On December 31, 2003, looking ahead to the upcoming 2004 election year, an Associated Press reporter -- I think it would have been Jennifer Loven at the time -- wrote about how George W. Bush was going to spend as much of the next 10-plus months as possible figuring that "he no longer needs Congress to promote his agenda." Therfore, he would use "aggressive campaign fundraising and use executive action to try to boost the economy." Thus, his "re-election year will focus almost exclusively on executive action" at the rate of "at least two or three directives per week." Sadly, this meant that Bush's "election year retreat from legislative fights means" that his "term will end without significant progress on two of his ... campaign promises."
Oops, I'm sorry. That AP report never happened. The high-handed, non-governing, non-legislating, campaign-driven agenda is what Barack Obama, his White House apparatchiks, and his reelection campaign have said they will do in 2012 -- and Julie Pace at the Associated Press seems to heartily approve (bolds repeating what was quoted in the first paragraph above are mine):
In 2012, Obama to press ahead without Congress
Leaving behind a year of bruising legislative battles, President Barack Obama enters his fourth year in office having calculated that he no longer needs Congress to promote his agenda and may even benefit in his re-election campaign if lawmakers accomplish little in 2012.
Absent any major policy pushes, much of the year will focus on winning a second term. The president will keep up a robust domestic travel schedule and aggressive campaign fundraising and use executive action to try to boost the economy.
... Aides say the president will not turn his back on Congress completely in the new year. He is expected to once again push lawmakers to pass elements of his jobs bill that were blocked by Republicans last fall.
If those efforts fail, the White House says, Obama's re-election year will focus almost exclusively on executive action.
(White House deputy press secretary Josh) Earnest said Obama will come out with at least two or three directives per week, continuing the "We Can't Wait" campaign the administration began this fall, and try to define Republicans in Congress as gridlocked and dysfunctional.
Obama's election year retreat from legislative fights means this term will end without significant progress on two of his 2008 campaign promises, an immigration overhaul and closing the military prison for terrorist suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
It would appear that Julie Pace, the Associated Press, and probably almost everyone else in the establishment press has resolved that in 2012 they will not raise the specter of the "imperial presidency" which was raised largely without justification during the two terms of Bush 43 (and frequently by candidate Barack Obama in 2007 and 2008), even though the "We Can't Wait" campaign may be the most obviously brazen attempt at one-sided unilateral use of executive branch power the nation has seen since the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
All the while, the national debt will continue climbing to over $16 trillion by Election Day, while the administration blithely assumes that the nation won't hit an interally or externally triggered financial wall in the meantime. Somehow, "derelict" doesn't even begin to adequately describe this.
Happy New Year to all. Monitoring the establishment media in 2012 will clearly require more effort and intensity than ever before.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.