January 30, 2014

Willful Ignorance

Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) walked out half way through the State of the Union address Tuesday night, upset because President Obama is "…further abusing his Constitutional powers..." He later issued a press release saying, "I could not bear to watch as he continued to cross the clearly-defined boundaries of the Constitutional separation of powers…" 

Stockman’s beef is Mr. Obama’s implication that if Congress wouldn’t get off their dead keisters and do something other than strut and posture, that this administration would get done what it could by use of Executive Order. The right side of the aisle is up in arms, slinging lies in the direction of any news medium willing to publish their blustery exaggerations. 

To hear the baggers tell it, the threat of “legislating” by executive order is both outrageous and radical. Obama’s record in regard EOs, according to Chicken Little, far exceeds that of any previous president. The problem with all this doom-saying is that it not only isn’t at all true, but that it is so easy to debunk. As with just about everything the GOPers do, this appears to be just another misinformation campaign. 

All of this is fabricated scandal just like the IRS and Benghazi faux outrage were and continue to be fabricated scandals. Stockman has been in the House since 1995; certainly long enough to know this, yet he also knows that his constituency is sufficiently ignorant or just bigoted enough to believe anything said by an old, white, Republican man. Stockmen, McConnell, Ryan, Boehner et al recognize this to be true and don’t at all mind exploiting it.

So, is Mr. Obama the “worst ever” when it comes to issuing executive orders? The data are available for every presidential administration since George Washington. It is so very simple to check. Here are the data comparing G.W. Bush EOs for his first five years to President Obama’s:

B.H. Obama
2009 – 39 
2010 – 35 
2011 – 34 
2012 – 39 
2013 – 20 
Total - 167

G.W. Bush
2001 – 54 
2002 – 31 
2003 – 41
2004 – 45 
2005 – 26 
Total - 197

Mr. Obama has so far issued fewer executive orders than any administration in the past 117 years. This is the simple truth, but don’t bother telling that to the GOPers who keep returning Stockman and his ilk to office. To the selectivly clueless a comfortable lie is preferable to a truth that upsets their skewed worldview.


January 19, 2014

Sunday Funnies