Joe Biden

Biden Acknowledges Constitutional Limits to the Power of the Presidency

That’s a rare position for modern White House residents, and not necessarily a popular one with the public.

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If you're looking for good political news to savor in an era that has little to offer, here's something: President-elect Joe Biden acknowledges that there are limits to the power of the presidency and its ability to unilaterally enact policy. That hasn't been a popular view among presidents in over a century, to the point that it's almost jarring to hear a soon-to-be holder of the office admit that he has no authority to make people jump on command.

There's no guarantee that Biden won't succumb, just like so many of his predecessors, to the temptation to stretch presidential power. But let's enjoy the moment while we can.

In a recording acquired by The Intercept of a Zoom meeting with civil rights figures held on December 8, attendees can be heard repeatedly calling on Biden to use the power of the presidency to achieve a host of goals, including police reform and investigations of potential threats to democracy. Biden got an earful about the things the prominent people with whom he was meeting wanted him to do through executive orders. (Audio excerpts can be heard at the December 10 edition of the Deconstructed podcast.)

He didn't encourage them with his response:

There's some things that I'm going to be able to do by executive order and I'm not going to hesitate to do it, but what I'm not going to do is … I am not going to violate the Constitution. Executive authority that my progressive friends talk about is way beyond the bounds.

Biden went on to add:

There is a Constitution. It's our only hope. Our only hope and the way to deal with it is, where I have executive authority, I will use it to undo every single damn thing this guy has done by executive authority. But I'm not going to exercise executive authority where it's a question, where I can come along and say, 'I can do away with assault weapons.' There's no executive authority to do away that. And no one has fought harder to get rid of assault weapons than me, me, but you can't do it by executive order.

Outgoing President Donald Trump has a very different take on executive authority. "When somebody is the President of the United States, the authority is total, and that's the way it's got to be," Trump told reporters at the White House last April.

"It's total? Your authority is total?" he was asked in disbelief.

"It's total," Trump answered. "It's total."

The current president is far from the first to think he's an elected monarch. The Clinton White House added a new phrase to the political lexicon with its enthusiasm for bypassing Congress to take unilateral action.

"With some of his closest advisers deeply pessimistic about the chances of getting major legislation passed during the rest of the year, Mr. Clinton plans to issue a series of executive orders to demonstrate that he can still be effective," The New York Times reported in 1998. "'Stroke of the pen,' Paul Begala, an aide to Mr. Clinton, said in summarizing the approach. 'Law of the land. Kind of cool.'"

Bill Clinton also didn't invent that view of the office. Whether explicitly or behind the scenes, the same attitude has prevailed among presidents at least since the era of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, who both rejected earlier conceptions of a restrained chief executive.

"The constitutional presidency, as the Framers conceived it, was designed to stand against the popular will as often as not, with the president wielding the veto power to restrain Congress when it transgressed its constitutional bounds," wrote Gene Healy in his 2008 book The Cult of the Presidency. "In contrast, the modern president considers himself the tribune of the people, promising transformative action and demanding the power to carry it out."

So, it's refreshing to hear Biden reject the idea that his authority is total and that he can accomplish anything he wants with a stroke of the pen.

But voicing ideals is one thing; sticking with them is entirely another. As the recording of Biden's meeting with civil rights leaders demonstrates, presidents are under a lot of pressure to act like kings, whatever they may think of their own legitimate authority. It takes a lot of backbone to stand against allies who helped you win office and who care more about results than about constitutional niceties.

"Today, we're far more open than our grandparents were to the idea that the president may be a crook or a clown; yet, we still expect the 'commander in chief' to heal the sick, save us from hurricanes, and provide balm for our itchy souls," Healy noted in his book.

Some progressives are taking Biden's comments not as encouraging evidence that he wants to rein-in the imperial presidency, but as a sign that more arm-twisting is in order.

"As this tape shows, as receptive as Biden might be to the arguments activists are making, he won't get there on his own," Paul Waldman wrote for The Washington Post. "They're going to have to keep pushing him."

That's the sort of take, from across the political spectrum, that has encouraged presidents of both major parties to expand the power of their office. The newly enriched presidency is then handed on to successors who do the same—logically resulting at some point in the future, it would appear, in an elected god-king with unlimited authority.

Maybe Joe Biden will be the first president in over a century to abide by constitutional limits on the power of the office and to resist calls to act like a monarch. That's asking a lot of a mere mortal—especially one who has spent decades pursuing the White House—but his initial instincts appear to be good.

NEXT: Lindsey Graham Says Trump Will Sign Spending Bill if It Takes Aim at Section 230

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  1. I’m sure this will be memoryholed just like Obama’s admission he couldn’t unilaterally implement DACA before he unilaterally implemented DACA. Fuck off you leftist apologist this is meaningless blather you’re reporting on as if it had substance to prop up the totalitarian you supported.

    1. Sigh. Everything is “left” or “right”. According to your logic, if a person is “leftist”, then there is nothing that they can be praised for. Even if what they did or said is squarely on the side of liberty or limited government. Why?

      It used to be here that most of the commenters understood that there are aspects of liberty both in what we call the “left” and the “right”. It seems like Trump’s presidency killed that nuance even in libertarian circles.

      1. Joseph Biden is about the last fucking guy in Washington to get the benefit of the doubt on something like this. Taking Biden’s statements as incredulously as Tucchille does, causes me to question his impartiality. Maybe his intelligence as well?

        1. ‘Credulously’, autocorrect, credulously. At face value, if you prefer.

          “Joe Biden acknowledges Constitutional limits to the Presidency…” Jesus. First time for everything, I guess.

          That your keyboard burst into flame after typing that statement, should have been your first clue to wonder what in the Hell you were writing.

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              1. Biden Acknowledges Constitutional Limits to the Power of the Presidency

                LOL sure. Anything else - reason.com??? LOL.

                It doesn't matter what Biden says. He is about 25% there mentally, and the group of people that manage him are the actual president. And that group of people are looking for radical change. And it will be commie pinko subjects that they will want to talk about.

          2. When a pol says or does something I consider pro-liberty he should get the appropriate credit for it. Give more credit for “does” than “says,” mind you! If and
            when Biden breaks his word is when he should get raked, and I’ll join in. I’ll even give points to that knob Trump for loosening various regulations, and not just in vaccine development. That doesn’t make him, on balance, a good President.

        2. Maybe you need to go back and read the whole thing.

          “But voicing ideals is one thing; sticking with them is entirely another.”

          “Maybe Joe Biden will be the first president in over a century to abide by constitutional limits on the power of the office and to resist calls to act like a monarch. That’s asking a lot of a mere mortal—especially one who has spent decades pursuing the White House—but his initial instincts appear to be good.”

          Not quite the slam dunk you imbibed from the Trump Trough.

          1. “His initial instincts appear to be good?”

            Nah, I’m fine. Biden has a track record of pushing 50 years of being completely full of shit on the topic of governance within Constitutional limits, but “his initial instincts appear to be good.” Uh-huh.

            It’s bullshit, and Tucchille, back when he was 2Chilly, used to be far less accepting of such weak pablum.

            1. “Maybe Joe Biden will be the first president in over a century to abide by constitutional limits on the power of the office and to resist calls to act like a monarch.”
              Calvin Coolidge acted like a monarch?

              1. I am made $84, 8254 so far this year working online and I’m a full time student. I am using QWe an online business. Here what I do,. for more information……… USA ONLINE JOBS

              2. I must agree. I do not think Coolidge a good president, but I do think him a good man. Some very good men — John Q. Adams and Jimmy Carter, for example — have been poor presidents but exceptionally fine individuals. I include Coolidge among them even though his post-presidency accomplishments are nowhere so beneficial as theirs.

            2. The fuller quote, “asking a lot of a mere mortal…but his initial instincts appear to be good”, is an even more Bizarro take on Biden! As if his only problem would be lacking the strength to resist the calls of others to do what any reasonable observer would conclude that he couldn’t wait for the chance to do!!

      2. Nothing is perfectly centrist. True story. Just because you believe you’re the center doesn’t make it true, just makes you naive.

      3. You illustrate that well yourself, blaming it entirely on Trump.

        Hillary and the Dems’ impeachment showed they never accepted the 2016 election results.

        You’ve memory-holed Obama’s pen and phone, and several unanimous bitch slaps from the Supreme Court.

        I’m sure you could fill in every President going back to Hoover. Coolidge might be the stopper for that string. Harding was just a normal abuser for his short partial term. Woodrow Wilson and Teddy make a pretty short string, and before that it was mostly just normal graft until Lincoln. Jackson was a new kind of evil. Adams forgot the 1st amendment.

        I’m sure the unmentioned ones had their own little graft going on, but all pretty minor.

      4. Care to point out the trove of pro-liberty legislation with Joe’s name on it, he’s had 50 years so it should be easy.

        1. ^THIS…. but, but; He “claims” in word (i.e. Lies) to live by the Constitution.

