Why we care about Obama’s executive order

The conservative blogosphere has been upset since Friday, when Obama, as part of a Friday night document dump, issued an executive order entitled “National Defense Resources Preparedness” (“NDRP”).  Ed Morrissey, for one, was unimpressed:

This EO simply updates another EO (12919) that had been in place since June 1994, and amended several times since.

Indeed, the EO goes back even further than that, having originated during the Cold War:

The NDRP traces its origin to the Defense Production Act (DPA) of 1950, which attempted to establish a framework for placing the nation on a “war footing” as quickly and in as efficient a manner as possible should events warrant.  In an age of highly industrialized warfare, the basic building blocks of military success are composed of mundane elements such as supply chains, resource availability, parts, access to raw materials, and skilled labor.

Over the years, the DPA has seen many revisions, and the executive orders issued to implement those revisions presupposed an imminent threat of war.  In 1994, then-President Clinton issued Executive Order 12919, which expanded the provisions of the DPA rather dramatically, declaring its applicability to peacetime.

The NDRP, then, is a generic executive act.  Why then, is everyone so upset?  Well, there’s good reason.  It’s not the act itself, but the president who issues it that arouses suspicion.

Obama has repeatedly shown himself to be comfortable with using government to control as many aspects as possible of American life.  He likes Big Government.  And he socializes with and hires (on behalf of the American people, no less), people who are passionately committed to Big Government.

Obama has also shown that he has internalized the Alinsky technique of personalizing an enemy and then attacking it with all guns blazing.  Currently, as part of his reelection campaign, he’s managed to personalize and attack as many specific conservatives as possible, in addition to conservatives in general.  Conservatives therefore feel besieged and don’t like to see their political opponent reminding them that he can take all government power onto himself.

Given Obama’s temperament and belief system, conservatives not unnaturally get their feathers ruffled when they see him making himself very comfortable with a pre-existing power that Americans reasonably believed past presidents viewed solely as a belts and suspenders measure in case the worst ever happens.  With Obama, we all have the creepy — and, yes, not entirely rational — feeling that he will, first, make the worst happen and, second, gleefully grab onto the power that he recently re-upped.

One other thing:  Obama knows this.  He recognizes the paranoid streak that runs through conservatives in the Obama era.  (At which point it’s worth pointing out that even paranoid people have enemies.)  With an election year upon us, there’s nothing Obama wants more than to show the average American that conservatives are paranoid nutcases.  Average American’s don’t like paranoid nutcases.  I suspect, therefore, that Obama’s administration might have seen updating the NDRP (plus the inflammatory Friday night stealth release) as an opportunity, not just for some executive office housekeeping, but also to highlight the hypersensitivity that allows him (and Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, etc.) to paint us with the crazy brush.  In other words, folks, this is a set up, although one that can have real-world, long-time consequences.

We should definitely keep an eye on things, but I agree with those commentators who say that we shouldn’t be getting our knickers in a twist.

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  • SADIE

    We should definitely keep an eye on things … you can start with the exemptions.    Obama Exempts 11 Nations from Iran Oil Sanctions
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    NY Times – The Obama administration on Tuesday exempted Japan and 10 European nations from biting sanctions intended to punish those who continued to purchase oil from Iran. The sanctions, mandated by Congress last year to intensify economic pressure to stop Iran’s nuclear program, had put the administration in the difficult position of threatening to punish some of the United States’…
    Read full story →

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    aaHe recognizes the paranoid streak that runs through conservatives in the Obama era.  

    No, he doesn’t. Narcissists don’t have empathy as most people would understand it. Frankly, they just don’t care. Do you really think Obama cares? you think he’s busy going on vacations because he cares?

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    With an election year upon us, there’s nothing Obama wants more than to show the average American that conservatives are paranoid nutcases.

    That’s what they said about social security. A lot of people thought FDR would destroy this country. In 1955, they were eating crow. Destroyed the nation? FDR saved the nation, they were told. Until 2010 and now we have social security.

    The commentators that are taking the Left likely, are wrong. They have always been wrong. And they will ALWAYS BE WRONG because they don’t get it. 

  • Mike Devx

    This legislation gives a President enormous non-Constitutional powers during an emergency.  But no president has exercised this granted power… yet.

    It’s understandable to be currently alarmed, because Obama has shown us what it looks like when a President seeks to expand his power at all costs.

    Obama is educational.  These are bitter lessons.  But if you’re going to be outraged when Obama is President, you should be equally outraged when any other President is President.  You can feel more *threatened* by Obama because of his nature, but your outrage should be based on the Constitutionality of this, the vast over-reach of power that has been granted to the Executive Branch for the last fifty, sixty years.
     

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    The Executive Branch was given the exact power it was intended to and has functioned the most efficiently of any other US branch of government. Obama was not elected because of the flaws in the articles of the Constitution or the problems of EOs. Obama was elected because Congress could collect social security funds and use it to create private armies of union thugs, which allied with the SUpreme Court, allowed the complete erosion of the US Constitution from root to canopy.

     But if you’re going to be outraged when Obama is President, you should be equally outraged when any other President is President.

    People tried that argument with me concerning abortion and killing rapists and serial killers. Didn’t work then, won’t work now. 

  • jj

    It’s situational.  It isn’t that we care so much about the executive order as it is – as you pointed out – that we’re concerned about the executive.  In the hands of this president and the nursery school recess of an administration he’s put in place around him, it becomes cause for concern.  In the hands of people like Holder, directed by someone who apparently knows/understands nothing about this country or its traditions, any fear you  have ceases being ‘not entirely rational,’ and becomes eminently so.  They have already taken so many steps that not very long ago at all would have been considered unthinkable that hardly anything remains on the list of the ‘out of bounds.’  These people contrive to be simultaneously as inept and transparent as children; as sleazy as Saul Alinsky; and as dangerous to the American idea as Marx and Engels.  Eric Holder is a f***ing clown by anybody’s definition – but the damage he’s done to the American rule of law will take generations to straighten out.  Obama is equally inept, and stands exposed as a serial liar; a serial law-breaker; well beyond the merely ‘out of touch;’ clearly someone whose default position is not ‘American’ – and I don’t know if the damage he’s done in three short years can ever be cleaned up.  (And – most dishearteningly – millions of our fellow halfwits stand ready to vote for the little son of a bitch again.  Are there really that many people who have no understanding of what’s going on around them?  The answer appears to be: yep.)
     
    And now, the biggest federal overreach in recorded history goes before the supreme court, an organization Hunter Thompson once compared to ‘a piss-poor bowling team from Memphis.’  Personally, I don’t think the current court quite rises to the level of a piss-poor bowling team from Memphis – but that’s just me.  Make up your own mind.  Obamacare is such an obvious overreach it’s clear to children.  But our roomful of geniuses have scheduled three days for arguments.  It’s such an obvious overreach I don’t know why it requires more than three seconds – but it doesn’t matter.  If they allowed three seconds, three hours, three days, three months, or three years of arguments – what difference would it make?  We know before anybody opens his mouth exactly how the court’s going to come down, we know exactly how everybody’s going to vote – and we know the future of the freedom Americans enjoy from government interference – to the extent that there’s any left – depends squarely on a dipshit from Nuthouse West – Sacramento – named Anthony Kennedy.  The entire structure of the relationship between the American people and the federal government, as spelled out by the founding fathers of this country, built up and refined through two hundred years of practice; hangs in the witless hands of the witless Anthony Goddam Kennedy.  Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Madison – meet Mr. Kennedy.
     
    And, I simply note in passing, when the implementation of Obamacare leads to churches arguing freedom of religion in front of the same roomful of geniuses, the continued existence of the first amendment itself will also be left to Mr. Swing-Vote, so you could say America, you and me, all of us, the constitution – are resting in the clear-thinking, far-sighted, capable(?) – hands of… Anthony Kennedy?  A man whose convictions lead him to conclude nothing.  He can be swayed by whoever, on any given day, is most eloquent.  Whoever’s on his game.  Could be a different guy on another day, then the outcome would be different, but hey – that’s apparently how America goes. 
     
    How in the name of (insert your own god here) did America come to this?    

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Somebody took the Left lightly and thought they were right, is what happened.