President Trump may be many things far from edifying — brash, loud, vile, bombastic, and, overall, his own worst enemy — but something he most definitely is not is a totalitarian. And yet that’s what the opposition, as disseminated through a compliant press, would have you believe.
And precisely on what does the Left base this outrageous contention? That Mr. Trump’s administration is doing its utmost to return a semblance of post-Obama reality to the bedrock notion of separation of powers. Of everything this White House has tried to do over its first year in power, this is, at the same time, the most commendable and the most overlooked and/or misconstrued (perhaps deliberately).
So what exactly has Mr. Trump and his administration done, or attempted to do? Let us count the examples:
For starters, he has tried to return the three branches of government to their previous (and legitimate) borders — i.e. Congress making the laws, the executive enforcing them, and the judiciary interpreting then. Specifically . . .
First, regulations. By virtue of his Jan. 30 executive order, Mr. Trump has required that for every new regulation put in place, two must be erased. Theoretically, this returns law-making to Congress.
To its credit, the legislative branch has complied with this implied request. With the Congressional Review Act as the cudgel of choice, congressional action or influence has resulted, so the White House says, in $8.1 billion in net regulatory cost savings thus far.
Congress has continued apace in this direction. In the proposed omnibus spending bill funding the government, it takes aim at both the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Act (full defunding) and the Endangered Species Act (partial defunding). For too long in the Obama regime had such executive oversight agencies as the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Fish and Wildlife Service exerted too much control in handing down decisions best made by Congress.
Finally, in three critical areas has the Trump administration endeavored to return to Congress its just powers. First, Mr. Trump would like to make his predecessor’s exclusion of Congress in the nuclear pact with Iran an aberration. Second, he has thrown Mr. Obama’s DACA decree back to the lawmakers for their approval (in other words, where it belongs). And, lastly, led by Scott Pruitt at the EPA, the White House has targeted sue-and-settle lawsuits in which executive agencies use consent decrees and settlement agreements, forged in individual courtrooms, as the basis for sweeping regulatory action. Mr. Pruitt calls this “regulation by litigation,” and he’s right — and it must stop.
Totalitarianism? Come now. Mr. Trump is proving himself more of a constitutionalist.