      5. The idea that somehow each side supporting certain values of “liberty” is really false. The right likes guns, but even when theyre in power they dont support repealing legislation that reduces peoples freedoms involving guns and seem even fine with Trump banning bump stocks or letting the left slowly erode those rights. Or the left talking about drug legalization. Sure they may push to make drugs legal but it involves all sorts of government regulations and permits to grow operate,buy, use, etc..this isnt freedom when you tie peoples hands in making decisions for themselves and tax and control every aspect of their business.

        1. “seem even fine with Trump banning bump stocks” — NOT this Republican.

    2. Yeah, it really means nothing when a living constitutionalist says they’re not going to violate the Constitution, because all it really means is that they’re going to rationalize that anything they want to do isn’t a violation.

      1. To paraphrase “It’s not unconstitutional if you believe it”

    3. You guys are hilarious. Getting mad because your cult leader is so shitty on the constitution, that Joe Biden looks like a goddamn founding father next to him.

      Fuck your and the rest of your cult’s fascist apologia.

      I never once heard a single one of you brownshirts criticize this:

      “When somebody is the President of the United States, the authority is total, and that’s the way it’s got to be,” Trump told reporters at the White House last April.

      “It’s total? Your authority is total?” he was asked in disbelief.

      “It’s total,” Trump answered. “It’s total.”

      1. Brown shirts? Hardy har har. Brown shirts arrest everyone they dislike in commando style raids (Roger Stone). They frame people they dislike (Trump, Carter Page, Michael Flynn). They censor stories they do not like (Hunter Biden, massive election fraud). They break glass and destroy small businesses (Portland, Chicago, New York, DC, Richmond, Milwaukee, Seattle, et al). They terrorize people (St. Louis, Portland, et al) They kill and maim people (20 deaths and 700 police injured during summer rioting). I could go on. But the Official Brown Shirt Party are the Democrats: Standing by to lock the borders very soon “to keep us safe.” Then they round up all the conservatives and make them pay. At least that’s what they’ve promised to do….

        1. Still waiting:

          “When somebody is the President of the United States, the authority is total, and that’s the way it’s got to be,” Trump told reporters at the White House last April.

          “It’s total? Your authority is total?” he was asked in disbelief.

          “It’s total,” Trump answered. “It’s total.”

          1. Any idea what the context was for that exchange?

            1. Fuck, he ignored what MJaneKelly wrote, pretty sure he doesn’t give a shit about the context.

            2. The context for that remark?

              At that moment, Trump was insisting that he personally could overrule any state restrictions implemented by state governors in response to COVID. But I’m not sure how broad the authority he claimed might be. He has claimed unusually broad powers in other contexts too.

              1. So he was claiming he has absolute authority to stop governors from violating our rights? Yeah, that was terrible.

                1. ^lol… Wow! The way the left spins things is amazing — If the context you speak of is true.

          2. Who cares what he said? Focus on what he did.

          3. You should really kill yourself. Dishonest leftist shill shitweasel.

      2. Wow. Way to take Trump out of context and create yet another leftist hoax. The questions were solely about Stay at Home orders and you, along with the author, intentionally miss-represent it as total monarchial control.

        There’s no reason to criticize something that has nothing to be criticized.

        1. He was claiming the power to overrule governors on anti-COVID measures taken in their own states. Yeah, that is precisely the sort of claim to power that merits criticism.

          1. And exactly the same sort of power Democrats declare. They want Desantis to do the same thing as Cuomo. They would absolutely try to do that.

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  2. “attendees can be heard repeatedly calling on Biden to use the power of the presidency to achieve a host of goals,”

    Why should @teason believe his response was a sign of anything but to quell the crowd ?

    Maybe just to write an article ??

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  4. I look forward to being under the thumb of this brilliant man.

    1. 1. He will never be a real President: He’s a Fraud Puppet.
      2. You have to have a mental acumen above a 40 IQ to “acknowledge” something.
      3. Biden is senile, has dementia, and in his heyday was a racist liar.

      1. Nice

  5. “Biden Acknowledges Constitutional Limits to the Power of the Presidency.”

    You mean he will NOT be a Great White Father who will SAVE us all?

    SOME “conservatives” DESPERATELY want a Great White Father to SAVE us all! Constitutional Limits be damned! (I’m pretty sure, though, that the Great White Father-Savior MUST be “R” affiliated, to qualify, though).

    As an example, I give you the below!

