Undoing a Unilateral “Presidency”

Lahnee Chen closed his Monday Wall Street Journal op-ed of a similar title with this:

By revoking Mr Obama’s executive actions, and beginning the arduous task of identifying and addressing his many other unilateral moves, the next president wouldn’t have to jettison the entire Obama legacy.

But our next President should.

On the next president’s first day in office, the president could simply issue an executive order revoking all of his predecessor’s executive actions, except those necessary for national security or the basic functioning of government. This includes Mr Obama’s executive orders, but also a flood of presidential memorandums and directives, as well as informal guidance and orders from federal agencies, that he has used to reshape federal policy.

Not “except for.” Every single one. Don’t waste time sorting through the mess to find the occasional nugget that might be useful. Rescind every single one. The next President should issue his own few Executive Orders regarding those narrow areas of national security and the basic functioning of government. That last, especially, doesn’t need many, since government can, and should be, shrunk drastically by the next President and the next two (at least) Congresses.

In the name of actual transparency, this item, too. Those Presidential Memoranda don’t need to be, and so they’re not, published in the Federal Register, and so the public has very limited access to them. The next President, on day two, should publish those memoranda. Every single one of them.

Keep in mind this, too. It’s not only Obama’s legacy. It’s our nation’s legacy, it’s the legacy of us citizens, it’s your and my legacy. It needs to jettisoned in its entirety, every single syllable. For our national honor.

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