Political Animal


January 17, 2013 10:43 AM Some “King”

By Ed Kilgore

A lot of the opposition to Obama’s gun violence agenda we’ve heard since the trial balloons first went up was about his intention to implement some of it by executive order. And when he came out with 32 executive orders yesterday—yikes, that sound like a lot!—the unearthly wail of “tyrant” resumed, punctuated by these remarks from United States Senator (still sounds really, really odd) Rand Paul:

“I’m against having a king,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) said in an interview with CBN News. “I think having a monarch is what we fought the American Revolution over and someone who wants to bypass the Constitution, bypass Congress — that’s someone who wants to act like a king or a monarch.”
“I’ve been opposed to executive orders, even with Republican presidents. But one that wants to infringe on the Second Amendment, we will fight tooth and nail,” he continued.

Since executive orders generally emanate from specific or general authorizations by Congress, or from the president’s job of running the exectuive branch, it’s hard to understand how their use makes Obama a putative “king.” And as New York’s Dan Amira points out today, Obama has issued fewer executive orders per day in office than any president since Grover Cleveland (you know, Rand, the prophetess Ayn Rand’s very favorite president).

So if Obama’s trying to play “king,” he’s not very good at it.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Russ L on January 17, 2013 10:54 AM:

    OTOH, it's good to have a Village Idiot. Senator, go back to playing with that Dagney Taggart doll your Daddy gave you that birthday long ago...

  • Josef K on January 17, 2013 10:57 AM:

    United States Senator (still sounds really, really odd) Rand Paul

    Yes, yes it does. And please keep in mind who is father is.

    Our body politic is not at all well is we have to use those five words - the ones outside of the paratheses - in that specific sequence.

    Im against having a king, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) said

    Yet he seemed to have no difficulty with having a Dictator like George W running around for eight years. No wonder he fits so well into the modern GOP.

  • Rabbler on January 17, 2013 10:58 AM:

    As to Rand: I much preferred the mute Harpo.

  • c u n d gulag on January 17, 2013 11:03 AM:

    In all fairness, if Rand Paul is playing "Senator," he's not very good at it.

    He must be trying to give Coburn and Imhofe a run for their money as "The Dumbest Motherfeckin' Idjit in the Senate."

    Btw - that's also a hotly contested race in the House.

  • Peter C on January 17, 2013 11:06 AM:

    Good Lord! Save us from the intentionally, militantly ignorant! We deserve better from our 100 Senators.

  • Jim Strain on January 17, 2013 11:23 AM:

    All of this rhetoric from the gun-toting right implying that the President is a king or tyrant or dictator is more than just annoying. If Obama hatred were a boiler, I think it would be overdue to blow. Is anyone else as worried as I am about Obama's safety?

  • Rabbler on January 17, 2013 11:28 AM:

    Jim Strian: Absolutely, all it takes is one of the several million nuts.They should increase his protection for the rest of the term, at least.

  • dana in sd on January 17, 2013 11:55 AM:

    I'm SO confused. All this time I thought Obama was a socialist/communist/marxist. Now it turns out he's a monarchist?

  • Califlander on January 17, 2013 12:19 PM:

    I thought it was 23 EOs, not 32.

  • emjayay on January 17, 2013 1:13 PM:

    The yahoos on Yahoo News comments have been calling him Dictator Obama not to mention all the other stuff including rather overtly rascist stuff for years.

    I guess when Bush II pioneered the use of signing statements that said nice bill, not intending to enforce it or anything and his people were all about the Unitary Executive Theory that wasn't about making the executive branch preeminent or anything.

    Right wingers are always inherently about top down centralized authority. Even if they think they are libertarians or something. They may think that the government should do as little as possible, but are about authoritarian structure of what is left.

    Rand doth protest too much, methinks.

  • beejeez on January 17, 2013 3:20 PM:

    Yeah, don't you hate living in this monarchy? If only we had some way we could hold an election and freely choose our leader by a majority vote, say once every four years. And if only we could limit his time as ruler to eight years, say.

  • boatboy_srq on January 17, 2013 3:36 PM:

    I find it most amusing that a legislator, son of a legislator, is complaining about some vague impression of a hereditary leadership position.

    Captcha: acksbpa URINE-ERASE*. Not kidding.