If any of us had the kind of output on our jobs as that of the United States Congress in 2013 — a whopping 56 bills passed by both houses — we would be fired in a hurry.
Yet, for some reason, these bums continue to keep their job, even pulling down the six-figure salaries we have to pay them.
Everyone is fed up. Poll after poll shows Americans have a low regard for the U.S. Congress, and President Barack Obama has grown tired of their shenanigans. In his State of the Union address, he made clear that he’s tired of their lack of action.
“So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that’s what I’m going to do,” he told all those gathered in the U.S. House.
In fact, earlier in the speech, he touched on their laziness, albeit gently.
In the coming months, let’s see where else we can make progress together. “Let’s make this a year of action,” President Obama said.
Fat chance. This do nothing Congress may very well pass fewer than 50 bills, setting a record for political futility.
That’s why President Obama should stop threatening to use executive orders to lead the country. He should just do it. Loudly. Boldly. Publicly.
That’s right. The White House, long called secretive by members of Washington’s elite media outlets, should throw open the doors of the Oval Office and make a big deal out of every executive order.
In fact, why not turn the spectacle into a television show. If I were in the West Wing advising the president, I would tell him to name it “West Wing Wednesdays.”
That’s right. At 11 a.m. every Wednesday, whether in the Oval Office or the Rose Garden or the East Room, President Obama should invite all of the White House photographers and reporters in to witness him signing another executive order. Take as many questions as possible, Mr. President. Tell everyone assembled how the executive order you’re signing is necessary since Congress refuses to do any work.
After you answer the final one, thank every one and say, “Same bat-time. Same bat-channel next week.”
And then repeat the process all over.
Sure, House Speaker John Boehner and many of his conservative media allies are decrying the threats of President Obama, saying he’s overstepping his authority. Wisconsin GOP Rep. Paul Ryan called the president “lawless” for his actions.
Well, the U.S. Constitution allows such orders, and President Obama might as well take advantage of it. So far, he has granted fewer executive orders than the last four U.S. presidents; it’s not like he’s signing any sheet of paper that crosses his desk!
If Congress wants to sue President Obama for a particular executive order, he should say, “Fine, make my day.”
The country can’t be at a standstill as long as the GOP chooses to obstruct anything the president does. Something has to give.
So embarrass them, Mr. President. Show the country how trifling and slow the Congress is to act. Let the American people see you acting on their behalf, and not just saber rattling.
ABC’s political thriller, “Scandal,” may be my favorite show on Thursdays. But President Obama should give us all something to look forward to on Wednesdays.
Mr. President, what do you have to lose? If Congress refuses to act, you might as well do it. And then dare Congress to stop you.
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Roland S. Martin is senior political analyst for TV One and author of the book “The First: President Barack Obama’s Road to the White House as Originally Reported by Roland S. Martin.”