When the Democrats controlled the White House, they had a much more favorable view of executive orders.

No sooner did President Donald Trump issue an executive temporarily restricting travel from seven designated countries then Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) demanded a meeting with DHS Secretary John Kelly. Democrats, in fact, were almost uniformly outraged that Trump would issue an executive order on an issue of consequence.

They seem to forget President Barack Obama’s fondness for circumventing Congress with executive orders. In early 2014 New Yorker editor David Remnick accompanied Obama on a west coast fund raising tour.

At one stop, wrote Remnick, “It happened again: another heckler broke into Obama’s speech. A man in the balcony repeatedly shouted out, ‘Executive order!,’ demanding that the President bypass Congress with more unilateral actions.”

Obama confirmed to the audience that, yes, people did want him to sign more executive orders and “basically nullify Congress.” At that point, wrote Remnick, “Many in the crowd applauded their approval. Yes! Nullify it!”

These were not wild-eyed tent dwellers on Wall or some lesser street. These were the Democrats’ educated base, the same people who worry that Trump and his ignorant followers will trample the Constitution.

Sen. McCaskill faces re-election in 2018 in a state that gave Trump a 19 percent margin of victory. Were she to deflate the hysteria in her party, she might have a better chance of success.


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