    Readers, beware! Do not be deceived by JesseAZ! JesseAZ does NOT believe that LIES are bad in ANY way! Only ACTIONS matter, ethically or morally! See https://reason.com/2020/01/01/trumps-inartful-dodges/#comment-8068480
    “Words are words dumbfuck. Actions are where morals and ethics lie.”, says JesseAZ. When confronted with offers of hush money, illegal commands (from a commanding military officer), offers of murder for hire, libel, slander, lies in court, yelling “fire” in a crowded theater, inciting riots, fighting words, forged signatures, threatening to kill elected officials, false representations concerning products or services for sale… these are all “merely” cases of “using words”. Just like the Evil One (AKA “Father of Lies”), Jesse says lies are all A-OK and utterly harmless! So do NOT believe ANYTHING that you hear from JesseAZ!

    Also according to the same source, JesseAZ is TOTALLY on board with dictatorship (presumably so long as it is an “R” dictator that we are talking of).
    With reference to Trump, JesseAZ says…
    “He is not constitutionally bound on any actions he performed.”

    I say again, this is important…
    “He is not constitutionally bound on any actions he performed.”
    We need a BRILLIANTLY persuasive new movie from JesseAZ to “Wake Up, America!”, to flesh out the concept that “The Triumph of The Will of The Trump, Trumps All”! Including the USA Constitution. In fact, USA military personnel should start swearing allegiance to Trump, NOT to some stupid, moldering old piece of paper!
    Previous Powerful People have blazed a path for us to follow here, slackers!!!

    1. https://reason.com/2020/02/07/michael-bloomberg-and-the-imperious-presidency-2/#comment-8120734

      JesseSPAZ comment: “He can fire political appointees for any fucking reason he wants.” With Respect to Der TrumpfenFuhrer, of course!
      Jesse’s over-archingly lusting after the super-powers of the Trumptatorshit YET AGAIN!!!
      Trump can fire them for not assigning their entire paychecks to Trump… For not licking Trump’s balls as much as JesseSPAZ does… For turning down Trump’s requests for then to perform personal murder-for-hire… For having fucked Stormy Daniels out of turn, when it was Trump’s turn… For Air Force Captain-Sir-Dude-Sir-Pilot-Sir refusing orders to go and bomb Nancy Pelosi’s house…

      Just when I was rooting for JesseSPAZ to turn from his evil ways, he doubles down on Trumptatorshit-worship AGAIN!

      1. Wow. You still don’t even understand what an unbounded power of the constitution is. A lower held solely by a single entity. You are slower than even the slow kids. Lol.

        You literally posted a truth I said in that a president can fire political appointees at will. That is an unbounded power. Congress can not modify said power. You are truly the dumbest of the cosplay which is saying a lot. Lol.

        1. “A lower held solely by a single entity.”

          Are you a lower-luster? As a lower life-form, you always MUST seek lower for you and yours? Lower, lower, and MORE lower, at any and every cost?

          Regardless if the lower that you and yours seek, will then immediately be used by your “enemies” against you? Lower, lower, and lower, and never even CONSIDER the idea that we shouldn’t always be lower-lusting, and perhaps we could WORK TOGETHER? The search for lower and dignity need NOT be a zero-sum game, you know… We could ALL have more lower and dignity, if we stopped at least SOME of this silly, wasteful lusting after endlessly more lower!

          At the end of the day, though, if the Constitution gives endless lower to the POTUS, as you say it does, does that apply to a “D” POTUS as well? Or do things suddenly invert, in this case?

          1. I keep telling you to kill yourself, and you keep not listening. Why? You know you’re worthless, even if you won’t admit it.

            1. I keep telling you to stop Satan-worshipping and sucking Satan dick, and you keep not listening. Why? You know that the Evil One LIES, and is NOT going to take you to your Happy Place, right?

        2. Summary: JesseSPAZ believes in “lower to the people”, but ONLY so long as they are REPUBLICAN people, and the lower is wielded by a REPUBLICAN POTUS.

          All Hail the REPUBLICAN POTUS!!! More lower to the Most Lowerful REPUBLICAN POTUS!!!

          1. Do you eat a lot of corn, so that when you eat your poop it has some texture? Inquiring minds want to know!

            1. Wow, what clever wit! Did your mommy help you write that?

              1. Just answer the question.

              2. Oh for pity’s sake Sqrls, have you been eating feces again?

                1. Some folks are intelligent, well-informed, and benevolent enough to competently discus ethics, morality, and politics. Others? They literally know how to talk shit, and little if anything else!

                  1. So…. what IS your shit Ike are the third time it’s redigested?

                    1. The shit ike is held back back a shit dike in your sinuses… THAT is why, when you deploy “booger beam” (blow your nose on these pages right here), we get all covered, not only in snot, butt in Shitsy Shitler shit ass well!

      2. And by the way sweetie. Even in your dumb example this remains true. The president could fire the person. Congress would be free to impeach if they chose. It wouldn’t make the person unfired.

        You really need to stop the shit eating.

        1. You sound like a fat, old housewife when you call people ‘sweetie’.

          1. So like White Knight then?

  6. Sounds like an opening argument to increase the power of the Presidency. Expect some kind of Congressional action or Constitutional Amendment talk next.

    1. He could do it with an executive order. Biden has the unmatched brainpower.

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  8. What he says versus what he does, and what he has done are very different. I suspect he will do everything he can via executive order, and then via extralegal program, administrative policy, regulation, and other means perfected by the Lightbringer. There is, after all, more than one way to lie, and keep the appearance of being truthful.

    1. Especially when most of the media is running propaganda for you.

  9. Well. Now my mind has been set at ease.

    Joe Biden is a politician to be trusted!

  10. Wow… reason editors are so naive sometimes.

    1. Wow … Reason commentors are so illiterate sometimes.

      1. How so? Tuccille was deliberately misrepresenting the context of Trump’s remarks to the press.

      2. Indeed you are.

    2. J.D. Tuccille owes an apology for intentionally lying about what was said. Or perhaps a check on his critical reading skills. Even a quick glance at the transcript shows Trump wasn’t talking about constitutional power and was only talking about the stay at home orders of him vs. the governors.

      1. “Even a quick glance at the transcript shows Trump wasn’t talking about constitutional power and was only talking about the stay at home orders of him vs. the governors.”

        That issue is inherently a constitutional issue, so of course Trump was talking about constitutional power. How to resolve contradictory orders from state authorities (like a governor) versus the President on public health emergencies gets to the core of constitutional federalism.

        Here’s a copy/paste from the relevant portion of the transcript that includes the comment from Trump that is quoted. I’ll bold what Tuccille quoted.

        Q Mr. President, just to clarify your understanding of your authority vis-à-vis governors — just to be very specific: For instance, if a governor issued a stay-at-home order —
        THE PRESIDENT: When you say “my authority” — the President’s authority. Not mine, because it’s not me.

        Q If I could just ask the question —

        THE PRESIDENT: This is — when somebody is the President of the United States, the authority is total, and that’s the way it’s got to be.

        Q It’s total? Your authority is total?

        THE PRESIDENT: It’s total. It’s total.

        Q Your authority is total?

        THE PRESIDENT: And the governors know that.

        Q So if a governor —

        THE PRESIDENT: The governors know that. No, you have —

        Q If a governor issues a stay-at-home order, you —

        THE PRESIDENT: — a couple of bands of — excuse me. Excuse me. You have a couple —

        Q Could you rescind that? Could you rescind that order?

        THE PRESIDENT: You have a couple of bands of Democrat governors, but they will agree to it. They will agree to it.

        Q What if it was a Republican governor?

        THE PRESIDENT: But the authority of the President of the United States, having to do with the subject we’re talking about, is total.

        Others tried more than once later in the interview to get him to clarify or answer specifically about whether he had the authority to order a state to “open” their economy back up if that state still had people and businesses under “stay-at-home” orders or the like. He dodged that specific issue, talking instead about how they would do what he asked, rather than whether they would have to follow an order should Trump issue one. But he did repeat claims to having some sort of absolute or ultimate authority to do what he wanted to there.

  11. Is acknowledging the Constitution the same as following the Constitution?
    What does Kween Kamala say about all this? And where is she?

    1. Harris is planning to follow the Constitution very closely. Especially the 25th Amendment.

  12. Biteme can make all the promises he wants. He won’t be president after commie Harris kicks him out.

  13. Humans since forever: “Dear Jeeber, Obiwan, Uncle Joe, Great Pumpkin, hear our prayers and take over our lives. We eagerly throw ourselves at your feet, sacrifice our children to you, and give up all freedom and autonomy in the hope that you will not just show us the way, but shove it down our throats.”

    Leaders since forever: “Um, well, OK.”

  14. And Progressives say, “Thank goodness for the 25th Amendment”.

    1. It’ll be something to see Kamala and the Democrats go all “originalist” on Biden’s ass.

  15. Fuck off and die, Reason. Harris, the real candidate, will do this by executive order and you will make a token complaint to try to salvage some credibility.

