Bye-bye, Obama's legacy

It brings a smile to my face to read one article after another detailing how President Obama's legacies can be so easily undone by Donald Trump.  The reason why so many of Obama's initiatives can be undone is because so many of them were done without authorizing legislation.  Obama acted unilaterally, and the Congress, composed of timid Republicans, never mustered up the courage to object.

But because Obama acted unilaterally, often even illegally with insufficient authority, many of his actions can be reversed without even requiring authorizing legislation.

Let's take a look at a few:

1) The Iran deal.  The deal with Iran to supposedly curb its nuclear enrichment was never submitted to the U.S. Senate for ratification, as it was supposed to be.  That means that any succeeding president can simply ignore it.

2) The Paris climate deal.  Obama signed the Paris Climate Accord committing the U.S. to reduce production of greenhouse gases to reduce imaginary man-made global warming.  Trump has indicated he wants to pull out of this treaty, but liberals claim that the treaty requires Trump to give four years' advance notice before quitting.  However, since this treaty, like the Iran deal, was also never submitted to the U.S. Senate, the United States is not bound to it, and Trump can simply disregard it, without any need for action from the Congress.

3) Obama's Clean Power Plan, which would effectively shut down many coal- and gas-fired power plants, was put into effect with an EPA regulation; no law was ever passed giving the EPA such sweeping authority.  Trump's new EPA director can cancel it immediately.  Trump can also open up new areas for oil exploration that were ruled off limits by Obama, again without legislation to back him up.

4) Obama's amnesty to children of illegal aliens (DACA).  This too was implemented by executive order and can be canceled immediately.

5) Obama took the "work" out of workfare through an executive order, allowing people to once again get welfare without having to work.  That also was the act of an easily reversible executive order.

6) Obama allows the so-called "transgendered" to serve in the military and has threatened schools that do not allow boys in girls' bathrooms.  These too are easy to reverse.

Ironically, if Obama had acted legally and gotten these measures approved by Congress, as he rightly should have, President-Elect Trump might have had more difficulty getting all these measures overturned, especially in a closely divided Senate where 60 votes are often required to avoid a filibuster.  But since Obama acted unilaterally, much of his legacy is as durable as Hillary Clinton's lead in Pennsylvania.

Ed Straker is the senior writer at