Down the memory hole with Obama

It's getting to be a broken record; if a Republican tried to pull this crap, the press would eat them alive.

Well, in the case of signing statements, George Bush did indeed feel the wrath of the press and pundits.

But when Obama does the exact same thing, he hears a little grumbling from Congress but does not feel the lash of media outrage, as this Charlie Savage piece in the New York Times shows. In fact, the piece quotes a Clinton era official to legitimize the practice:

In March, Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, sent Mr. Obama a letter criticizing a signing statement that challenged a statute protecting government whistle-blowers who tell lawmakers privileged or "otherwise confidential" information. He accused Mr. Obama of chilling potential whistle-blowers, undermining the intent of Congress in a way that violated his campaign promises. The White House said it intended only to reaffirm similar reservations made by previous presidents.

Other laws Mr. Obama has said he need not obey as written include format requirements for budget requests, limits on whom he may appoint to a commission, and a restriction on putting troops under United Nations command.

After Mr. Bush transformed signing statements from an obscure tool into a commonplace term, Mr. Obama's willingness to use them has disappointed some who had hoped he would roll back the practice, not entrench it.

[...]

But other legal experts argued that signing statements were lawful and appropriate because it was impractical to veto important bills over small problems. Among them, Walter Dellinger, who helped develop the legal framework for signing statements as a Clinton administration official, said Mr. Obama was using the mechanism appropriately, and the problem with Mr. Bush's statements was that he cited dubious legal theories.

Ah! So that's the difference. "Dubious legal theories" used by Bush = Bad. Undemocratic caveats by Obama that seek to make it difficult to shed light on his wrongdoing = Good.

Glad we got that straightened out.




It's getting to be a broken record; if a Republican tried to pull this crap, the press would eat them alive.

Well, in the case of signing statements, George Bush did indeed feel the wrath of the press and pundits.

But when Obama does the exact same thing, he hears a little grumbling from Congress but does not feel the lash of media outrage, as this Charlie Savage piece in the New York Times shows. In fact, the piece quotes a Clinton era official to legitimize the practice:

In March, Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, sent Mr. Obama a letter criticizing a signing statement that challenged a statute protecting government whistle-blowers who tell lawmakers privileged or "otherwise confidential" information. He accused Mr. Obama of chilling potential whistle-blowers, undermining the intent of Congress in a way that violated his campaign promises. The White House said it intended only to reaffirm similar reservations made by previous presidents.

Other laws Mr. Obama has said he need not obey as written include format requirements for budget requests, limits on whom he may appoint to a commission, and a restriction on putting troops under United Nations command.

After Mr. Bush transformed signing statements from an obscure tool into a commonplace term, Mr. Obama's willingness to use them has disappointed some who had hoped he would roll back the practice, not entrench it.

[...]

But other legal experts argued that signing statements were lawful and appropriate because it was impractical to veto important bills over small problems. Among them, Walter Dellinger, who helped develop the legal framework for signing statements as a Clinton administration official, said Mr. Obama was using the mechanism appropriately, and the problem with Mr. Bush's statements was that he cited dubious legal theories.

Ah! So that's the difference. "Dubious legal theories" used by Bush = Bad. Undemocratic caveats by Obama that seek to make it difficult to shed light on his wrongdoing = Good.

Glad we got that straightened out.