The Barack Obama Administration has almost inarguably executed more unilateral sweeping power grabs than any previous presidency ever. Administration defenders lamely point to the number of Executive Orders issued: “GOP Slams ‘Imperial’ Obama After Fewest Executive Orders In 100 Years (CHART).” Which is technically true – but totally irrelevant.
On October 5, 2009, President Obama issued an executive order, FEDERAL LEADERSHIP IN ENVIRONMENTAL, ENERGY, AND ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE, that sneak-previewed policies toward reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the rest of his time in office. The 15-page executive order, divided into 20 sections, provided strict guidance for all agencies in the executive branch and their interactions with outside organizations. Portions of the executive order follows:
It was long the case that American presidents held less power on domestic issues than the Congress. The executive branch could only enact the laws of the legislature with a limited tendency to veto. The president’s real power lay in setting foreign policy, as he had much more freedom of action in that arena than on the home front wherein the checks and balances of the Constitution were in full force. That traditional balance has been overridden in the current political system. The fault for this breakdown of traditional magisteria of influence lies with both the executive and the legislative branches.