Urges accuracy and care in political commenting
To the editor:
While I was determined to avoid responding to letters expressing conservative views I cannot help myself from breaking this vow, questioning and calling into dispute the recent letter to the editor written by Stephen Sellers addressing seemingly very frightful Executive Orders issued by President Obama sine he assumed office in 2009. After a little perusing of the Federal Register of the National Archives I found that his letter was so full of inaccuracies that I wondered if I had read it properly. I went back to the newspaper to reassure myself that indeed I had done so. Mr. Sellers told me to Google it, and I did, landing on the site of the National Archives about as benign and apolitical a record keeping organization as one can get and arrived at some relevant information.
Mr. Seller indicates that President Obama has issued 923 Executive Orders since assuming office. The correct number is 163. Mr. Sellers also indicated that President Obama’s predecessors had issued, in most cases, less than 10 and never more than 100 during their administrations. Going back in history shows that President Bush issued 291, Clinton, 365, George H.W. Bush 166, Reagan 381, Carter 320, Ford 169, Nixon 346, Johnson 325, JFK 214, Eisenhower 484, Truman 907 and FDR an astonishing 3,522.
He also specifically listed President Obama’s EOs as being numbered from 10990 through 11310. They deal with really scary scenarios allowing the federal government power to greatly infringe on or eliminate our freedoms, taking control of major areas of transportation, fuel, railroads, waterways, giving it the ability to mobilize civilians into work brigades, relocated communities, take control of our food and many other frightening acts removing most, if not all, our freedoms and liberties. The problem with this is that President Obama’s EOs are numbered from 13489 through 13651, not 10990 through 11310.
I did a loose examination of all the Executive Orders listed in Archives identified as President Obama’s, beginning at the onset of his administration in 2009, and found none that appeared to even border on the subjects indicated by Mr. Sellers. I would greatly appreciate Mr. Sellers responding, showing basis for his information.
Both the Republican and Democrat Parties are always issuing articles and mailings showing their positions on various issues. There are also extreme fringe elements of both parties that issue statements that are either partially or completely untrue and usually very negative in nature. The political Left did it during George Bush’s administration and elections as the Right is doing so now. I am concerned that so much of the anti-Obama material that is being disseminated these days is often so hurtful and blatantly untrue.
It appears to me at least that Mr. Sellers has erred greatly in his relating of his so-called facts. His depiction is obviously meant to disparage the President personally by presenting him as possibly devious and treacherous. I can appreciate one’s dislike of the man and his governing, but can we not be more careful and be factual when expressing our views? If we are all to participate in choosing those that govern us it is so, so very important that we deal with facts, not fiction. I wonder if that day will ever come.
Larry R. Baker