• Daniel Ethan Finneran

President Biden Signs An Unprecedented Number Of Executive Orders

Not yet one week removed from his recent Inauguration, from which all but the closest of his familial relations were barred, to which only the smallest number of our public officials were invited, at which just a few of our insufferable celebrities were granted the distinct honor to sing, President Joseph R. Biden has issued an unprecedented number of executive decrees.

The Executive Order, a species of presidential edict about which our Constitution is noticeably silent, is typically reserved for the rarest and most unusual of occasions. It certainly doesn’t lend itself to frequent and indiscriminate use, to a promiscuity of application at which, should he cast his royal eyes upon it, even the distant, haughty king would openly blush, and the imperious ruler smile.

It is, in most cases, a strange sight for our Republic to behold, a land into which not even the faintest hint or passing recommendation of monarchy is ever welcomed. In simple terms, the Executive Order is a disquieting expedient of which a democratically-elected president, intent on displaying his new muscularity and strength, makes vigorous but unnatural use, with which he hopes to elude, circumvent, or, frankly, overwhelm the normal function of our government.

Charging to the fore, and pushing aside all the restraints by which its hasty momentum might be slowed, the Executive Order seeks to assert itself by appropriating the power clearly reserved to another. Impatient of the Legislative Branch, by which, in compliance with the Constitution, these types of domestic policies should be crafted, and these weighty guidelines issued, the President takes it upon himself both to formulate the plans to which the nation will be obliged to conform, and—vested with his unique power—to enforce them. All that’s lacking is his ability to preside in judgement over himself, a consolidation of control to which none but the autocrat would aspire.

Is President Biden adopting the posture of so detestable a man? When looking into the mirror at the outset of the day, is it the gaze of a “dictator” by which his own is greeted? After all, as he rightly informed us when discussing this important matter with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, “I have this strange notion, we are a democracy…if you can’t get the votes…you can’t legislate by Executive Order unless you’re a dictator”. With the unbending assurance of an elder statesman, and the failing eloquence of a septuagenarian, he concluded by saying, “We’re a democracy. We need consensus”.

Apparently not.

At the time of this recording, President Biden has signed an astonishing twenty-four Executive Orders, an unprecedented number to which he’s added another thirty-seven “Presidential Actions”. More fully to appreciate this massive number of presidential directives, one must revisit the history of a none-too foreign age: President Trump, the man by whom Mr. Biden was preceded (and to whom, implicitly, the label of “dictator” was doubtless intended to apply), issued four Executive Orders during his first week in office, a number by which the charge of his “tyrannical tendency” was provoked. Barack Obama, in his first week, issued five and George W. Bush, never one to overwhelmed, issued zero.

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