Because they write lies?
Bill Clinton actually used signing documents way more than George W. Bush. But No. 42 is a Democrat and his wife currently works for Obama. So No. 44 is on a big tear right now to distance himself instead from No. 43, the Republican, who's back in Texas and doesn't care but just hearing his name trashed makes Democrats feel good. (See, also more Bush distancing in The Ticket on today's stem cell changes here.)
President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution.
Among the laws Bush said he can ignore are military rules and regulations, affirmative-action provisions, requirements that Congress be told about immigration services problems, ''whistle-blower" protections for nuclear regulatory officials, and safeguards against political interference in federally funded research.
Legal scholars say the scope and aggression of Bush's assertions that he can bypass laws represent a concerted effort to expand his power at the expense of Congress, upsetting the balance between the branches of government. The Constitution is clear in assigning to Congress the power to write the laws and to the president a duty ''to take care that the laws be faithfully executed." Bush, however, has repeatedly declared that he does not need to ''execute" a law he believes is unconstitutional.
No, this wasn't written by the Republican National Committee to be read on-air by Fox News personalities; it just seems like it.
Did Clinton use signing statements "way more than George W. Bush"? It's a highly misleading claim, based on a count of the individual documents, instead of the number of provisions to which the signing statements have been applied. In reality, Bush "broke all records" while abusing this presidential tool, "using signing statements to challenge about 1,200 sections of bills over his eight years in office, about twice the number challenged by all previous presidents combined."
To hear Malcolm tell it, President Obama is just playing a silly partisan game, "trashing" Bush when Clinton was worse, just to make Democrats "feel good." This is lazy, partisan, and disingenuous analysis.
What's more, Obama didn't rule out the use of signing statements, which Malcolm concludes makes yesterday's announcement "change to sort-of believe in." This, again, is misleading. Obama's decision is entirely in line with historic presidential authority. The problem isn't with the signing statements themselves -- the practice has been around for nearly 200 years -- but with Bush's unprecedented abuse of the presidential tool. The 43rd president took the practice to new heights (or depths, as the case may be), using signing statements to ignore parts of laws he didn't like.
That Obama might, at some point, use signing statements is not controversial, and certainly doesn't point to more of the same. Why Andrew Malcolm is arguing otherwise is a mystery.
He signaled that, unlike Bush, he would not use signing statements to do end runs around Congress.
According to one count, Bush issued 161 signing statements in which he cast doubt on more than 1,000 provisions in legislation and essentially stated his intention to ignore those parts of the law.
Former President Clinton issued significantly more signing statements, but Bush was more aggressive in making claims that the legislation in question would undermine presidential authority.
Bush's signing statements were viewed by many critics, Republican and Democratic alike, as another attempt to expand the scope of presidential power. Bush didn't publicize them, however, and for much of his presidency, the public was largely unaware of this practice.
In part because of columns like this one.
If newspapers disappear... We shall make how to wipe the bottom ?
Lead in the ink is bad for your bottom. Use toilet paper. Or, as Martha Stewart says, every house should have a bidet. On the other hand, lining bird cages....
Didn't this story actually appear on a blog, and not in the paper?
An official blog of a paper, written by one of the LATimes journalists.
It's good to have you back, Bora. :)