Republicans once berated former President Barack Obama for using executive orders in order to get things done. Now, according to a new Pew Research poll, it seems many in the party have changed their mind on the matter, seeing that President Donald Trump has been in office for the past 30 months or so.
At the end of Obama’s presidency, Pew asked respondents of all political stripes whether they agreed with this statement or not:
“Many of the country’s problems could be dealt with more effictively if U.S. presidents didn’t have to worry about Congress or the courts.”
A response in the affirmative would signal a willingness to give the president more power. In 2016, there was broad consensus among all parties against doing so, with only 14 percent of Republicans agreed with that premise.
Pew asked that same question this week, and found more than three times as many Republicans, with Donald Trump in the Oval Office, believe more power is needed for the chief executive.
Forty-three percent of Republicans now wish the president, in order to get things done, didn’t have to worry about Congress or the Courts as much.
Serious jump in Republican support for the idea of expanding presidential power in new @pewresearch survey.
Still, 66% of overall public says "it would be too risky to give U.S. presidents more power to deal with many of the country's problems." https://t.co/bqpQaEbepf pic.twitter.com/OGMt7U7zX9
— Lee Rainie (@lrainie) August 8, 2019
A majority, 51 percent, of Republicans still believe that move would be too risky, but that number does not fit the general consensus of the public at large, of which only 29 percent want the president to have more power and 66 percent say its too risky for our democracy.
It’s an incredible move from just a few years ago. When Obama was president, Republicans called him “lawless” for taking even the slightest of executive actions, The Nation reported at the time. Now that Trump is president, a significant number on the right seem to think such moves are fine.
Republicans didn’t think much on entrusting Trump to have more power, either, when they controlled both houses of Congress. But attitudes since last November, when Democrats won the House of Representatives, show a dramatic shift.
The trends discovered by Pew seem to suggest the more conservative one is presently, the more agreeable they are to the sentiment that the president should be able to do what he wants. In fact, 52 percent of self-identified conservative Republicans say it’d be a good thing, while only 41 percent of conservatives express worry.
President Donald Trump seems to be in agreement. In a speech he gave in July, Trump asserted that Article II of the Constitution afforded him tremendous leeway to act in any way he deemed appropriate, per reporting from the Washington Post.
“Then, I have an Article II, where I have to the right to do whatever I want as president,” Trump said in the speech.
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Chris Walker is a freelance writer based out of Madison, Wisconsin. A millennial with more than a decade of journalism experience, Chris aims to provide readers with the latest and most accurate news of national importance. Chris likes to spend his free time doing activities in his community with his family.