February 03, 2017

Executive orders: The new Twitter for Trump

It sure seems like they're the latest extension of Trump's version of the CEO presidency.

Write out an executive order and expect everybody to jump and say "How high?"

Of course, there's this little thing called "the rule of law," which means, on paper, that executive orders (unlike presidential signing statements until legally challenged) don't work that way. Federal judges have already shown that with Trump's immigration executive order.

That said, as Ted Rall has already noted, the wheels of justice turn VERY slowly indeed in America at times.

Trump's latest order, that two regulations have to be cancelled for each new one approved, is the rankest example yet. Basically, we're in Dr. Seuss land with this. Maybe the business CEO world works that way, but politics doesn't. Congress passes bills that either add to, or pare back, on the official regulatory standards as listed in the Federal Register. The president then either signs or vetoes said bills.

Now, the details do specify that this is an executive order for regulatory agencies to target regulations for such actions. No matter. They still can't eliminate Congressionally mandated standards. And, in cases such as the EPA and FDA, they have statutory rule-making power. More on the limited legal reach and all the convolutions here.

But, Trump doesn't care; this is his Potemkin village version of pretending to honor campaign promises. Actually, in his mind, he thinks this is real, not a Potemkin village, I'm sure.

And, with that said, it's no wonder that TrumpTrain riders in red state heartland areas still think he's doing a bang-up job.

Basically, his executive orders are Twitter longform, and as the NYT reports about him not even understanding how much he was empowering Bannon in adding him to the National Security Council, they're as poorly thought out.

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