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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Presidential Executive Order Good Strategy, Puts Obama in Very Good Company

At Talking Points Memo, Josh Marshall flags a big goof from one of the talking heads on MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe’ who probably should have known better:

Jon Meacham says Lincoln and FDR never tried to “rebuild America on an Executive Order” like President Obama is supposedly proposing to do. Really? There are real issues with excessive reliance on executive orders. But I think someone needs to crack a history book and maybe find some better examples since Lincoln probably relied on executive powers (like ending slavery by executive order in most of the United States) more than any president in the country’s history (it’s still pretty controversial) and FDR is a close runner-up. Eeesh. This is an amazing thing for someone who presents himself as Mr. History and longivew to say…

Marshall links to another TPM post, by Tom Kludt, who elaborates:

Meacham’s take was somewhat baffling. Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued more executive orders than any president –3,522 to be exact and 1,719 more than the next closest president — including several that helped usher in New Deal programs. And Abraham Lincoln, of course, issued a pretty famous executive order known as the Emancipation Proclamation.

Obama gets the GOP to blast him for strategy used by two of America’s greatest presidents to achieve historically-acclaimed reforms — not too shabby.

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