Published On: Tue, Jun 27th, 2017

When did the US President become a ‘king’? What happened to ‘checks and balances’?

Originally posted on Feb. 20, 2010 and now re-posted under President Trump with this question in mind: What has really changed – Brandon Jones, The Global Dispatch

When President Obama campaigned, he was very specific about eliminating the abuse of executive power that was demonstrated by George W. Bush (to be discussed in a later piece). Of course, it was merely a campaign promise, and as we’re told so often, “promises are meant to be broken”.

However, with his massive agenda being stalled or stopped in the Congress, Mr. Obama is going to resort to the same abuses that his predecessor did, including the use of executive orders to advance energy, environmental, fiscal and other domestic policy priorities.

The Truth painting President Barack Obama as Jesus Christ

One of the most frightening executive orders coming out of the Obama administration was the Establishment of the Council of Governors.

The incredible advances in executive power of Bush and Obama were in my opinion started by Bill Clinton’s favorite republican and John McCain’s idol, Theodore Roosevelt.

Let me briefly examine some Constitutional basics: Checks and balances (remember that from grade school?) is where the legislative branch makes the law (Article I, Section I), the executive branch enforces the law ((Article II, Section 3) and the judicial branch interprets the law.

The president may recommend bills to Congress, and can veto what he believes unconstitutional. Congress can overturn a veto with a 2/3 vote.

What is an executive order? It is a directive issued by the president. This power has been abused throughout American history but really took off during the terms of Teddy Roosevelt.

Paul Festival

Dr. Tom Woods Photo/The Global Dispatch-Robert Herriman


As Thomas Woods and Kevin Gutzman list in the book, “Who killed the Constitution?” Roosevelt issued dramatically more executive orders than any of his predecessors.

According to the book, Rutherford B. Hayes issued 0, Chester Arthur issued 3, William McKinley issued 51, and to make a long story short, Teddy Roosevelt issued 1006!

Roosevelt used and abused the executive order because he truly believed that this was his role as president (clearly ignoring Article II).

He had had a tremendous “cult of personality” and the media loved him, but let’s look at some of the things Roosevelt said and done:

“…since the president occupies a political office for which the whole country votes, unlike the Congress, he is in a unique position to represent the American people. The president embodies the will of the people and must do what’s necessary to carry it out.”

photo/ donkeyhotey


During the United Mine Workers strike in 1902, he ordered the mine owners to agree to arbitration. If not he threatened to have the army take over the coal mines! Of course, the Constitution gives no power to the government to confiscate private property. Interestingly, Clintons and McCains favorite president said in response to that assertion, “To hell with the Constitution when the people want coal!”

In addition, Roosevelt told one of his top generals “I bid you pay no heed to any other authority, no heed to a writ from a judge, or anything else but my commands.”

And I could really go on and on about the abuses of Teddy Roosevelt; whether it be the takeover of the Dominican republic’s customs collection, sending the US fleet all over the world, taking Panama, Roosevelt regularly ignored the Congress and did things unprecedented with the executive order.

In recent years the use of the executive order as a governing style has become commonplace in American politics, essentially making the legislative branch, the lawmakers, the Congress impotent.

Even former President Clinton aide, Paul Begala once said concerning executive orders, “Stroke of the pen, law of the land. Kinda cool.”

So in my opinion, Theodore Roosevelt was incredibly damaging to our form of Constitutional government and the power of the president has far exceeded that of the Congress or the courts. A king? Everything the founders fought against because they saw these abuses from the beginning of human history. We had a very unique government, but elected officials had to abide by the Constitution to keep it that way.

Former President Richard Nixon once said about the authority of the president. “Well, when the President does it, that means it is not illegal.”

Enough said.


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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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