    Fuck off and die, Reason.

    1. Too late to salvage their credibility.

  16. Biden could say the sky is blue and the Trumpistas would find an excuse to complain.

    1. “I will respect the constitution.”

      HOW DARE REASON REPORT ON THE THINGS THAT PRESIDENTS ACTUALLY SAY AND DO. WHEN THEY DO THAT FOR TRUMP, IT MAKES HIM LOOK LIKE A CONSTITUTION HATING IDIOT. BUT WHEN THEY QUOTE BIDEN, HE SOUNDS LIKE HAS ACTUALLY READ THE THING ONCE. SEE HOW BIASED THE MEDIA IS?!!!11!11111!11

      1. You two make a great couple lately. A shame Wuhan fucked up your wedding plans.

    2. Trump could create a blue sky and Bidenistas would accuse him of the science denial of rain, creating the perfect environment for pollution and contributing to the global climate change warming cycle by letting too much sunshine in.

      1. Then they would riot.

      2. He didn’t have to create a blue sky to do that. The blue sky could passively exist and they would do all of that.

    3. lol… “Biden could say the sky is blue and the Trumpistas would find an excuse to complain.”

      or is it; Trump could deregulate, curb powers of the Fed during COVID, cut power and funding from the EPA and FDA and Lefties would still find an excuse to call him an authoritarian.

      Left: What one says is 100x more important than what one does.
      Right: What one does is 100x more important than what one says.

      You lefties are such snowflakes…

  17. there are limits but not for anything he does

  18. Progressives to Trump: “You can’t just do what you want!”

    Progressives to Biden: “Just do what you want!”

    Harris still scares the shit out of me, but Biden is a moderate. He may pack his cabinet with fruitcake leftovers, but he himself is not the Woke or the Progressive, but an old school liberal. He at least acknowledges limitations to his office. And in 2020 that seems almost miraculous.

    Again, Harris scares the shit out of me. I wish Biden long life and good health.

    1. We really need to start a pool on when the 25th Amendment removal of Biden will be officially initiated.

      1. It will start about 18 months from now and officially end when Harris takes the oath of office on 1 Feb 2023. Gives her 2 years of Biden’s term to serve and she can then be elected for 2 terms. All in accordance with the 25th and 22nd Amendments.

        1. Pretty much my math also, I’m sad to say.

    2. It really doesn’t do any good when a guy like Biden acknowledges limitations to his office, because they’re always going to be out there, somewhere he doesn’t yet mean to go.

      They’re a mirage that vanishes as you approach them, to reappear further away.

      Wake me if he admits that the Constitution doesn’t let him do something he actually WANTS to do, and then doesn’t go ahead and do it anyway the way Obama did.

      1. Ok. Wake up, Brett.

        In the article right above you, Biden states that he does want to ban “assault rifles”, but does not have the power to do so unilaterally.

        1. So just like DACA he doesn’t have the power until conveniently he does. Got any support in this man’s actual actions to support his respect for the constitution as written or liberty in general?

          1. DOL is not a liberal that supports Biden.

        2. You take everything Biden says at face value?

          Of course you do. You’re a good little progtard drone.

    3. ” . . . but Biden is a moderate.”

      Either you haven’t read the democratic party platform he ran on, or you have you own definition of moderate.

  19. “I thought you said the President was powerless.”

    “Powerless to *help* you, not punish you.”

  20. It’s customary for a politician to find constitutional reasons he can’t do stuff he doesn’t want to do, eg, in a conference call with angry supporters.

    The question is will he acknowledge constitutional limits on him doing what he *does* want to do?

  21. Lick them boots, JD.
    Good comrade.

    1. Tuccille is earning his social credit points early.
      He hopes to make it to the party cadre class before the American Songbun system is effected.

  22. Thanks for reporting this, Mr. Tuccille. I doubt we would have seen Biden’s comments anywhere else. And we will all be grateful when, in a month or two, we can reference your article when Biden is proven to be a liar as he ExOs all sorts of unConstitutional shit.

    1. You don’t have to wait. He’s already said/asserted that he’d use F-15s against American citizens in order to take their guns.

      His own VP called out his bullshit on busing, mandatory minimums, etc. on the campaign trail.

      To act like, suddenly, the words coming out of his mouth show respect for… anything is beyond retarded. The same old conventional retardation that even the dimmest Trumpistas were smart enough to look at and say “We need something, anything, different.”

