Free Markets, Free People

American Caesar?

Katherine Jean Lopez had this to say the other day at The Corner:

Yesterday, at a rally for R. Creigh Deeds in Virginia, President Obama said: “I don’t want the folks who created the mess do a lot of talking. I want them to get out of the way so we can clean up the mess. I don’t mind cleaning up after them, but don’t do a lot of talking.”

For Barack Obama, democracy appears to be a distraction. He really does seem to view himself as a Caesar.

Shortly after taking office, Obama held a meeting with governors. At the time, one person in the room relayed Obama’s request that critics and skeptics of the stimulus plan keep their concerns to themselves. Just let me do it, was his attitude. He got pushback and he wasn’t happy. He wanted democratically elected state governors to shut up so he could do as he pleased. He knows better and we should respect that, seems to be the attitude.

There seems to be quite a bit more of an authoritarian streak in Barack Obama than one might think. I was willing to dismiss the first statement at the Deeds event as a little red meat for the locals. But I wasn’t aware of the second incident, which makes dismissing the first a little less likely.

Then this story coincidentally showed up which adds fuel to the fire:

President Obama has issued signing statements claiming the authority to bypass dozens of provisions of bills enacted into law since he took office, provoking mounting criticism by lawmakers from both parties.

Apparently Obama feels much the same as his predecessor did about the laws passed by Congress – he doesn’t have to obey provisions he doesn’t care for:

They were reacting to a statement Mr. Obama issued after signing a bill that expanded assistance to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank while requiring the administration to pressure the organizations to adopt certain policies. Mr. Obama said he could disregard the negotiation instructions under his power to conduct foreign relations.


Other laws Mr. Obama has said he need not obey as written include format requirements for budget requests, limits on whom he may appoint to a commission, and a restriction on putting troops under United Nations command.

While there is some argument to be made about Congress getting into the foreign relations area, there’s certainly none which should arise from budget questions or other domestic legal considerations. However, there is a very easy way for Obama to confront Congress over areas he thinks they overstep their bounds – veto the bill. Instead, displaying that authoritarian streak, he chooses to disregard the law and do what he wants to do through a signing statement.

All of this after calling Bush’s use of signing statements “abuse” and promising much greater restraint than practiced in the previous administration. Thus far, at least according to a Democratic Congress, no such restraint has been practiced and it appears Congress deems his use to date just as “abusive” as they did George Bush’s use of signing statements.

Two things are obvious, at least to me – one, he has an agenda and he doesn’t like anyone standing in his way as he tries to accomplish it, to include the law. And two, he’s a glib pretender when it comes to bi-partisan ship or opposition in general. He wants none. The two statements highlighted by Lopez above are simply extended examples of his “I won” quote (and the not so subtle but implied “so shut up”) Obama gave not long after taking office.

Lopez entitled her NRO posting, “American Caesar”. The more I watch this guy operate, the more I’m coming to believe she may have a point.


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8 Responses to American Caesar?

  • The man is a glib fraud. I’m not surprised that he is quick to resort to intimidation when his ideas are challenged by opposition or reality.

  • Unfortunately, I’m not surprised.  Not from the guy who said this yesterday –
    “President Zelaya remains the democratically elected president and, for the sake of the Honduran people, democratic and constitutional order must be restored,” Obama said during a summit with Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
    So the trick for the big O is to get democratically elected.  Once that has been acheived, you can pretty much do whatever you want, regardless of the law, because, you know, you were elected.

  • One man, one vote, one time.

  • One man, one vote, one time.

    As opposed to the Chicago way, “vote early, vote often”
    The worse tyrants are carried into office by the people, they don’t seize it by force.  Well you got what you got, what now?

  • “For Barack Obama, democracy appears to be a distraction. He really does seem to view himself as a Caesar.”

    This is because he is a man who has never had the word “no” spoken to him. No, you should not be attending a Muslim school. No, you should not cavort with racists, anti-Semites, and radical leftwing terrorists intent on blowing up Americans. No, you should not be pushing legislation and signing letters that got your good friend Tony Rezko massive federal subsidies to renovate buildings in Chicago and then pocket the money even as you knew he was doing it. No, you should not push legislation in the US Senate that aided a hospital where your wife worked and where her salary suddenly skyrocketed. No, you should not run for President with less than 2 years of national legislative experience under your belt. No, you should not run a campaign against the war in Iraq and then be forced to deal with that war once elected. No, you should not pass a “stimulus” bill that was for $787 billion dollars and sent the deficit into orbit. No, you should not try to use your muscle to push through a complete socialization of health care in America. No, no, no, no, no.

    Since no one is smart enough or brave enough to tell this thug the word “no,” it is up to the American people to do it. And they are, with sinking poll numbers.

    No, Mr. Obama, you are not popular anymore. No, Mr. Obama, your policies are not popular anymore. No, Mr. Obama, you cannot scare the American people into supporting your silly party. No, Mr. Obama, your president is rapidly becoming a joke, not a source of hope. No, Mr. Obama, you will not go down as a good President, but as a massive mistake that millions of Americans who invested their lives in have come to realize, and they will undo that mistake in 2010, when your party is sent shuffling into the minority in the House, and its majority is cut in the Senate, and in 2012 when you will be sent back to Chicago, a one-term loser like Jimmy Carter was.

  • The American Ceasar?  Not even close.  American Napoleon – Obama increasingly shows himself to be a very, very small man.

  • Et tu Biden?