All politicians are hypocrites. Let me make that abundantly clear. In fact, all of us are hypocrites. So, knowing that, we need to look at hypocrisy in terms of levels: some things are more hypocritical than others. And what is happening now is the highest order of hypocrisy and you need to tell your Trump supporting friends they are at that highest level of hypocrisy if they support the Executive Orders signed by the man sitting in the White House.
Executive Orders and the President
Executive Orders are constitutional as laid out in Article II Section I. George Washington made 1 executive order, FDR made 3,721. These orders are generally concerned with management of the government; operations in federal agencies requires the President to allow others to carry out certain responsibilities that don’t require a law be made by congress.
That’s it. Nothing more. Nothing less. Now, during the Obama Administration, Conservatives gnashed their teeth and pulled out their hair whenever President Obama made an executive order as well as something called an executive action. Oddly enough, they threw huge fits more for executive actions that are not legally binding and at the same time called these actions executive orders, which they are not. President Obama made several EXECUTIVE ACTIONS regarding gun control; he called for universal background checks, bans on military-style assault weapons and gun straw purchases. None of the ACTIONS was legally binding and, therefore, MEANT NOTHING. An Executive Action is just the President telling Congress he would appreciate they do their job and ACT on something important that is affecting people in the country. We know how Congress ACTED the last 6 years of President Obama’s Presidency.
But, Conservatives, because they know most Americans are idiots, made people believe President Obama’s ACTIONS were ORDERS and that he was coming for their guns.
Here’s the other issue: Even the news media don’t know the difference between an order and an action, as seen in this article from PBS.
Which are orders and which are actions? I doubt even Trump is aware which he has signed as orders, actions or, Executive Memoranda. These are similar to Executive Orders except they aren’t registered in the Federal Registry.
Trump’s Orders/Actions/Memoranda So Far
Trump has only made four Executive Orders (as of Jan. 26, 2017).
- Ease the financial burden of the Affordable Care Act. This order allows Health and Human Services directors to grant waivers and delay implementation of certain portions of the law as well as calls on Congress to repeal it.
- Begin looking at infrastructure issues facing our country and determine work that needs funding immediately.
- Enforce current immigration laws and discontinue sending funds to sanctuary cities.
- Secure the Border.
What are Trump’s Memoranda?
There are 8 of these and you can read them here. This is where we have Trump telling heads of agencies they can’t speak to the news media, withdrawing from the TPP, starting construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline as well as the Keystone XL Pipeline and the federal hiring freeze. Just a note on these, these are legally binding but not placed into the federal registry unless “the President determines the rules have ‘general applicability and legal effect.'”
That’s important as we move forward monitoring the actions this man takes as he keeps the seat warm for when a real President returns to office.
The biggest problem I have is with the hypocrisy from the right side of the aisle. You can’t have it both ways, guys. You also can’t call President Obama’s actions “tyranny” and be OK with Trump’s orders/memoranda. In fact, Trump’s orders/memoranda are worse since THEY ARE LEGALLY BINDING and President Obama’s actions were not.
Learn how our government works. Is that too much to ask? This isn’t about winning and losing. It’s about the future of our Republic.