Trump the executive.

President Donald Trump holds up a Texas flag after speaking with supporters outside Firehouse 5 in Corpus Christi, Texas, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017, following a briefing on Harvey relief efforts. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Because of the unique feature of our constitution that makes the president both the head of state and the head of government, every presidency operates on two levels. The head of state operates on the legislative level. The head of government operates on the executive level.

Most presidents are good at only one or the other and most choose to spend the majority of their energies on the legislative. They therefore temper their executive activities so as not to interfere with the political nature of their legislative activities.

For what it’s worth, history will likely show that President Barack Obama was good at neither. It is true that when he enjoyed veto-proof majorities in both houses of Congress during the first two years of his presidency, he managed to push through the nearly $900 billion “stimulus” and, of course, “Obamacare.” But for the six years following the mid-term election cycle in 2010, nothing of note bearing Obama’s imprimatur made it through Congress. For three quarters of his presidency, Obama had next to no success as head of state.

Thus he pivoted to being head of government. In the Obama second term, virtually all presidential activity was conducted via executive action and much of that action was quickly struck down in the courts.

Depending on what ultimately happens with Obamacare, historians will record that little of lasting legislative or executive consequence happened on Barack Obama’s watch.

We are now coming to understand that President Trump, in a departure from prior administrations, sees himself primarily as the head of government.

It is true that he has no major legislative victories so far and that his legislative future is rather cloudy. But on the executive side, his presidency so far is a smashing success – a fact that is little reported in the mainstream media.

The first thing an executive president can do is address federal agency regulations and President Trump has – with a vengeance. Regulations that have crippled American businesses of all sizes – but most of all small, independent businesses – are being stricken on an almost daily basis. (The fact that you may not know this is a reflection of the biases of the White House press corps.) The economy is responding with rapidly increased hiring, a solid uptick in manufacturing, second quarter GDP growth at twice the rate of the average of the Obama years and a soaring stock market.

On the world scene, North Korea blinked when at last stared down by a determined U.S. president, ISIS is in its death throes and Iran and Syria are coming to the realization that the U.S. now means business.

On matters close to home here in Texas, the national media has had no choice but to admit that the federal response to Hurricane Harvey has been timely, competent and successful.

All of this is because of executive action taken by an executive president. We have not had a true executive in the White House in recent memory. This is what one looks like.


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Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of ATW Media, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The TEAM FM in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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12 Responses

  1. Michael Gauthier says:

    I agree with most of this, but what is the hard evidence that suggests this is true? “ISIS is in its death throes and Iran and Syria are coming to the realization that the U.S. now means business.

  2. Brendan says:

    Must be lonely at the top, like 56% of the country thinks I’m tearing it apart, and only 41% approve of my job performance lonely. Is Fox News in the White House pool? It’s their poll.

  3. Anonymous says:

    North Korea blinked? In the first 200 days of Trump’s presidency, North Korea launched 14 missiles. That’s about one missile every 14 days. Since the President’s fire and fury comments 22 days ago, they launched another 4 missiles. That’s one every 6 days or so. All the while, they are still in possession of nuclear warheads. Only a true sycophant could label that as blinking.

    • Paul Gleiser says:

      Did you see anything aimed at Guam, as originally promised?

      • Don’t jinx it.
        That kid’s ego MIGHT be even bigger than Trump’s.

      • Anonymous says:

        Just another empty threat coming from Pyongyang. There has been a steady stream of them since fat boy took over. Here are just a few examples. In January of 2013, North Korea warned that it’s weapons program would “target” the United States in response to actions by the UN Security Council. In June of 2014, North Korea threatened merciless retaliation if the movie “The Interview” was released. In December of 2014, North Korea threatened attacks on the White House, the Pentagon, and the whole US mainland if we retaliated over the Sony Pictures hack. These types of threats are not the problem, it’s the continued advancement of their nuclear weapons program that should be of concern.

  4. Richard Anderson says:

    Topflight essay Mr. Gleiser, right on the mark!

