Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Executive orders III: Snoped

Executive orders III: Snoped
From Nathaniel McCallum.
First of all, the number of executive orders issued by President Obama is grossly exaggerated here. By our count, as of 28 September 2012 the total number of executive orders issued by President Obama was 138, not 923. Moreover, compared to President Obama's predecessors in the White House, this is not an unusually large number of orders for a modern president: President George W. Bush issued 291 executive orders during his eight years in office, while President Bill Clinton issued 364 such orders over the same span of time.

The listing of numbers of executive orders issued during the terms of modern presidents included in one of the examples above also bears no resemblance to reality. This chart compares the claimed number of orders issued by each president on the list with the actual number issued, as documented by
The American Presidency Project:

Name Number claimed: Actual number:
Theodore Roosevelt 3 1,081
Franklin Roosevelt 11 3,522
Harry Truman 5 907
Dwight Eisenhower 2 484
John Kennedy 4 214
Lyndon Johnson 4 325
Richard Nixon 1 346
Gerald Ford 3 169
Jimmy Carter 3 320
Ronald Reagan 5 381
George H.W. Bush 3 166
Bill Clinton 15 364
George W. Bush 62 291
Barack Obama 923 138

The attribution to President Obama of fourteen executive orders (numbered between 10990 to 11921) in the example text is way off base as well: not a single one of those orders was issued by President Obama. The first twelve orders in the list date to the administration of President John F. Kennedy in 1962, one dates to the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1966, and one dates to the administration of President Gerald R. Ford in 1976.

The text of these orders can be viewed in full through the following links:
Executive Order 10990: John F. Kennedy, Feb. 2, 1962
Executive Order 10995: John F. Kennedy, Feb. 16, 1962
Executive Order 10997: John F. Kennedy, Feb. 16, 1962
Executive Order 10998: John F. Kennedy, Feb. 16, 1962
Executive Order 11000: John F. Kennedy, Feb. 16, 1962
Executive Order 11001: John F. Kennedy, Feb. 16, 1962
Executive Order 11002: John F. Kennedy, Feb. 16, 1962
Executive Order 11003: John F. Kennedy, Feb. 16, 1962
Executive Order 11004: John F. Kennedy, Feb. 16, 1962
Executive Order 11005: John F. Kennedy, Feb. 16, 1962
Executive Order 11049: John F. Kennedy, Sep. 14, 1962
Executive Order 11051: John F. Kennedy, Sep. 27, 1962
Executive Order 11310: Lyndon B. Johnson, Oct. 11, 1966
Executive Order 11921: Gerald R. Ford, June 11, 1976
Still too high.

1 comment:

  1. Reading the text of some of these leads to the revelation that for the most part they add up to nothing more than directions for the various government agencies to make contingency plans for emergencies. Order 11921 is a case in point, in that all it really does is catch up the formulation of such plans with the changes in governmental structure over the past several years. One can of course subscribe to the notion that the postal service and the EPA shouldn't exist in the first place, but given that legislation says otherwise, there's nothing remarkable about the president giving these sorts of directions.

    What's more striking about all of this is the increasing prevalence of outright lying about Obama as a campaign technique, presumably from the Republicans, not to mention the reliance on people not bothering to check any of this stuff out. The length of Obama's Snopes page is telling: it's something like three times the length of Dubya's.

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