Thursday, June 09, 2022

A Little Done, More To Be Done

I may have pegged Joe Biden, whom I have considered a relatively honest but weak President, wrong. Appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Wednesday night, the President was somewhat pressed by the host about gun safety. At 6:21 of the video below, he is asked by Jimmy Kimmel (well, obviously) "Can't you issue an Executive Order? Trump passed those out like Halloween candy. Isn't that something that could happen?"  Biden responded

Well, I have issued Executive Orders within the power of the presidency to be able to do these- everything having to do with guns and gun ownership, whether or not you have to have a waiting- all the things that are within my power. But what I don't want to do- and I'm not being facetious- is, I don't want to emulate Trump's abuse of the Constitution and the constitutional authority. And so- and so, I mean that sincerely.

I often get asked "look, the Republicans don't play it square, why do you play it square?" Well, guess what? If we do the same thing they do, our democracy would literally be in jeopardy. And I mean, not a joke.

"If we do the same thing they do," the President stated approximately twenty hours before televised congressional hearings investigating an attempted coup 17 months ago, "our democracy would literally be in jeopardy." We don't do the same things they do, our democracy is literally in jeopardy, and if the President tuned in to one of the genuine cable news networks at 8:00 p.m. eastern time Thursday evening, he noticed that.  Moreover, given that the vast majority of Republicans believes Biden probably wasn't legitimately elected, the threat to democracy is going to remain in jeopardy.

As he maintained, the President has taken action on gun safety.  CNN recently explained "Gun violence prevention organizations like Everytown for Gun Safety and Brady have praised the numerous executive actions the President has taken on guns since taking office, including to curb the use of so-called ghost guns and bolster community violence intervention programs." However, neither of these nor anything Biden has done has pertained to waiting periods and there are several safety measures he could enact with Executive Orders.

While it would be awful (and nearly impossible for a Democrat) "to emulate Trump's abuse of the Constitution," Biden has in fact issued many Executive Orders- 90 over the course of the almost 16-and-a-half months he has served as President. President Trump issued 220 in the four years he was President.  Thus, Trump issued an average of 4.58 Orders a month and Biden has issued an average of 5.48 per month. So Biden is either lying or unaware that he has signed, per month, more of these than did his immediate predecessor. 

Nonetheless, it is good policy being implemented and for the most part, represents effective leadership.  Both sides use, probably abuse, the power of executive action and Biden would be abrogating his responsibility if he did not frequently issue Executive Orders. Ideally, a President would employ the power only as a last resort. Yet, these are extraordinary times in which there is only one Party seriously devoted to the interests of the American people. So, sign them, Joe- on guns especially, and otherwise.


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