Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is still pushing for Congressional temper tantrums while saying veto threats from President Obama are temper tantrums. He (and others) continue to believe that executive orders are unconstitutional, and he’s not above taking his ball and stomping home in order to prove that.
Cruz appeared on Wednesday’s edition of The Kelly File, hosted by Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly. There, he outlined the childish strategy he hopes incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will take:
“The new Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, should stand up and say, ‘If you disregard the Constitution, if you disregard the law, if you issue this executive amnesty, the new Congress, for the next two years, will not confirm a single nomination, judicial or executive, other than vital national security positions, until you end this illegal amnesty.'”
When are these people going to learn that they can end it themselves? House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) went there recently also, saying that if Obama issues executive amnesty, then there will be no chance of immigration reform passing Congress. Obama will have “poisoned the well.”
Of course, Cruz also said that the President is acting in an unprecedented way:
“There is not, in recent times, any parallel for a president repudiated by the voters standing up and essentially telling the voters, ‘Go jump in a lake,’ he’s going to push his powers.”
George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan all used executive orders to get things done that Congress wouldn’t deal with (and pretty much every president before them, too, but we’re sticking to recent times here). Many of those executive orders were just as unpopular as Cruz is claiming Obama’s to be. The Congressional party that is not in the White House always complains about executive orders, and always whines about the lawlessness of the president issuing them. Both of these problems boil down to a difference of opinion on the issue, according to Washington Post writer Jaime Fuller. Fuller says that difference “leads Congress to think that another branch shouldn’t have the authority to disagree with them.”
In other words, executive orders are a way for a president to get done some of what Congress won’t do. If it’s truly a huge, legal problem, then Cruz should expand his rhetoric to include stopping executive orders period, not just ones from the Democrat in the White House. Chances are, if we had a Republican president in the White House, Cruz would be making excuses up one side and down the other for executive action. He’d say, on every show he could get onto, and in every press conference there was, that if Congressional Democrats would just work with the President, then those “lawless and tyrannical” executive orders wouldn’t be necessary.
The Congressional temper tantrums that we’ve seen in recent years rarely happened with this magnitude, though. Ted Cruz’ statements boil down to one thing: “Our way or the highway.” And he’s pushing the flat-out false notion that any executive order that Obama issues is an irreversible law.
There’s no reason for Republicans to do this; they know that all they have to do is pass a bill. Just to be sure that Obama’s executive orders can’t supersede it, they could easily include a tiny little piece of language that says the law nullifies his “amnesty.” That’s it. That’s all. Instead, they’ll spoon-feed lies to the American public, instead of actually doing their job. Let’s make no mistake; the idea that “executive amnesty” is something Congress can’t change is a lie.
In fact, here’s a thought: If Congress would actually do things, instead of bicker, obstruct, and throw temper tantrums, then perhaps the President (whichever party he or she is from) wouldn’t feel such a need to issue executive orders in the first place.
Featured image via screengrab from 11-19-2014 edition of “The Kelly File”