In the beginning President Washington created executive orders and controversy. Since Grover Cleveland Alexander 150 years ago, only two of the other presidents have issued fewer executive orders than President Obama, just barely so.

Heavy hitters were Theodore Roosevelt (1081), Woodrow Wilson (1083), Calvin Coolidge (1203), Franklin Delano Roosevelt (3,522). Even Presidents Ford and Kennedy who did not complete a full term had more than President Obama, a year into his second term. The lowest on the list of President who served at least one term is , so far, Barack Obama (167). . Of the approximately 12,000 executive orders issued since Grover Cleveland, two have been declared unconstitutional: One each by Presidents Truman and Clinton.

Virtually all of the executive orders of previous presidents before President Obama dealt with the same kinds of matters addressed in the executive orders signed by him. Still, for his selective, timid following of past established presidential precedent, Republican leaders and talk radio have called President Obama “lawless” and “America’s First Dictator.”

If his record on executive orders makes him a dictator, President Obama is certainly not “The First.” With only three years to go as President, Barack Obama is not likely to pass that other great dictator, President Ronald Reagan in the number of executive orders signed. Compared to President Reagan’s 381 executive orders, President Obama, now at 167, is a piker. Indeed, “the Emperor has no clothes.”

Tim Mannello


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