The Truth About Presidential Executive Orders From 1893-2013

New statistics have emerged regarding the use of Presidential executive orders, now being hotly contested because President Barack Obama is issuing 23 such orders on gun regulation, in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Massacre.

All Presidents from Grover Cleveland’s second term through Obama’s first term are covered in assessing how much these Presidents utilized executive orders. Thanks to New York Magazine for these statistics.

So for conservatives and Republicans, they can be excited to point out that Franklin D. Roosevelt, who they hate, issued, by far, the most executive orders. But of course, FDR presided during the Great Depression and World War II, the greatest crises since the Civil War, and, of course, FDR also served three complete terms and started a fourth before dying in office.

But after FDR, one discovers that Herbert Hoover was a close second in the four years of his term, having to deal with the Great Depression erupting in his first year in office. Of course, some conservatives think of Hoover as a progressive, but that is a major misunderstanding in fact!

Woodrow Wilson comes a close third, and this makes conservatives feel justified that it is Democrats, such as FDR and Wilson, who are the biggest “villains” on executive orders.

But then, how does one explain that below Wilson are Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge, not much behind Wilson, but adored by conservatives? And next is William Howard Taft, considered a conservative when Chief Justice of the Supreme Court a decade after his Presidency. These three Presidents are Republicans, imagine that!

The list continues in order as follows:

Theodore Roosevelt
Harry Truman
Jimmy Carter
John F. Kennedy
Gerald Ford
Lyndon B. Johnson
Richard Nixon
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Ronald Reagan
Bill Clinton
George H. W. Bush
William McKinley
George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Grover Cleveland

Hey, wait a minute here! Obama is next to last of these 21 Presidents? How is that possible, after the rhetoric employed by Republicans such as Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky? Could it be that Paul does not know the facts, and does not know history very well? You know the answer!

And executive orders have become quite rare after Truman, so were most utilized by the eight Presidents from TR through Truman.

In other words, Barack Obama has NOT abused the executive orders authority, and has hardly used it, and Republicans TR, Taft, Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover all used it an amazing amount of times!

But do conservatives really care to know the truth? Again, the answer is obvious!

3 comments on “The Truth About Presidential Executive Orders From 1893-2013

  1. Juan Domingo Peron January 17, 2013 9:45 pm

    The issue is not the quantity of Executive Orders or Executive Orders per se, but the nature of the Executive Orders, that is the quality. In other words as long as these orders are directed towards officers and agencies of the administration and in pursuance of an Act of Congress or Presidential power, no one would object.
    But if they violate the Constitution , as in the Steal Seizure cases under Truman, then the order is unconstitutional.
    Now President Obama, the other day mainly ordered himself do to certain things and enforce certain laws, for which there was actually no need for all the show they put on display. But nevertheless there are a few orders that conflict with the Affordable Health Care Act, when for example he practically deputizes all the psychiatrist in the country, creating the obligation to denounce patient whom they think are dangerous to themselves and society. This creates enormous potential liabilities, which are not based in law.
    Also, the Executive Order that implemented the Dream Act in frank violation of the Federal Immigration laws and of the will of Congress is another example in which the nature of this particular Executive Order is under question.
    So, again, it is not the quantity or the existence of Executive Orders per se,since as you correctly point out many Presidents have issued them, but the quality,the nature of the order. That is, does it or does in not violate a Constitutional provision or a law enacted by Congress?

  2. labman57 January 20, 2013 12:09 pm

    Word to the wise: elections matter, and your party LOST. The people have spoken — the vast majority fully support increased federal gun regulations and restrictions.

    Once again, not only are Rand and his fellow tea party knuckleheads unabashedly ignorant about U.S. History, they are determined to follow the path of their fellow conservatives and end up on the WRONG SIDE OF HISTORY.

  3. Ronald January 20, 2013 12:22 pm

    Thank you, labman57, and you are correct that conservatives and Rand Paul are on the WRONG side of history, and will be swept aside if they do not adjust to reality, that we have a different America, and we are not going back to an idealized 18th or 19th century image of America. This is the 21st century, and we must look to the future!

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