President Obama has decided not to follow the example set by President Lyndon B. Johnson and will not use an executive order to ban discrimination. From the Huffington Post:
The Obama administration on Wednesday decided not to move forward with an executive order prohibiting workplace discrimination among federal contractors that is a top priority for the LGBT community.
“While it is not our usual practice to discuss Executive Orders that may or may not be under consideration, we do not expect that an Executive Order on LGBT non-discrimination for federal contractors will be issued at this time,” a senior administration official told The Huffington Post. “We support legislation that has been introduced and we will continue to work with congressional sponsors to build support for it.”
This is a truly pathetic time for Obama to start showing some executive restraint.
I could respect and on net probably be happy with a President that, on principle, was dedicated to limiting the scope of the office. A President that tried as a matter of policy not to use executive orders or, as much as possible, leave most decisions with the legislative branch as the Constitution intended.
That is not how Obama has run his White House though. Obama has decided he can unilaterally declare war against Libya without Congressional approval and decided he can order the killing of American citizens without trial or due process. Obama has radically push the bounds of unilateral executive power when it comes to achieving militaristic and conservative ends, but won’t even follow an established precedent to use executive power to achieve progressive goals.
I hope the LGBT community and the broad progressive community appreciate the full irony of this decision. Obama officially thinks it is appropriate to use his executive power to buy a drone from a government contractor and use that drone to execute you without trial, but he won’t use his executive power to tell that same contractor they can’t fire you for being gay.