Chuck Grassley, one of the smarter Republicans in Congress (snark), had this to say about the President’s use of Executive Orders (my emphasis):
It is a very dangerous road he’s going down contrary to the spirit of the Constitution. Just because Congress doesn’t act doesn’t mean the president has a right to act.
I know! I’ll give you a few seconds to stop laughing …
First of all, for all the right-wingnuts who claim they know something about the Constitution and claim that President Obama’s Executive Orders are unconstitutional or illegal, here’s an easy to understand explanation of an Executive Order and a president’s constitutional authority to issue them:
Executive Orders do not require Congressional approval to take effect but they have the same legal weight as laws passed by Congress. The President’s source of authority to issue Executive Orders can be found in the Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution which grants to the President the “executive Power.” Section 3 of Article II further directs the President to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” To implement or execute the laws of the land, Presidents give direction and guidance to Executive Branch agencies and departments, often in the form of Executive Orders.
Teabaggers and libertarians love to pretend they revere the founding fathers. They might be surprised to learn that George Washington was not only the first president, he was literally the first president to issue an Executive Order. They also often claim that the President has issued more Executive Orders than any other president, which makes him a “tyrant” in their eyes. However, as the folks at DKos point out, the President issued fewer Executive Orders in his first term than any president since Truman, and he has a long way to go to reach the number of orders issued by modern presidents. According to the National Archives, the number of Executives Orders by the last five presidents are as follows:
Barack Obama, 143 (to-date)
George W. Bush, 290
Bill Clinton, 363
George HW Bush, 165
Ronald Reagan, 380
Yeah, so if the President is a tyrant, then Ronald Reagan was what? A tyrannical dictator?
If Chuck Grassley has any intention of effectively serving his constituents without sounding like a dunce, he might want to learn a little about the workings of the federal government outside of the Congress.