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How could Obama have built a consensus?

Dear Sir,

I read with interest Marc A. Thiessen's analysis of President Obama's use of Executive Orders, and why president-elect Trump will likely reverse many of them (Royal Gazette, November 15).

In fact, he made a clear case for doing so.

What I disagree with, however, is his assertion that Obama failed to build consensus and bypassed Congress with said Executive Orders to get things done.

Thiessen stated that “ ... the value of bipartisan compromise is not just about optics. If you build consensus, then your actions will last. But if you impose your agenda on an unwilling country, it is going to get repealed or reversed when the other party comes to power”.

As a former speechwriter to President George W. Bush, I should think that Mr Thiessen is a keen follower of US politics.

If so, he would have heard of Mitch McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader during Obama's first term and his infamous pledge, as a top priority, to make Obama a one-term president.

So intent were the Republicans on stopping Obama that Time magazine, on August 23, 2012, ran an article titled “The Party of No: New Details on the GOP Plot to Obstruct Obama”.

So I ask Mr Thiessen, how can one build a consensus with those whose raison d'être is your destruction?


Barack Obama

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Published November 16, 2016 at 8:00 am (Updated November 16, 2016 at 1:18 am)

How could Obama have built a consensus?

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