Few things illustrate the fact that the Constitution is a dead letter more than the use of executive orders by the President.
Now Obama, the new Maximum Leader, plans a slew of new executive orders to overturn the decrees of the previous Maximum Leader. One would think that the legislative branch might have some say in legislating, but not in this republic.
Of course, as Charles’s blog below notes, the legislative branch has been a primary architect of it’s own irrelevance.
Update: MM writes that EO’s have their place, since even in the days of Jefferson, the president had to order aorund the exec branch somehow. But specifically, here are some problems with EO’s he mentions:
1) The size of the federal government. It all falls under the Executive Branch (where else would you put a “Department of Labor”?), thereby giving the Executive too much power. The size of the federal government needs to be reduced by two orders of magnitude.9:27 pm on November 9, 2008 Email Ryan McMaken
2) The tradition started by Clinton of reversing the previous administration’s executive orders perhipherally related to abortion (Mexico City policy and now stem cell research) is nothing but propaganda for the pro-lifers and pro-choicers to make them think their vote actually mattered.
3) The declaration of a perpetual state of emergency and the so-called extraordinary measures that result.
4) With Bush, the advent of the *secret* executive order.