Readers of Ogden "newspapers" saw them on a regular basis -- editorials and Mike Myer columns that told us how terrible President Obama (our "imperial president") was for issuing executive orders. For example, from an October editorial:
President Barack Obama is notorious for using executive orders and other unilateral actions to override existing U.S. policy.
Now that penchant for imperial rule is coming back to haunt Americans.
And from an earlier editorial:
President Barack Obama has no patience with checks and balances and separation of powers. When he wants something done, whether it involves environmental laws, health care or dealing with national security, he simply issues an executive order. The Constitution and the will of the people as expressed through their elected members of Congress simply are not considerations for this president.
But now we are in the first week of Trump's presidency and the new president has already issued twelve executive orders. Earlier today, Politico published a detailed list and NBC News wrote about them yesterday:
For the past eight years, Republicans skewered President Obama as an "emperor" who acted outside of his "legal authority" for the executive orders he issued from the Oval Office. Now, they are cheering President Donald Trump as he issues a raft of his own.
Trump has signed a dozen executive orders in his first few days in office, tackling everything from rolling back the Affordable Care Act's mandate to beginning construction on the Southern border wall to freezing federal hiring. Some Republicans cheered him on, while others, charged with overseeing and investigating executive oversight, have remained silent.
Sen. Jeff Sessions, who is now Trump's attorney general nominee, called Obama "emperor" for his use of executive action on immigration. He has not commented on Trump's dozen presidential actions.
Okay, while we might hope for higher ethical standards from our politicians, we've all seen the hypocrisy of party politics. I think we expect more of our news sources -- especially those which periodically lecture us about how fair, balanced and accurate they are as the News-Register did last Sunday. (See their editorial, "Media Not All Biased.") And on non-political issues, they probably are. When it comes to politics, however, the locals' news coverage frequently suggests that they are not primarily a source of objective news but rather a propaganda arm of the Republican Party. And now the editorial pages, which don't have the requirement of objectivity, have a problem -- it will have to defend actions by Trump that they roundly criticized under Obama. My hunch is that I will be writing a lot about their hypocrisy in the days ahead.