As recently as October, now-President Joe Biden said to legislate by executive order was the role of a dictator, and he promised he would govern in a bipartisan manner to get the votes he needed to enact his policies, because America is a Democracy, and we need consensus.
So much for that.
Less than two months in office and President Biden will have signed 37 executive actions as of today. That’s more than the 32 his inferred “dictator” predecessor Donald J. Trump signed in his first 100 days. It’s 18 more than his old boss Barack Obama, 26 more than former President George W. Bush and two dozen more than former President Bill Clinton all in their first 100 days. President Biden hasn’t even met that benchmark yet and has given no indication his administration is even considering slowing down.
Although President Biden campaigned on building consensus and unity, his executive orders are either partisan, liberal handouts or are meant to erase successful Trump-era policies, especially when it comes to immigration and energy. Little to none would garner the votes they needed to pass a divided Congress.
How is our nation supposed to unite with such divisive actions being dictated from the Oval Office?
Today, President Biden will sign two executive orders, one establishing a Gender Policy Council at the White House (largely symbolic) and another aimed at reviewing Trump-era Title IX funding, specifically for how schools handle sexual assault and harassment charges.
The latter is more controversial and, one could argue, unconstitutional. Under the Trump administration, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos ensured those being accused of sexual misconduct on college campuses received due process – like the ability to face their accuser, call witnesses, or to see the evidence against them. The Biden administration is trying to roll-back these policies and potentially allow the accused to be expelled or punished before an investigation into the merits of the case is even conducted.
It’s surely not the treatment President Biden would’ve like to receive – guilty before proven innocent – when he was facing sexual assault accusations by Tara Reade last year, or that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo would appreciate currently.
Yet the divisiveness doesn’t stop there.
Yesterday, President Biden signed an executive order that will steamroll state-run elections, make it easier for criminals in prison to vote, and codifies many of the temporary voting practices that were adopted for the 2020 election because of the coronavirus pandemic. His mandate directs federal agencies to push vote-by-mail and to actively combat “misinformation” – you know, like reports on his son Hunter Biden during an election year.
The order seems to give permission to the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division to prosecute states that require photo identification to vote and that are trying to remove ineligible voters from their rolls. It enshrines many of the controversial aspects of House Leader Nancy Pelosi’s HR1 bill, which has little to no prospect of passing a divided Senate.
Other of President Biden’s executive orders are reflexively aimed at undoing Trump administrative actions – no matter if the policies were actually successful and benefiting the American public. President Biden cancelled construction on the Keystone XL pipeline and border wall, killing thousands of American jobs with nothing to replace them, opened our nation’s Southern border allowing for an immigration crisis, and gave teachers unions the rationale they needed to keep schools closed.
He’s also signed executive orders that allow biological males to compete with biological females for sports scholarships in our nation’s schools, lifted a ban to allow for taxpayer monies to be spent on domestic and international programs that provide abortions, and has reinstated controversial critical-race training in federal institutions, based on the theory America is “systemically racist.”
None of these orders are particularly unifying – but they are reigniting the culture wars within our country.
President Biden’s unprecedented use of executive orders were meant to convey to the press and the liberal left his team’s ambitious agenda. What they’re indicating to the American people is his willingness to sacrifice their jobs, schooling and Judeo-Christian values in favor of the woke progressive mob.
• Kelly Sadler is commentary editor at The Washington Times.