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Ready on day one

President Obama's executive order on climate change is looking good. And since the midterms, Obama has been really great with executive orders. But they are executive orders, which means that Obama could have done them at any time. For the past 6 years or so, the "adult" Democrats have been telling us pesky progressives that presidents aren't dictators and they're basically powerless when there's all this gridlock in Congress, so we had no grounds to be disappointed. And then suddenly in his final two years in office Obama has found all sorts of great - and they are great - things to do, from the mini-DREAM act to raising the Federal minimum wage to the FLSA changes to these EPA regulations.

It's too late to wonder about Obama at this point, but here's to hoping that the next Democratic president comes to office with a list of executive actions to enact on day one. I'm a Bernie Sanders supporter, but to Martin O'Malley's credit, per the link above, it looks like he already has plans to have his EPA regulate carbon emissions from industrial and agricultural sources. Sanders has said that he'd expand the DREAM executive order to include families of DREAMers, that he'd go further with the FLSA ruling, and that he's generally open to more executive action. Clinton, unsurprisingly, hasn't been specific. But the idea should be that you go in with every executive action that you can do, and maybe even going a little further than you think is necessary, so that you have something to negotiate with the legislative branch about. If Obama had made this EPA ruling 4 years ago, for example, i bet Cap & Trade would have passed.

One thing i've seen from paying (vague) attention to other country's political systems is they have the concept of a Shadow Government. That sounds like something run by the Templars, but it means that the party that is out of power runs a parallel mock government, reacting to real world events and coming up with policies that they would enact if they had been in power at the time. That way when they get back in power they have a working plan to enact right away. Our system is different for a number of reasons, but the basic idea of having a plan prior to inauguration, especially on executive orders where there's no need to get things through Congress, still makes a lot of sense.

By fnord12 | August 4, 2015, 9:21 AM | Liberal Outrage


Reference from SuperMegaMonkey

Yglesias makes a fair point (warning: Twitter): "When Obama used leverage over contractors to get paid leave for *over a million people* it was a minor story." He means this in contrast to Trump's Carrier actions. But two counterpoints: 1)...    Read More: Own it and be ready

Reference from SuperMegaMonkey

I've made the point before that that Democrats need some sort of shadow government apparatus in place. Again, i'm not advocating for setting up some sort of Illuminati thing; it just means that you run a parallel mock government so...    Read More: Shadow Government needed