The moment I heard him say that, I knew conservatives were going to lose their minds. After all, they’ve claimed for years that he wishes to rule more like a “king” or “dictator” with his abuse of the executive order.
They act as if almost everything he does as president involves him issuing some kind of executive order to bypass Congress.
But as with most things Republican, their stance on this issue is both wrong and completely hypocritical. Because like with most things, reality tells a completely different tale.
In fact, President Obama hasn’t even used the executive order all that much. Five years into his presidency, he’s issued 167 executive orders – about 33.4 per year.
Here are the last four presidents who’ve served consecutive terms and how many executive orders they’ve issued, as well as their average per year:
- Ronald Reagan: 381 total, 47.6 per year
- Bill Clinton: 364 total, 45.5 per year
- George W. Bush: 291 total, 36.4 per year
- Barack Obama: 167 so far, 33.4 per year (projected total 267)
And no, those numbers aren’t “liberally biased” – they’re all linked and sourced to our National Archives.
So I’ll just go ahead and clarify these numbers for those who might not be able to understand them
Out of the past four two-term presidents, the one who’s issued the most executive orders would be – “conservative hero,” “fiscally responsible,” “small government loving,” “Constitutional legend” Ronald Reagan.
At Obama’s current pace he would finish with 114 fewer executive orders being issued than Reagan. Or for him to surpass Reagan’s number (at his current pace) he would have to serve for almost an entire third term (another 3.4 years).
So if Republicans want to call President Obama a “dictator” for the frequency at which he uses the executive order, just what in the hell would they say about Ronald Reagan?
I mean hell, out of all four of these men President Obama is on pace to use the executive order fewer times than any of them.
And again, these aren’t partisan numbers, they’re indisputable facts. Well, I guess the “projected” number isn’t a “fact” as of yet, but most stats professionals would probably say after 5 years you can make a fairly safe assessment of what the next 3 years will be like based on existing patterns and evidence.
So there you have it folks – the truth.
Not only did President Reagan use the Executive order far more than every other president who’s followed him, at Obama’s current pace, he would have to serve nearly an entire third term just to equal Reagan’s number.
But I’m sure this won’t change the minds of conservatives who see him as a dictator. Because like with almost everything else, reality doesn’t dictate the truth in a conservative’s mind. What they want to believe is really all that matters.