Friday, December 18, 2015

Ignorance of the American people

I just ran into an article on Facebook about presidential executive orders ... and the title referred to "King Obama."  Yes, the article spoke to the number of executive orders issued by President Obama and how he had become a "king" or, better yet, a "dictator."

Some of my Facebook friends "liked" this article and a couple even commented about how overbearing President Obama has been.

This shows they do not understand the president's constitutionally-defined duties and they certainly do not understand how our system of government works.  This is just plain ignorance.  They should have learned all this in junior high, high school, or college.  Evidently, they ditched school on those days.  Or maybe their school curriculum simply didn't - or doesn't - include our form of government.

Article II of the U.S. Constitution deals with the Executive Branch of American government.  The Executive Branch ... well ... it's the President.  And his/her duties are to administer and enforce the law.  Presidents can - and have - issued executive orders since the very beginning, and that includes George Washington!  A president may - within the parameters of a law - clarify how a law is administered or enforced.  He/she must stay within the parameters of the existing law, but administrative changes are allowed.  

Let's take a look at the number of executive orders issued by some recent presidents, shall we?  These numbers come from published sources and are a part of the American Presidency Project.

Dwight D. Eisenhower               484
John F. Kennedy                         214
Lyndon B. Johnson                     325
Richard Nixon                            346
Gerald Ford                                169
Jimmy Carter                              320
Ronald Reagan                            381
George Bush                               166
William Clinton                          364
George W. Bush                          291
Barack Obama                            223

Well, let's see ... can my Obama-hating friends still call the President "King Obama?"  I think not.  But they will anyway ... and they will continue to show their lack of knowledge about how the government works and who has been doing what.  Ignorance.  They simply don't know.  Maybe you should tell them?

Data Sources:
• 1789 - 1945 (Roosevelt) data from Lyn Ragsdale, "Vital Statisitcs on the Presidency: Washington to Clinton." rev. ed. (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 1998); data compiled by John Woolley, The American Presidency Project; and figures from the National Archives and Records Administration.
• 1945 (Truman) - present data compiled by Gerhard Peters, The American Presidency Project, from documents contained in the Federal Register.