Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Obama backs pet projects and signs spending bill

Yep, that's the headline from the AP story on the stimulus porkage. So Obama breaks another promise, this time to end earmarks, yawn. But he has the chutzpah to actually defend the whole thing. And, in his never ending quest to be seen as Bush III, Obama also issued a "signing statement." From the same AP article:

On another potentially controversial matter, the president also issued a "signing statement" with the bill, saying several of its provisions raised constitutional concerns and would be taken merely as suggestions. He has criticized President George W. Bush for often using such statements to claim the right to ignore portions of new laws, and on Monday he said his administration wouldn't follow those issued by Bush unless authorized by the new attorney general.
I need to take a quick break to see how this is playing over at Daily Kos, where vituperative criticisms of signing statements were logged during the Bush years.

OK, I'm back and admit to being somewhat shocked. First, most of the Daily Kooks have chosen to ignore the whole "signing statement" imbroglio. However, I found two interesting articles. The first, pretty much lambastes Obama for a heap of constitutional violations including the signing statement. Pretty amazing, but of course that post is not popular with the readers. The second article, states that Obama's position on signing statements is different from Bush's. This article asserts that unlike Bush, Obama's signing statements only indicate the potential for a constitutional concern. However, no evidence is supplied that Bush issued statements for any different reason.

A little historical context on the whole thing is available at Wikipedia, of course. Key facts: Signing statements have been around since James Monroe. Their use has accelerated over the last generation. George Bush was not a pioneer in their use, but certainly engendered more controversy by the way he used them.

In B-Daddy's opinion, the practice undermines the constitution. If the President thinks a provision of a law is unconstitutional, he needs to veto the whole thing.
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Will that slow down the pace of legislation? You betcha. Is that a bad thing? No way!

And of course the left is generally hypocritical in their hysterical criticism of Bush over this and their silence or acquiesence when Obama does it.


  1. More precisely, link forthcoming. ;)

  2. I shake my head, think of my time in Chicago, subsequent to my time in the rest of the state (red), and know he's exploited his creative and narrative skills for political gain.

    "Earmarks" being a strong campaign resolve, involving his strong personal commitment.

    Chicago "right wing talk radio" was all about letting us know what a hack this dude is.