Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Will he receive the same scrutiny?

About 24 hours ago, the International Herald Tribune (the New York Times' red-headed stepchild abroad) took a shot at George W. Bush in reference to signing statements.

President Obama stated he would use signing statements sparingly under the following circumstances:

"Particularly since omnibus bills have become prevalent, signing statements have often been used to ensure that concerns about the constitutionality of discrete statutory provisions do not require a veto of the entire legislation."
Now, don't get me wrong. I believe the use of signing statements has solid purpose. It is a indiscriminate "line item veto" to some extent. And, I fully support the use of the signing statement in limitation of the "pork" attached to this latest handout (Omnibus chum).

Obama Makes Use of Signing Statements
However, the earmarks were not issues of constitutionality. So, I believe our current president has made up a portion of the astoundingly voluminous learning curve in this regard. Still, I'm willing to bet that he still has the DOJ reviewing the previous president's signing statements.

I have two questions:

1. Can we expect the NY Times and the International Herald Tribune to call President Obama on the carpet after showing President Bush in a negative light for the same application of signing statements less than 24 hours ago?

2. Will the American Bar Association come out and criticize President Obama's use of signing statements after claiming that previous presidents (including Bush, Bush and Reagan) abused this practice and should not be available to the President?

Holding breath like Michael Hutchence ...