Obama the Wimpy Tyrant....Or the Pathetic Autocrat....Or Something

| Tue Feb. 18, 2014 1:39 PM EST

Jonah Goldberg phones in a column today about the tyranny of Barack Obama and his flagrant abuse of executive orders, a topic you'd think conservatives would be tired of by now. But I guess they'll never get tired of it, no matter how inane it obviously is. I was, however, particularly impressed by this howler:

Some of his unilateral actions are a bigger deal, of course. The Environmental Protection Agency's decision to treat carbon dioxide as a "pollutant" is an outrageous expansion of executive power. But Obama doesn't tout that as a bullet point; he let the EPA take the political heat for that decision a while ago.

Huh. Last I heard, Massachusetts and some other states sued the EPA, and eventually the Supreme Court ruled that the agency was required to regulate greenhouse gases. The suit began during George W. Bush's first term and was resolved in 2007, while Barack Obama was still a freshman senator running a longshot campaign for the presidency. Obama has (rather fitfully) decided to take advantage of the Supreme Court's ruling, but he played no role at all in this particular expansion of executive power. Five Supreme Court justices can take the credit for that.

My other favorite part of the column was the very last sentence, warning Democrats of blowback for their tyrannical ways: "They shouldn't be surprised if the next Republican president takes advantage of that license."

No worries there, my friend. We are, after all, talking about the party that fired the Senate parliamentarian when he refused to give them a favorable ruling on a tax bill. The party that decided mid-decade redistricting was a brilliant new idea for expanding its majority. The party that decided to turn the filibuster into a routine requirement for 60 votes to pass any bill at all. The party that held open voting for three hours so it could arm-twist holdouts into voting for Medicare Part D. The party that spent the past three years passing voter ID laws in hopes that it would prevent likely Democratic voters from being able to cast ballots. The party that decided it was kosher to threaten to blow up the good credit of the United States as a bargaining chip in routine budget battles.

That party. I can assure Goldberg that we liberals have assumed all along that if Republicans get control of the presidency or Congress in 2016, they'll steamroll our current norms of government in ways that make Democrats look like five-year-olds. We'll be outraged, but we sure won't be surprised.

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