As you may be aware, the White House was recently caught with its pants down yet again, trying to suggest that President Obama was not even in the Bush leagues, so to speak, when it came to overusing his executive authority.
“The truth is, even with all the actions I’ve taken this year, I’m issuing executive orders at the lowest rate in more than 100 years,” Obama said in July. Such a unassuming president, he.
I guess its better than the last Democratic president I covered, who was literally caught with his pants down.
Well, USA Today reported this week that Obama in fact “issues executive orders by another name,” that name being “executive memoranda,” which have about the same effect as orders. When you add memoranda and orders together, turns out Obama is busier on annual basis taking such actions than any president since Jimmy Carter.
Obama, by not mentioning memoranda, was trying to offer a false impression.
Ed Henry of Fox News confronted White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest about this matter today, and Earnest, stuck with the truth, didn’t try to deny that Obama likes to exercise executive power when Congress won’t do what’s best for the American people.
“I think there’s no doubt the president has used his executive authority,” he said.
But Earnest, noting Obama had been specific about orders, tried to deny there was an effort to mislead.
“I don’t think anybody has ever made the case for her about this president that he is not willing to use his executive authority to move this country forward,” Earnest said.
Well, not so fast. Back in February, former White House press Secretary Jay Carney tried to convey that Obama was being restrained while clearly conflated executive action and executive orders, leaving out the memoranda and creating an obvious misimpression:
QUESTION: On executive action — to the House Democrats, the President said again, a couple of times, to be clear, he will work with Congress when he can, as you say; other times, he will take executive action. I also know that there have been other Presidents, Republican and Democrat, like Bill Clinton, who have used more executive orders than this President has. Nonetheless, in the 2008 campaign, this President said again and again that he was going to “reverse” that. He used that word — going to reverse George Bush’s executive actions; these are damaging the country. Why the change of heart on the idea of pulling back on executive action? Now he seems to be full-steam ahead.
MR. CARNEY: Well, let’s be clear what we’re talking about. There is no question that this President has been judicious in his use of executive action, executive orders, and I think those numbers thus far have come in below what President George W. Bush and President Bill Clinton did. The matter the President was discussing in his campaign in 2008 wasn’t the number; it was the quality and the type of executive actions that he believed were not appropriate.
There is no question that this President has been judicious in his use of executive action, executive orders, and I think those numbers thus far have come in below what President George W. Bush and President Bill Clinton did.
Note the question was “on executive action.” Carney’s answer would suggest there wasn’t much executive action, via order, memoranda, or otherwise.
Another day, another attempt to mislead. President Obama will travel to Hawaii tomorrow. Unless he does a press conference first, it will be a day in which the White House will convey honesty the best way it knows how: Through silence.