Last January I wrote an article where I put together some stats about executive orders as it relates to President Obama and some of his most recent predecessors such as Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. In that article I pointed out (by using indisputable facts) that the right-wing nonsense about Obama’s “abuse of the executive order” was absolutely ridiculous. While Republicans have continually pushed this fear-mongering rhetoric about Obama abusing his power via the executive order, the fact remains that he’s on pace to issue fewer executive orders than Reagan, Clinton and Bush.
In fact, when I crunched the numbers in January, for Obama to equal the number of executive orders that were issued by Reagan, he would almost have to serve an entire third term as president.
So if President Obama is “abusing his power,” then what the hell did “Saint” Reagan do?
But when you look at Obama compared to all other presidents and how often they used executive orders, his record is even that much more impressive. The truth is, President Obama is on pace to issue the fewest number of executive orders since Grover Cleveland was president between 1885-1889.
Right now President Obama averages 33.1 executive orders per year compared to Bush (36.4), Reagan (47.6), Nixon (62.3), Eisenhower (60.5), and not a single president between Theodore Roosevelt and Harry Truman averaged less than 100 executive orders per year.
Oh, but I know the typical Republican comeback to this. They’ll simply claim that it’s not the number of executive orders that were issued, but what he did with them. I will admit that’s a great comeback – because it’s impossible to actually prove. The amount of “abuse” claimed by either side of the political spectrum within each executive order is clearly subjective. So it’s natural that Republicans would dismiss the number he’s issued because they can’t dispute the fact that he’s on pace to issue fewer than any other president in well over a century.
Republicans can’t dispute that he’s issued far fewer executive orders than his predecessors for the last 100+ years, so they go with the subjective and impossible to prove rhetoric that even though his number of executive orders are low, he’s still abused his power based on what’s in them compared to previous presidents.
That’s simply what Republicans do. When reality doesn’t support their propaganda, they just try to change reality and hope for the best.