Jay Inslee has busied himself by declaring executive actions, including new rules courtesy of the Department of Ecology (DOE) that threaten to drive up energy costs and new gun rules to appeal to his liberal Seattle base. It’s Inslee’s attempt to make it appear like he is leading.
Of course, the reality is that our green governor is so weak that he has not been able to accomplish his priorities by working with the state Legislature. He hasn’t even has luck with the Democrat-controlled state House.
Inslee’s weak, failed leadership echoes that of President Barack Obama—who is also relying on a series of executive orders to achieve his agenda. Via the Hill,
“White House chief of staff Denis McDonough this week said ‘audacious’ executive actions on tap for 2016 are being carefully crafted to ‘make sure the steps we have taken are ones we can lock down and not be subjected to undoing through [Congress] or otherwise.’”
Though the White House has been mum on the specific executive actions the president might be considering (God forbid the POTUS acts with any degree of transparency), there are certain indications thanks to Obama’s recent statements. Obama has “indicated he is focused on equal pay, campaign finance reform, gun control and closing the prison at Guantánamo Bay, among other things.”
Both Inslee and Obama face certain legal battles for executive actions that may be on the horizon. Republican state Senator Doug Ericksen does not believe Inslee has the authority to pursue carbon regulations without the state Legislature’s approval. He plans to pursue a legal challenge to Ecology’s carbon rule.
If Obama attempts to close Guantánamo Bay alone, he decision would be settled in court. Republicans claim Obama would be “defying a law passed by Congress that explicitly bars him from transferring Guantánamo detainees into the country.”
Ultimately, by their executive actions, Inslee and Obama reveal themselves to be weak Democrat leaders who are scrambling to appear effective.