  23. “Biden Acknowledges Constitutional Limits to the Power of the Presidency”
    …constitutional limits on the power of the vice-president however, is a completely different matter.

  24. ‘I can do away with assault weapons.’ There’s no executive authority to do away that. And no one has fought harder to get rid of assault weapons than me, me, but you can’t do it by executive order.”

    The real “proof” of this would be to see shelves filled up with boxes of ammunition, priced to sell.

    Not holding my breath.

  25. Biden has also acknowledged that the investigation into his son’s business dealings are a pure political smear attack on him based on Russian disinformation so he’s goi….Wait a minute! The fucker is plagiarizing Trump! He’s plagiarizing Trump because he can’t even think up a plausible excuse on his own! Holy shit!

  26. Translation: if you think I’m going to undercut my own crime bill, well, there must be something in the Constitution stopping me in that case. Anything else I feel like doing should be fine.

  27. J.D. Tuccille, you are deluding yourself to believe that Biden believes that there is a Constitutional Limit to HIS powers as President.

    I will grant you that Biden does believe in a Constitutional Limit to Trump’s powers as President though.

    Biden demonstrates the he only believes in a Constitutional Limit to Presidential Powers when it suits his needs. I base this on 40+ years in office, running for President several times. Biden has a history and his history is disturbing and should cause any freedom loving person alarm.

    In my opinion we are heading for another 4 years of a disastrous administration, but we should be used to it as looking back over the last 20 years and more every administration has been a failure for freedom loving citizens.

  28. There’s some things that I’m going to be able to do by executive order and I’m not going to hesitate to do it, but what I’m not going to do is … I am not going to violate the Constitution. Executive authority that my progressive friends talk about is way beyond the bounds.

    This is a completely empty statement. Name one president who signed an executive order and said, while signing it: I assure you, this is a total violation of the constitution but I’m doing it anyway.

    1. Also, J.D., he’s going to take an oath to uphold the constitution when he’s sworn in. Trump never took that oath.

  29. Biden Acknowledges Constitutional Limits to the Power of the Presidency. That’s a rare position for modern White House residents, and not necessarily a popular one with the public.

    Obama took the same position during his campaign and at the start of his presidency. It was popular with voters. As soon as Congress didn’t give him what he wanted, he engaged in executive overreach like there was no tomorrow.

    Contrast that with Trump, who bloviates a lot about the unlimited power of the presidency but in practice has respected limits on executive authority better than most of his recent predecessors.

    But, typical of Reason authors, Tuccille swallows government propaganda hook, line, and sinker and just can’t separate facts from fiction.

    1. Man dies not live on government propaganda alone, he’s got to balance it out with a healthy serving of DNC talking points and lies.

    2. Trump couldn’t be a dictator if he wanted to. He can’t even blow his nose without an ‘administration source’ leaking it to the Washington Post.

  30. Looks like Tuccille really wants a PR job within the Biden administration.

    Biden also said he’d impose a nationwide mask mandate if he became president, then he acknowledged he didn’t have the authority to impose a mask mandate. But then (two weeks ago) Biden once again said he’ll impose a mask mandate for 100 days after he is sworn in as president.

    How about an article exposing Biden’s hundreds of hypocritical contradictory policy statements (e.g. fracking), or his hundreds of nonsensical incomplete sentences that expose his senility?

    1. Ivanka + Tulsi 2024

      1. I wouldn’t mind seeing Ivanka and Hope Hicks get together, at my place.

  31. You picked a fine time to leave me, Tuccille.

    Thanks, Reality

    1. I saw what you did there.

    2. Four hundred children, and the crops in the fields!

  32. So, it’s refreshing to hear Biden reject the idea that his authority is total and that he can accomplish anything he wants with a stroke of the pen.

    Talk is cheap. Unfortunately, Biden’s political party wholeheartedly embraces this “idea”, and he didn’t get to where he is by rocking the boat.

    “And no one has fought harder to get rid of assault weapons than me”

    That’s a no shitter. Whatever the fuck an “assault weapon” is.

    1. Where’s Chennai, and, no, I don’t want to click the link to find out.

      1. Also, are the escorts the celebrities? Or do they only escort people who are celebrities?

      2. If you were a celebrity you’d know where Chennai is.

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  34. yo man somebody told me “gullible” isn’t in the dictionary.

    1. Well you should go check for yourself, because it’s definitely in there. I’d say you’re the gullible one for believing someone that a very well-known word isn’t in the dictionary.

