On Friday President Obama signed an executive order titled “National Defense Resources Preparedness,” and by Saturday the conservative Twitterverse had erupted into righteous indignation, organized under the hashtag #ExecOrder. But the 140-character expressions of outrage and the anti-Obama tea party angst masked the fact that very little in the presidential proclamation is new.
Most of it combines existing executive orders from Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. Those earlier orders refined similar statements from Presidents Harry Truman and Richard Nixon.
And Truman and Nixon, it turns out, were both updating language from President Roosevelt after the passage of the Defense Production Act in 1950.