Being an alternative media outlet of the conservative variety, it should come as no surprise to our readers that we are generally in favor of a smaller, more limited government, and that we’d prefer the government we are left with not do too much, as in passing legislation simply for the sake of doing something.
However, even we had to do a double-take when we saw the number of legislative bills signed into law by President Barack Obama — or, more accurately, the lack thereof — which was the least of any president in the modern era, even some one-term presidents.
An exclusive report from The Washington Times, utilizing newspaper’s own in-house Legislative Index, noted that over the course of eight years, Obama signed only 1,227 bills into law, fewer bills than either former Presidents Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush, both of whom served only four years in office.
This despite Obama’s repeated claims of being willing to “reach across the aisle” and “compromise” with his opponents in what was heralded to be a “post-partisan” presidency.
While Obama’s thinly disguised disdain for Republicans in Congress and “my way or no way” attitude towards the legislative process shoulders quite a bit of the blame, Congress has some responsibility as well.
To be sure, the Democrat-controlled Congress Obama enjoyed during his first two years got things accomplished, for better or worse, such as Obamacare, the failed “stimulus” package and the Dodd-Frank bank regulations.
But once Republicans took back the House in 2010, Congress seemingly ground to a halt, as the Senate led by Democrat Majority Leader Harry Reid refused to even address, much less actually pass, countless pieces of legislation passed by a Republican-led House.
Even before Republicans regained the Senate to control both branches of Congress in 2014, Obama had already largely moved on to his “pen and phone” method of governing, using a variety of executive actions to implement new rules and regulations that would have been more adequately and appropriately addressed by Congress.
Nevertheless, some legislation was passed, typically when enough weak-kneed Republicans buckled under pressure from the liberal media and Democrat colleagues to become complicit in supporting Obama’s agenda.
Of course, the left will blame the amazingly low number of actual bills passed on a “radical GOP” that did nothing but obstruct Obama — kind of like what we see shaping up among Democrats towards President-elect Donald Trump. But the “radicals” in the GOP never held the important leadership positions, which were always under the control of the weak establishment types who were willing to compromise after a brief public stance of opposition to save face with voters.
Obama ran on a promise of “hope and change” and to bring everybody together, but he utterly failed to bridge that gap, refusing to work with the opposition, listen to their ideas or make broad concessions of his own.
That is why he has set a humiliating new record of having the least productive administration legislatively in modern American history. It can go into the books, along with the civilian death toll from terrorism attacks since 9/11, and his rounds of presidential golf since Ike Eisenhower’s day.
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