As we dig out here in the South from Snow-a-palooza, I read this NYT article about Obama's plans to use Executive Power to push forward on much of his agenda.
Would the use of Executive Orders be anything new? Of course not, as the NYT points out, Clinton and Bush used it fairly regularly. And Obama vowed to overturn most of Bush's executive orders.
Obama was critical of Bush's "signing statements" (note: Link contains some disputed sections, Wikipedia being overrun by Leftists) when he signed bills into law (these allow the executive branch to state their Constitutional concerns, etc., and make statements about their enforcement intentions), yet has continued to use them himself. Quite honestly, I think the use of signing statements should be a standard practice whenever the executive branch intends to enforce the law perhaps differently than Congress intended. If I were Congress, I'd want to know what the executive was up to.
The best thing about Obama? Two days (3/10/09) after saying this, "There is no doubt that the practice of issuing such statements can be abused," he issued a signing statement on the omnibus budget bill and has issued numerous since.
Anyway, the other important thing to learn from this article is, despite having 59 Democrat senators and 240 odd House members, apparently, Mitch McConnell is now running the senate.
So, what's really at play here?
This administration is wedded to an agenda that is so opposed by the public at large, that they realize their chances of accomplishing anything through legislation is nil, and probably won't get enough Democrats to go along to get a majority . Therefore, they will threaten the use of recess appointments to get nominees through the process, they will threaten signing statements to re-interpret laws passed by Congress, and they will use executive orders to regulate by fiat.