Some “King”

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.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.