Bush was also hassled for so-called signing statements citing provisions of a bill he might not enforce. Charlie Savage, then of the Boston Globe, won a Pulitzer Prize for “his revelations” about Bush’s practice. And, not surprisingly, Obama promised not to do signing statements. Yet he has continued the practice, eliciting some coverage, but none of the outrage that was directed at Bush.
In his efforts to combat terrorism, Bush was accused of exceeding presidential authority. But Obama has made recess appointments when the Senate wasn’t in recess and rewritten parts of immigration and welfare law by executive order, clearly stretching his authority beyond constitutional limits. The press praised the immigration change and winked at the others.
It doesn’t take much imagination to come up with actions that would have aroused the press if committed by Bush, but didn’t with Obama. The list is long. Both the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal and the Benghazi -killings would have led to months of stories, investigative reports, and outraged commentary. But the media proved to be largely incurious in Obama’s case.
Hurricane Sandy created damage in the billions in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. The role of Obama and his administration in handling the emergency was scarcely addressed. It’s doubtful Bush would have been let off so easily. He certainly wasn’t in 2005 after Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast.