I missed this last week, and so may many who didn’t notice Instapundit’s link to the Greeley Gazette’s post on the White House’s efforts to impose gun control through executive-branch regulatory adventurism. Jack Minor caught this anecdote buried below the jump on a Washington Post Lifestyle profile of Steve Croley, first published six weeks ago. Described as “the White House’s point man on gun regulation policy,” the Post includes this rather telling quote from President Obama on the issue of gun control from March:
On March 30, the 30th anniversary of the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, Jim Brady, who sustained a debilitating head wound in the attack, and his wife, Sarah, came to Capitol Hill to push for a ban on the controversial “large magazines.” Brady, for whom the law requiring background checks on handgun purchasers is named, then met with White House press secretary Jay Carney. During the meeting, President Obama dropped in and, according to Sarah Brady, brought up the issue of gun control, “to fill us in that it was very much on his agenda,” she said.
“I just want you to know that we are working on it,” Brady recalled the president telling them. “We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar.”
Minor noted that this under-the-radar anecdote matches up with other reporting:
The statement reinforces an article in the Huffington Post describing how the administration is exploring ways to bypass Congress and enact gun control through executive action.
The Department of Justice reportedly is holding meetings discussing the White House’s options for enacting regulations on its own or through adjoining agencies and departments. “Administration officials said talk of executive orders or agency action are among a host of options that President Barack Obama and his advisers are considering. “
That also matches up with Obama’s approach on … nearly everything, it seems. Regulatory adventurism has been a hallmark of every other Obama priority, whether it be health care, financial-services reform, labor policy, and now on gun control. When his agenda is too radical for Congress, Obama simply plans to bypass Congress and rule by decree.
Glenn Reynolds headlined this under the banner “TRANSPARENCY.” That’s fitting, but “RADICAL” and “DISHONEST” work well, too. Here’s the problem for Democrats: Ever since the Clinton years, they have avoided gun control like the plague, and the courts have taken a libertarian view of the Second Amendment. How many of the incumbent Democrats in the Senate want to defend Obama on his power play to impose gun control by executive fiat in the dark? How will that fly in places like Missouri, Nebraska, and West Virginia? How about in open seats like Virginia’s, which Democrats hope to hold?
Update: I meant “executive fiat,” not “legislative fiat.” The latter is an oxymoron, obviously.