CFIF often highlights how the Biden Administration's bizarre decision to resurrect failed Title II "…
CFIF on Twitter CFIF on YouTube
Image of the Day: U.S. Internet Speeds Skyrocketed After Ending Failed Title II "Net Neutrality" Experiment

CFIF often highlights how the Biden Administration's bizarre decision to resurrect failed Title II "Net Neutrality" internet regulation, which caused private broadband investment to decline for the first time ever outside of a recession during its brief experiment at the end of the Obama Administration, is a terrible idea that will only punish consumers if allowed to take effect.

Here's what happened after that brief experiment was repealed under the Trump Administration and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai - internet speeds skyrocketed despite late-night comedians' and left-wing activists' warnings that the internet was doomed:

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="515"] Internet Speeds Post-"Net Neutrality"[/caption]


April 19, 2024 • 09:51 AM

Liberty Update

CFIFs latest news, commentary and alerts delivered to your inbox.
Executive Orders Reveal Executive Weakness Print
By Ashton Ellis
Tuesday, February 16 2010
What Obama and other rule-by-decree presidents fail to accept is that the constitutional system is designed to stymie quick, unchallenged changes in the law. That holds true no matter how big a mandate a president claims to own.

It is the common fate of presidents to learn that occupying the most powerful office in the world amounts to substantially less than the power to change it.  Barack Obama is no different.  And like his predecessors, his place in history will be judged by how he copes with this reality. 

So far, he is falling far short of the greatness he seeks.  After a year’s worth of failure to get congressional action on anything other than spending bills, the president’s Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, announced recently that the Obama Administration is retreating to the last refuge of every impatient White House: the executive order.  With the Democrats’ congressional majorities increasingly imperiled by retirements, Dem on Dem stalemates and public disgust, a way around the messy process of making law has become expedient.  

On a purely political basis, there is much to commend the strategy.  Unlike legislation, executive orders do not require the participation of Congress.  Thanks to the Supreme Court’s self-imposed “political question doctrine,” an executive order escapes judicial scrutiny on any level.  And even though executive departments, bureaus and agencies technically report to the president, their discretion to craft administrative rules is largely shielded from Oval Office pressure.  Therefore, if a president really wants to enact specific, uncompromising change, it is quite efficient to use a mechanism that gives him complete control over the creation, process and interpretation of binding American law.

Though candidate Obama campaigned explicitly against his predecessor’s use of executive orders to fight the War on Terror, as president he is using the tool even more frequently than did George W. Bush.  One of his first came only days into office when he reversed the so-called Mexico City policy – batted back and forth by presidents since Reagan – to allow U.S. funds to pay for abortions outside the U.S.

A more recent and underreported example is a Christmastime directive relating to American INTERPOL agents working in the Department of Justice.  With the signing of his name, the nation’s Commander-in-Chief granted these officials full diplomatic immunity, along with a blanket exemption from the Freedom of Information Act.  At least those are some professionals who can count on less federal intrusion into their work.  They just happen to be Americans working for an international police service.  Who says Democrats always favor regulation?

For progressives, this is doubly true when the regulations to be ignored are those imposed by the U.S. Constitution.  What Obama and other rule-by-decree presidents fail to accept is that the constitutional system is designed to stymie quick, unchallenged changes in the law.  That holds true no matter how big a mandate a president claims to own.  “Ambition must be made to counteract ambition,” James Madison wrote in Federalist 51.  In other words, the will of one person should not be allowed to guide the government unopposed.  There need to be checks and balances.  The Founders knew how to spot a king, and hoped to guard against one by institutionalizing deliberation and compromise through the separation of governmental powers. 

Ironically, President Obama seemingly acknowledged the legislature’s role as lawmaker this past year when he repeatedly recused himself from deciding the details of the stimulus bill, or either chamber’s version of health care reform.  After the sustained beating he took from all sides for being disengaged from the process, it would be understandable if Year Two saw a more hands-on approach to deal cutting.  Then again, that assumes Obama realizes that the communities to be organized are the congressional Democratic caucuses, and a handful of Republican moderates.     

Though President Obama does not often speak of the positive aspects of our nation’s history, perhaps he could take a moment to reflect on the example of his earliest predecessor.  Despite the fact that the option was open to him, George Washington did not become an all-powerful ruler – a magnanimous act of self-denial that garners him continued praise on our money, on our calendar, and in our highest ideals of a citizen-leader.  Washington is the model of political restraint precisely because he employed self-control when it favored him least – and his country the most.  Would that his most recent successor reflect that standard and figure out a way to govern with majorities in Congress – not by executive fiat – for the good of the Republic. 

Notable Quote   
"Soon the government might shut down your car.President Joe Biden's new infrastructure gives bureaucrats that power.You probably didn't hear about that because when media covered it, few mentioned the requirement that by 2026, every American car must 'monitor' the driver, determine if he is impaired and, if so, 'limit vehicle operation.'Rep. Thomas Massie objected, complaining that the law makes government…[more]
— John Stossel, Author, Pundit and Columnist
Liberty Poll   

Do you mostly approve or mostly disapprove of U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson's plan to introduce foreign aid packages for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan before legislation on U.S. border security?