Free Markets, Free People

Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss …

This is just pathetic:

President Barack Obama signed a $410 billion spending bill Wednesday that includes thousands of pet projects inserted by lawmakers, even as he unveiled new rules to restrict such so-called earmarks.

At the same time, after Democrats criticized former President George W. Bush’s signing statements, Mr. Obama issued one of his own, declaring five provisions in the spending bill to be unconstitutional and nonbinding, including one aimed at preventing punishment of whistleblowers.

Presidents have employed signing statements to reject provisions of a bill without vetoing the entire legislation. Democrats and some Republicans have complained that Mr. Bush abused such statements by declaring that he would ignore congressional intent on more than 1,200 sections of bills, easily a record. Mr. Obama has ordered a review of his predecessor’s signing statements and said he would rein in the practice.

“We’re having a repeat of what Democrats bitterly complained about under President Bush,” said Sen. Arlen Specter (R., Pa.), who drafted legislation to nullify Mr. Bush’s signing statements.

The president said the spending measure should “mark an end to the old way of doing business.” His proposals, seconded by the House Democratic leadership, followed days of attacks by Republicans — and some Democrats — over the spending for local projects tucked into the bill.

This is an example of what I was talking about yesterday when I said Obama’s first 50 days was marked by a total lack of leadership.

Here was a chance to lead. After railing on the campaign trail against earmarks and wasteful spending, he signs a bill full of earmarks and wasteful spending and then, like a mom who yells, “boys, quit it” but never moves to enforce her words, Obama says “this should end the old way of doing business”. Really?

What’s the penalty? Another lecture after the signature? Had Obama vetoed the bill, he’d have sent the strong message necessary that his assumption of the presidency marked the end of “business as usual”. Instead he caved and created a fiction that this was the “old administration’s” business and therefore exempt from his pledge.

Talk about BS on a stick. If a president signs something into law his watch, it is his and not anyone else’s. To pretend anyone would actually believe that glib nonsense is incredible. But much of the MSM dutifully reported it as such.

He also pushed the fiction that if this bill wasn’t signed, the government would shut down. No it wouldn’t. Congress simply passes a continuing resolution which funds government at last year’s levels. But that’s not what he or Congress wanted. They wanted the 9,000 earmarks and the 8% increase in spending as well – thus the fiction about it being both necessary and last year’s business.

Then to put the proverbial cherry on the dissembling rhetorical sundae, Obama issues his own signing statement after making a press event about dissing Bush’s use of them.



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6 Responses to Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss …

  • And, of course, you will not hear a peep out of the Left after The Clown™ pulled this baloney.

    That is why the Democrats and the Left in this country are bankrupt, morally and financially: their ideas of “change” are to do what everyone else is doing but claim it is something different. And, alas, the mainstream media covers up their full-fledged horsecrap.

  • As for the Signing Statement, each of these statements allows all to see whatever interpretation the Executive branch will apply to the law. The Signing Statements impart no authority, but rather only represent a position of interpretation. Previously, these positions were understood within the Executive branch as internal policies that were unseen by the public and these positions were made public only when a statue was put up for judicial review or as regulations, stemming from these laws, were disclosed in the Federal Register. The Signing Statements represent a level of transparency by the Executive branch. If all bills had a Signing Statement, we would all be better served.

    The downside of a Signing Statement is that it removes the ability to flip-flop or in most cases even be flexible. It has the real effect of starting the judicial review process without even filing a suit, as it locks in many aspects of the Executive branch position. While many will view a Signing Statement on the Military Commissions Act or this bill as an “evil” act. It will be even more “evil” if there is no statement. The supporters of these specific provisions should be waiting with baited breath to see what clarifications the Executive branch considers important enough to put into a Signing Statement, as this is the minimal test they will have to clear to have the court or the Congress to consider any reversals.

    • That said, it is obvious now that the outrage on the Left in regard to the Bush signing statements was pure bluster.
      More BDS for the goose.

      After all the droning about “Ms Flame” being targeted in the “Scooter” Libby fiasco, I am particularly befuddled though with the choice of a provision geared to “preventing punishment of whistleblowers” being declare unconstitutional in Obama’s first trip to the Signing Statement “well.”

  • Has anybody asked whether TAO and Sheriff Biden went through the spending bill line by line and when he will hold a press conference to publicly “name and shame” members of Congress who put in earmarks?

  • This is what you can get away with when the only opposition is an irrelevent cartoon hehe.