In Monday’s Oz, Jennifer Oriel has a twist on the “Barack-Obama-caused-Donald-Trump” right-wing routine – she manages to get the US system of government entirely wrong. Arguing that Obama’s use of executive orders has created a ‘totalitarian’ atmosphere, the Little Bird is concerned about Obama’s decision to discontinue some deportations of illegal immigrants (children and their guardians):

“Enacting laws without a democratic mandate or the consent of Congress is consistent with totalitarian leadership …”

Sigh, let’s go over US Government 101 for Jennifer. Presidents don’t enact laws, they execute them. Obama’s argument on the deportations issue is that Congress has not budgeted sufficient money to deport everyone liable for it (he has deported more illegal immigrants than any president in history), so decisions have to be made. The executive has a prerogative to make such decisions programmatic ones. Oriel herself admits that such executive orders will be tested in the Supreme Court in the coming months (as have the executive actions of every President) — so in what sense is it totalitarian? It’s the separation of powers working at its best. Is Oriel chirping propaganda, or does she have the intelligence of a woodpecker? The debate continues.

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As a Crikey subscriber and someone who began working as a journalist in 1957, I am passionate about the importance of independent media like Crikey. I met a lot of Australians from many walks of life during my career and did my best to share their stories honestly and fairly with their fellow citizens.

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Liz
North Stradbroke Island, QLD

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