01-29  »  Greg Krehbiel

Talkback x 5

  1. Ken Crawford
    29 January 2014 @ 11:25 am

    Considering how brazenly he’s already overstepped his executive authority, even with his own legislation (a number of the executive orders regarding Obamacare have CLEARLY violated the law), I greatly fear what he’s cooking up doing through executive order next.

  2. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    29 January 2014 @ 11:28 am

    @Ken, I tend to agree. It annoys me that lawmakers write editorials about it (e.g., Cruz today in the WSJ) but don’t do anything about it.

    Why doesn’t Cruz take Obama to court?

  3. smitemouth
    29 January 2014 @ 11:33 am

    I didn’t even watch it. I don’t want speeches. Money talks, bull$h17 walks. I figure that with congress as divided as it is, not much is going to get done.

    I did hear one complaint on the radio this morning–not sure if it was on NPR or the Faux News affiliate–but, a state house member was complaining about some of the energy tax credits going away. Here in the reddest of states they are complaining about their welfare going away–tax credits being a kind of corporate welfare. Oh, they complain about a hot lunch to a poor kid, but not about the tax credits that end up in the pockets of CEOs. Ludicrous.

  4. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    29 January 2014 @ 11:45 am

    I didn’t watch it either, and I agree with you about political speeches. I generally don’t like them, no matter who’s talking.

    “Corporate welfare” is an issue that needs attention, but I don’t think you can lump it all together. In a sense, an interstate highway system is “corporate welfare.”

    Some things — like agriculture subsidies — may be good to make sure we have a steady food supply. Other tax breaks and such seem like they’re just giveaways to corporations.

  5. smitemouth
    29 January 2014 @ 1:15 pm

    Well, energy companies are making hand over fist money. They don’t really need subsidies. Our state rate of unemployment is almost 2 points lower than the average–lower than even Texas. The high price of oil actually helps the local economy.

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