Faced with a resurgent GOP and a largely stalled legislative agenda, President Obama is planning to use his executive powers to forge ahead with his domestic initiatives, including on energy, the environment and the economy, The New York Times reported.Now, wasn't it the Left, and Obama later on, that harped on President Bush and his administration for holding to the unitary executive theory?
"We are reviewing a list of presidential executive orders and directives to get the job done across a front of issues," White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel told the newspaper.
But aides told the newspaper that Obama is still hopeful that progress can be made on Capitol Hill, citing the bipartisan summit on health care scheduled later this month. Yet the GOP's stunning capture last month of the Senate seat previously held by Ted Kennedy has prompted the White House to prepare to go solo to break any partisan gridlock heading into the midterm elections.
The president has a range of powers -- from executive orders to agency initiatives -- that don't require legislative action, and White House officials argue that the increased focus on executive powers is not uncommon in the second year of any presidency.
I am not against the idea of a strong executive when its in the context of limited government, but the current version of American government gives much more to a president who has a vast domestic agenda like Obama does. The most authoritarian of presidents before the modern era did not have a tenth of the power a president has now. FEC, EPA, DOT, DOE, IRS, etc. There are dozens upon dozens of agencies in the American government that have an effect on American lives. From simple things like thermostat changes to big things like political speech.
A lot of the criticism towards President Bush and his strong executive involved enemy combatants, the terrorist wiretapping program and black sites. All that had to do with military and war matters and while some of it could be called into question (most of all, Bush's reluctance to legally declare war on Iraq), it's nothing like President Obama has planned. The EPA ruling on carbon dioxide is only a glimpse of what could come.
Is it the tyrannical fist of Comrade Obama some fear? No. But it is disquieting that instead of listening to the people, something that should never be dismissed when it comes to domestic issues, the President will push his agenda forward. An agenda that many Americans are questioning in totality.