  5. Richard Anderson says:

    To those who may not know, below is an abbreviated list of President Trump’s accomplishments thus far….
    1. Everyday American citizens, “the forgotten man & the forgotten woman,” {meaning those other than “the D.C. bubble”} are NOT forgotten anymore
    2. The VA is being restructured so that our Veterans are cared for properly by firing non performing bureaucrats
    3. Signed the Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act
    4. Over one million new jobs already created
    5. Food Stamp use at the lowest level in seven years
    6. Promotion of buy American and hire American to rekindle U.S. manufacturing prowess
    8. Encouragement of investment in the U.S.A. by making our country more business friendly by jettisoning duplicitous regulations
    7. Ended the war on coal and fossil fuel, as these are critical to spur growth and jobs in every sector of our economy
    8. MS-13 and other foreign national felons are being deported rapidly to make our cities and towns safe
    9. Authorization of the construction of the Dakota Access and Keystone pipelines
    10. GDP quarterly growth already ABOVE any fiscal quarter under former President Obama
    11. Rules of engagement of our Armed Forces has been streamlined so our men & women in uniform can fight the enemy on our terms without having “one hand tied being our back”
    12. Withdrew the U.S. from the Trans Pacific Partnership and the Paris Accords, neither of which is in America’s interest
    13. Illegal immigration down by over 70%
    14. Bids for the border wall are underway–critical to stop the flow of illegal drugs, human trafficking, and to restore the integrity of our border
    15. Numerous important executive orders put into place, one of which now nullifies the Johnson Amendment* an arbitrary unconstitutional restriction* on FREE SPEECH; Infringement of FREE SPEECH is something our Founders NEVER intended for the pastors of our churches (or ANY American) to be subjected to. The FIRST AMENDMENT is imperative to the survival of our Constitutional Republic, as One Nation, under GOD, in LIBERTY.
    16. Lastly, over 52 Acts of Legislation have been signed into law by President Trump; And he’s just getting starting; Now, if only those in “the D.C. bubble” would only start working FOR the all American team of President Trump as “he already has been working with all his heart,” to truly, MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!, for us all, since day one when he took “the Oath of Office” with his hand placed on The Bible.

    • Anonymous says:

      “GDP quarterly growth already ABOVE any fiscal quarter under former President Obama”: This is a lie. Quarterly GDP growth exceeded 3% in each of the following quarters: 2009-Q4, 2010-Q2, 2011-Q4, 2013-Q3, 2013-Q4, 2014-Q2, 2014-Q3, 2015-Q1.

  6. Linda E Montrose says:

    The problem is that the previous occupant of the Whitehouse did not get his agendas met and the powers behind it and the one who thought she was a shoo-in, lost her footing. President Trump exposed the belly of the beast and the people rebelled by putting him in office. This was a clear message that we are tired of the status quo. We want America back where we have AMERICAN’S doing AMERICAN jobs. There have been those elected in congress that have steadily been working against us, not FOR us. This is what is fueling the bad blood between congress, the media along with “party people” and President Trump. These people know that President Trump will expose them, meaning their days are numbered. So this is the problem…no media outlet is reporting anything GOOD that President Trump is doing. They are focused on smearing his good deeds to make him look inept and foolish. If the media would back off…find some other bone to knaw on for a while and let President Trump DO the job he was elected to do, ALL of us would be better off! Including those who refuse to see anything good President Trump has done already.

  7. Jerry Smith says:

    Well Mr. Gleiser, you once again let your ‘alt-right’ tendencies spell over the truth. First President Obama. He saved the US from a unheard of crisis with his Stimulus. Without that, you and I would have been in the same boat – bankrupt. Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act is actually working halfway decently. Now Mr. Trump, your hero, is planning to cut 90% of the funds which were to help people find the right policy and sign up. How is that the sign of a ‘executive president’? He also supported placing several million people in a no-insurance category. Presidential? Now the last 6 years of President Obama. You seem to have forgotten that the Leader of the Senate and House met while President Obama was taking the oath of Office. They decided that they would not support him on ANYTHING!. And they didn’t.(do you ever wonder why no support? That did not happen ever before for any President – I guess it was because Obama was from Chicago?) As President Trump has found out, Congress controls what happens and what does not happen. Don’t you wonder why President Trump has total control of Congress and still cannot get anything passed? Could it be the fact that our President, who you think is so wonderful, has told over 1,000 public lies since taking office. Presidential? I think not.
    Now for the ‘accomplishments of a true executive president’ as you say. He withdraw regulations that restricted coal mines from dumping poison into the nearby rivers and streams. Great, now the humans won’t have water to drink, but that is the sign of a True Executive. Also, he removed regulations that protected our National Parks and Wildlife Refuges. Now friends of Trump can drill baby drill where ever they wish, to heck with those things we the people hold dear to our hearts. Another one of Mr. Presidents promises and success is the wonderful wall he will build and make Mexico pay for. How come there is 2 Billion in the next year’s budget for the wall and this ‘liar in chief’ had told Congress “If you do not put the rest of the money (maybe 30 Billion) into next years Budget, I will shut down the Government. Now, Mr. Gleiser, you being a ‘self made capitalist’ may not need any help from anybody (check your tax deductions on last years IRS Return?) but many millions do get a little help from earned social security, veterans retirement and benefits to name a few things that shutting down the Government would bother. But that should not even be considered when praising our President as the Best ever. Trump may have done some good things, but they certainly do not override the fact that he is making money off the Government and lying about connections with Russia and thinks Nazi and white supremacists are good people. Heck, he even pardoned a law officer who took an oath of Office to uphold the law, then violated it time and time again because he thought he was ‘above’ the law.

    I am sure this comment will have no effect on you Mr. Gleiser as you are still banking on Trump cutting your the taxes of the rich a bunch and maybe, just maybe a few dollars cut for the rest of us,

  8. Read-between-the-lines Jerry. Lately Paul’s support for Trump has been nuanced, i.e., at-least-he’s-not-Hillary.

    There’s a Trumpism every…single…day lately, and Republican support is fragile.

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