Monday, January 21, 2013

Kabuki Theater

If you look at almost any news agency - right, left, or Martian - they all have headlines about Obama's "Executive Orders" on gun control. The interesting thing is that none of them, zero, are Executive Orders.

An Executive Order is numbered and published in the Federal Register. You can look them up. What Obama did was issue three (3) "Executive Memorandums" and a bunch of other non binding "notes". The Executive Memorandums are considered to have the same weight as an Executive Order but they are not published in the Federal Register. That probably makes it more difficult to find in the public record and therefore not easy to find and track progress. For example, you can't reference it when making regulations like you can an Executive Order. ("pursuant to Executive Order xxxxx......") Those other things were basically a Presidential "to do" list and have no legal standing.

If you read carefully, you will see that they always talked about Obama taking "executive action". Everyone just jumped to the conclusion that he intended to issue "Executive Orders". He didn't.

Don't get me wrong, I still believe that he wants to ban guns, but this last bit of theater was strictly Kabuki and didn't come close to overturning the Constitution. I think he was sending a recon party out on gun control. He wanted to test public (and party) reaction without putting himself at risk of being overturned by the Supremes.

In short, he was bluffing. Why didn't he get called on it?


Old NFO said...

Huh... Good point, and "I" missed that too. As you point out, only EOs actually have to be published...

Peripatetic Engineer said...

Breitbart's web site had this to say: