Having essentially been defeated in Congress, where all of his policy proposals are permanently stalled in the Senate, President Joe Biden is reportedly looking to enact some of his agenda via executive fiat.
NBC News has confirmed that the president “is planning to sign executive actions on police reform as early as this month” in an attempt to “unilaterally jumpstart an issue that’s a top priority for a key constituency.”
NBC News characterized the president’s plan as “a last-ditch effort by the Biden administration to take action on some of the president’s signature initiatives in the run-up to his State of the Union Address on March 1.”
In other words, it appears to be a desperate, eleventh-hour attempt to boost his and the Democrat Party’s favorability going into the SOTU address, as well as going into the midterms.
Because Sens. Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema refuse to kowtow to the president’s demand that they vote to eliminate the filibuster, the president is mostly plumb out of luck legislation-wise, meaning he’s, in effect, already a lame-duck president.
And given that Republicans are poised to dominate in the upcoming midterms, it appears he’s going to remain a lame-duck president til the very end.
As of Saturday morning, the president’s average approval rating as recorded by RealClearPolitics stood at 41.6 percent, while Republicans meanwhile enjoyed an average lead of one percentage point over Democrats in the 2022 generic congressional vote.
And since generic congressional voting data from the 2016 and 2020 elections had greatly underestimated Republicans’ performance, it can therefore probably be presumed that Republicans’ real lead going into the midterms is even higher than one percentage point.
According to NBC News, when the president does roll out the police reform package, he intends to take a moment “to criticize former President Donald Trump” yet again.
Like much of the Democrat Party, the president appears to believe that the best strategy for dominating in the midterm elections is to fixate almost exclusively on Trump and, more specifically, the Jan. 6th riot at the U.S. Capitol.
The second-best strategy, they appear to believe, is making futile efforts to pass legislation that they know will never make it through the Senate.
According to NBC News, “[T]he White House and congressional Democrats are considering ways to resurrect Biden’s Build Back Better package, either by paring back the legislation or separating it into two bills, according to three sources familiar with the discussions.”
Dovetailing back to the president’s planned executive orders, they could potentially backfire. Already on social media, some far-left activists are arguing that his willingness to use his pen to address police reform means there’s “no excuse” for him not to use an executive order to clear all federal college loan debt:
Again, there is zero excuse for Biden’s inaction on student loan debt. He doesn’t need Congress. He can sign an executive order today and cancel it all.
— The Debt Collective (@StrikeDebt) January 15, 2022
There’s a vast range of possibilities even by executive order alone. Biden could write off federal student debt with the stroke of a pen.
— henry (@sitrucyrneh) January 14, 2022
We need to move on and pass what we can. Student loans is a priority now since aren’t going to get any of these damn bills passed. @POTUS needs a win, we can’t get anything done! student loans is next! By executive order!
— CMS (@cmsb0913) January 14, 2022
@POTUS BBB is dead, voting rights is dead.
Now’s a good time to use your executive powers to accomplish something that WILL improve your abysmal poll numbers. Cancel $25k-$50 of student loan debt.
— Felicia Valentina (@DemFelicia) January 13, 2022
To put an end to the pain and suffering that student loan companies inflict, and to fully address the wounds caused by America’s broken student loan system, @POTUS must cancel student debt immediately by executive action.
— Student Debt Crisis Center (SDCC) (@DebtCrisisOrg) January 14, 2022
By moving forward via executive fiat, Biden is following in the steps of former President Barack Obama, who also wound up a lame duck relatively quickly.
Following the 2010 general election, during which Republicans retook the House, the then-president began ruling almost exclusively via executive fiat.
After the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012, he reportedly issued 23 executive actions against guns, as noted by Fox News’ Gregg Jarrett. Then in 2014, he used executive orders to grant protections to a large number of illegal aliens. And he did so despite having previously admitted that such a move would be illegal.
At the time, conservative commentator Mark Levin unleashed fire on the president.
“Mr. Obama, you have violated the separation of powers to empower yourself and impose your radical agenda by fiat and regulation, in defiance of free elections and against the will of the people,” he said.
“We are not a nation of immigrants. We are a nation of citizens — a nation of immigrants who have become citizens. And I’m sick and tired of the American citizen being demeaned and treated as second-class citizens while anyone who crosses the border is treated as the most virtuous human being on the face of the Earth,” Levin, now a Fox News host, added.
The law did not matter to Obama. It remains to be seen whether President Biden will be as indifferent to it as his predecessor …
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