Well, would you look at that! There’s a senator from Illinois back in 2008, promising that if he’s lucky enough to ever be elected president, he won’t subvert Congress and use signing statements in order to do whatever he wants.
His name also happens to be Barack Obama.
While legal eagles continue to debate the legality of essentially going it alone with the release of terrorists in exchange for Bowe Bergdahl, the very narrow window in which Obama may have been engaging in lawful activity lies in his use of a signing statement which attempted to convey that American lives were at stake, and thus, it was supposedly an extenuating circumstance that justified secretive behavior. But that’s quite a far cry from what he said back in 2008:
“This is part of the whole theory of George Bush that he can make laws as he goes along,” insisted Obama. “I disagree with that. I taught the Constitution for 10 years. I believe in the Constitution and I will obey the Constitution of the United States. We’re not going to use signing statements as a way of doing an end-run around Congress.”
Though railing against this type of secrecy was a hallmark of his 2008 campaign, President Obama has been engaging in the exact same sort of behavior ever since he first entered the Oval Office. By 2011, even the mainstream media was taking note of it, and here’s what Jay Carney had to say in defense:
“He never said he was opposed entirely to signing statements,” proclaimed Carney. “I can point you to numerous statements from the campaign where he made clear that every President should retain the right, of course must retain the right, to have signing statements, to raise constitutional concerns and objections with a law passed by Congress that he signed into law.”
As you can see, the lies have been in the works for years now. Luckily, YouTube exists. Not that it slows these guys down any.
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