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Living and dying by Article II


Trump’s reliance on executive orders has resulted on most of his would-be legacy getting immediately cancelled:

One former senior Trump aide, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear or retaliation, agreed. “Very little of what Trump did was done to ensure permanence. At the pace Biden is moving, everything Trump did will be gone by the time the sun rises on Monday — except his judicial appointments.”

The list of Trump initiatives that have been rolled back through Biden executive orders includes: Restoring the country’s commitment to funding the World Health Organization; rejoining the Paris climate accords; reversing Mr. Trump’s ban on immigration from several predominantly Muslim nations and halting immigration enforcement in the country’s interior; stopping construction of the border wall; ensuring protections for L.G.B.T.Q. workers undermined by Trump appointees; killing the Keystone XL pipeline permit; reimposing the ban on drilling in the Arctic wildlife refuge; imposing new ethics rules and tossing out Mr. Trump’s “1776 Commission” report.


While Mr. Trump lorded over Twitter, important lessons for him lurked, unwatched, on YouTube.

In a remarkable interview 10 days before his death in 1973, Lyndon B. Johnson, the most skilled legislator-president in the country’s recent history, explained why he had resisted the temptation to ram through landmark civil rights reforms by using executive orders.

Pursuing a legislative path was tougher and led to an uncertain outcome, but he wanted his reforms to endure, Johnson explained, and to do so they required the stubborn force of law.

Of course, that LBJ video has lessons for Senate Dems as well: namely, do as much damage to the filibuster as possible and pass as many of the popular items on your agenda as you can.

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