Republicans Had No Problems with Bush's Lawlessness:
Here was Senator John Cornyn on Greta van Susterenenenen's Fox "news" show on January 15: "[T]he Congress passes the laws, but the executive branch is the one that is supposed to enforce the laws. What do you do when you have an overly politicized executive branch including Eric Holder, who refused to hold the president accountable and refused to enforce the law, and you get what we have now, which is essentially a lawlessness in the administration that is very troubling to say the least...this is new ground, unprecedented." Crazy conservative Cornyn, who gets to look like the sane Senator from Texas when you have Ted Cruz scrawling manifestos with his own shit on his padded cell walls, was referring to Obama issuing employer exemptions to aspects of the Affordable Care Act.
And he'd be totally right about it being "unprecedented," except for all the precedents. For instance:
Here's Senator John Cornyn on NPR on June 28, 2006, talking about the use of presidential signing statements by George W. Bush: "I find the use of presidential signing statements as helpful for us to understand the rationale of the executive branch in signing the legislation, rather than vetoing it." He told NBC, "There’s less here than meets the eye."
Cornyn was poo-pooing the Democrats' outrage over the habit of President Bush the Dumber issuing these statements that often said, "Hey, that bill you just passed is groovy, Congress, but, you know, here's some areas where you can go fuck yourselves with a dry corncob and I'll do what I want because 9/11." It was the way to avoid vetoing a bill: just say you won't uphold the laws that Congress passed.
Bush issued a shitload of signing statements, more than every other president before him combined. By this point in his administration, it was about 115, affecting nearly 1000 provisions of acts and laws passed by Congress. By contrast, Obama has issued 25 (which, to be fair, is not entirely consistent with his opposition to them as a senator and candidate).
For Bush, a signing statement was like lubing up the dildo before he would fuck the nation. Every time Congress pass an act saying no funds could be used for torture, Bush would put out a signing statement that said, "Suck our balls. We gotta torture for Umerka." For chrissake, Bush even had a signing statement for the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003: "The Executive branch shall construe sections 7(h) and 7(k)(3) in a manner consistent with the President’s constitutional authority to withhold information when its disclosure could impair deliberative processes of the Executive or the performance of the Executive’s constitutional duties and, to the extent possible, in a manner consistent with Federal statutes protecting sensitive information from disclosure." Got that? No rape elimination if it means we have to give up something we want kept secret.
Let's not even get into Bush's executive orders.
The point here is not that Obama should be allowed to do the same thing that Bush did, even if you agree with Obama's signing statements, like the ones that say, "No, really, guys, I wanna close Gitmo." However, those who are complaining loudest need to be asked why Obama is the most lawless lawbreaker in the history of lawing for delaying a provision or two of the ACA or for telling Homeland Security, "Hey, let's concentrate on arresting the undocumented immigrants who have committed serious crimes first. That's probably a better use of our limited resources."
They need to be asked where they fuck they were when George W. Bush specifically refused for the Executive Branch to adhere to laws it didn't like. Oh, right. They were bent over, encouraging Bush to sodomize them first.