Even though Trump has barely been in office for two weeks, the left is already complaining about the number of executive orders he’s signed – as if he’s behaving like some sort of dictator.
As you’re about to see, the media has completely obscured the truth when it comes to presidential executive action. TMR untangles the mess.
Firstly, here’s the total number of executive orders signed by each US President (up to 29 January 2017):
Obama’s executive actions
One thing you may notice is how few executive orders were signed by Obama. This seems to counter the popular conservative narrative that he was defying parliament and ruling from the Oval Office – until you start including presidential memoranda (see footer to this post for definitions):
The incredible thing is that those numbers are only current to December 2014.
2016 versions of the above graphs don’t seem to be readily available. I wonder why? Could it be that, by the time Obama’s presidency was finished, he managed to crank out a staggering 644 executive memoranda in total?
Putting things together
When combining executive orders and presidential memoranda, we start to get a better picture of things. As you can see below, recent Democrat presidents have had a keen interest in taking executive action (i.e. Obama, Clinton, Carter).
Again, the above graph is only current to December 2014 (via USA Today), so we need to do a little basic maths to complete the Obama picture:
644 presidential memoranda + 276 executive orders = 920 executive actions (i.e. 115 per year over 8 years).
Now take that 115 per year and have another look at the above graph – comfortably the most amount of executive actions since Truman, who had the small matter of wrapping up World War II.
Trump’s executive actions so far
As for Trump, it’s obviously far too early to tell where he will end up ranking on this list.
Of course, that kind of common sense hasn’t stopped the left from trying to spin the nonsense that Trump has signed an unprecedented ‘flurry’ of orders to commence his presidency – something completely lacking in fact when compared to Obama:
Will the baseless hysteria stop?
Undoubtedly, there will things to legitimately criticise Trump on in due course. The problem is that the rampant lying and hyperventilating by the left on things such as this simply serve to embolden Trump and make him stronger. By the time a legitimate criticism does come along, Trump may well be able to flick it away as the bleating of the boy who cried wolf.
That aside, the left needs to get its act together, grow up and get on with it… or not:
(With thanks to Adam Piggott for finding that gem. I just love the friend kneeling down and showing what appears to be genuine concern – behind his mask of bravery of course).
Now, you may have already seen this lady’s hilarious screaming fit from Trump’s inauguration:
But did you give her a chance to explain herself?
But wait! I know you want more:
(*) For those not familiar:
- A presidential memorandum is a type of executive action issued by the president of the United States to manage and govern the actions, practices, and policies of the various departments and agencies found under the executive branch of the United States government. They used to be referred to as ‘presidential letters’.
- Executive orders are issued by Presidents of the United States to help officers and agencies of the executive branch manage operations within the federal government.
In other words, both presidential memoranda and executive orders are ways for the president to significantly change things without the need for parliament.
4 thoughts on “Putting Trump’s Executive Actions in Perspective”
My understanding is that Ex Ord and Pres Mem are not in the US Constitution so are a strange way to make “laws” while waiting for Congress to actually pass the EO or PM.
Considering that the EO on immigration referred to a temporary ban there should be no need for congress to approve.
There IS some degree of limited direct power for a US President; remember, Obama signed off PLENTY of them – mostly to the detriment of the US as a whole.