Which is the three word summary of President Obama’s approach to legislation sent to his desk by Congress.
“[I]t is a clear abuse of power to use such [Presidential signing] statements as a license to evade laws that the president does not like or as an end-run around provisions designed to foster accountability.
I will not use signing statements to nullify or undermine congressional instructions as enacted into law.”
– Senator Barack Obama, December 20, 2007 (Boston Globe)
“However, provisions of [HR 2436] … would interfere with my constitutional authority to conduct foreign relations by directing the Executive to take certain positions in negotiations or discussions with international organizations and foreign governments, or by requiring consultation with the Congress prior to such negotiations or discussions. I will not treat these provisions as limiting my ability to engage in foreign diplomacy or negotiations.”
As Rob Warmowksi at HuffPo points out, Congress made it law that the president’s negotiations with the International Monetary Fund on “worker’s rights, greenhouse gas costs, and its overlap with the World Bank will be done above board, with reports to Congress. Obama has chosen to evade that law.”
Bottom line: Americans who expected Barack Obama to live up to his promise of a more open, idealistic, constitutionally limited presidency were duped.