First, a disclosure. Despite how today’s commentary might sound, this is not a “fake news” story nor is it a good piece of satire. In fact, if you are looking for a way to describe it, you could put it in the “truth is stranger than fiction” category.
In a recent interview by Steve Inkeep with the hard-hitting news department at National Public Radio–that IS satire–Barack Obama offered some sage advice to his successor about the importance of learning to work with Congress while avoiding–try not to laugh–the overuse of “executive actions.”
“I think that he is entirely within his lawful power to do so. Keep in mind though that my strong preference has always been to legislate when I can get legislation done. In my first two years, I wasn’t relying on executive powers, because I had big majorities in the Congress and we were able to get bills done, get bills passed. And even after we lost the majorities in Congress, I bent over backwards consistently to try to find compromise and a legislative solution to some of the big problems that we’ve got — a classic example being immigration reform, where I held off for years in taking some of the executive actions that I ultimately took in pursuit of a bipartisan solution — one that, by the way, did pass through the Senate on a bipartisan basis with our help.
“I was very proud of that. I went out of my way to make sure our help was behind the scenes so that Republicans didn’t feel as if it was going to hurt them politically. At the end of the day, John Boehner and the House Republicans couldn’t pull the trigger on getting it done. And it was only then, after we had exhausted efforts for bipartisan reform that we took some additional steps on immigration executive actions. So my suggestion to the president-elect is, you know, going through the legislative process is always better, in part because it’s harder to undo.
“And that doesn’t mean, though, that he is not going to come in and look at the various agencies and see the rules we’ve passed and if he wants to reverse some of those rules, that’s part of the democratic process. That’s, you know, why I tell people to vote because it turns out elections mean something.”
Isn’t it great that President “Pen and Phone” tried so hard to work with Congress? And his praise of the “democratic process” almost brought a tear to my eyes.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) June 1, 2016
While Obama rightfully claims that he has issued fewer Executive Orders than any two-term president since Ulysses S. Grant–at least numbers wise–it is in the area of so-called “executive actions” that he has established his legacy as one of the worst abusers of executive power in American history. According to the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Obama issued 39 Federal rules and regulations for every one law passed by Congress through the end of 2015.
Not exactly “bending over backwards now, is it?
With Obama also making it clear that he intends on being very involved in Washington politics even after he leaves office, and Trump’s recent admission that he has been seeking Barry’s advice, we need to keep on eye on how this turns out once Trump is officially sworn in.
But in the meantime, Barack “do as I say, not as I do” Obama wants to make sure Trump doesn’t follow in his footsteps.
David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative, your source for opinion that’s politically-incorrect and always “right.” His articles can also be found on RedState.com.
His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.