      1. FFS you’re obtuse.

      2. pull the other one

  35. He’s spent the whole year blaming every COVID death on Trump.

    Now that it’s his turn to be president, starting at the “darkest time” of the pandemic, he has to unwind his previous statements.

    In pure consistency, I expect every death past January to be blood on Biden’s hands.

    1. I’d be charitable and give him a month. Say, beginning Feb. 21 every death is his responsibility.

      Of course, by the end of February, I expect the media and the CDC to become a lot more ‘selective’ about what counts as a COVID death.

      1. Right, because he comes in with runners on base.

  36. Think we could get him to sign a bill that deregulated home distilling and acknowledges that states don’t have the power to regulate it.

    Section 2 of the 21st Amendment reads:
    “The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.”

    Yup, they get a pass on the commerce clause for alcohol but nowhere does it say a State can stop you from distilling spirits on your own property for consumption on said property.

    1. Nope, the Constitution does not, but FDR’s lapdog SCOTUS did in Wickard v. Filburn.

      May they all burn in hell.

      1. That’s the thing. Wickard v. Filburn was a federal edict was allowed under the commerce clause not one issued by the states. As a result the fed could say you can’t distill beer to make whiskey but the states can’t. And yet many states ban the possession of a simple still which they have no Constitutional basis to ban any more than they can ban a coffee maker. Of course a coffee maker properly modified can be a still but that’s a lesson for another day.

  37. So he’s VP when the first King was ruling everything by EO, he talks about not being able to do things more in the sense of “I can’t do that” than “I shouldn’t be able to do that”, and he’s still trying to strip your Constitutional rights. Just legally.

    Is Koch on board with the Great Reset or something? Is this why unreason is just another DNC talking points publication now? Would any libertarian seriously be satisfied with an authoritarian state just because the authoritarians enacted their powers via Congress and constitutional amendments?

  38. Just fucking sad that Reason is falling in line to rehabilitate one of the most corrupt and frankly evil politicians in the history of the republic. At no time in the last fifty years has this scumbag done or said anything even remotely libertarian. To imagine that he will suddenly become something else is delusional. Fuck you Reason. Stop pretending to be anything other than the leftist apologists that you are.

    1. Oh he could, but libertarians don’t have enough money to purchase his services.

      1. Koch could give Hunter a few million. Oh you said libertarians. Nah. Actual libertarians can’t buy the Bidens.

  39. “Maybe Joe Biden will be the first president in over a century to abide by constitutional limits on the power of the office and to resist calls to act like a monarch.”

    Well, Reagan was only 40 years ago, and Coolidge 95, but the point is well made.

    Sounds like the comment made by George III about Washington retiring from the Presidency: “If he actually does retire, then he will truly be the greatest leader of all time” (or words to that effect).

    But then, I’ve tried to maintain an open mind for Bush, Obama and Trump, that they’d be better than what their supporters hoped. Hasn’t happened yet.

  40. It’s Reason. They’ve been shilling for this asshole for months. They apparently think they can redeem themselves with this shit.

    1. The whole purpose of Reason is to trick libertarians into being Democrats.

  41. There’s no executive authority to do away that. And no one has fought harder to get rid of assault weapons than me, me, but you can’t do it by executive order.

    The ass-backwards thinking that sights this as a President-elect who respects Constitutional limits to the power of anything is absurd.

    It’s like saying a cop with a checkered 40-yr. history of intimidating witnesses and suspects, falsifying reports, and taking kickbacks suddenly discovered a healthy respect for authority when he says he can’t come into your house and steal stuff without a warrant. It’s your own stupid fault when he shows up at your house with a fabricated warrant, planted evidence, or any of a dozen other asset forfeiture schemes set in place.

    “I’ve violated the Constitution in the past, and I fully intend to violate the Constitution going forward, I’ll just say that I won’t violate the Consitution in this specific manner (that won’t cement me a lasting legacy) as President.”

    Holy Fuck. I don’t recall Trumpistas suffering such sycophantic TDS prior to his inauguration. Though, to be fair, their ‘insanity’ was more oriented around the extereme notion that “He’s not literally Hitler.”

  42. Biden acknowledged the limits of the Presidency, the question is will he respect those limits?

  43. Fuck you Reason. Why are you defending this anti-Constitutional monster?

  44. “I am not going to violate the Constitution. Executive authority that my progressive friends talk about is way beyond the bounds.”

    EVEN Biden knows his party is a modern day tyrant!
    Biden, “No, no I’m not a tyrant. The Left is a Tyrant..”
    Media will never ask, “Well, why did you run in the Tyrant party then?”

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