Presidential Power

Will Democrats Embrace the Imperial Presidency Now That Their Guy Is in Charge?

Partisans who abandon constitutional principles because they prove inconvenient are in for a rude surprise when the other team wins.

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After Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton in 2016, I hoped that "electing a preening, petty, thin-skinned, whiny, vindictive, vacuous, mendacious, boorish bully" would prompt "a reconsideration of the absurd hopes and cultish veneration that surround the presidency." I suggested that "a ridiculous president will encourage Americans to take the presidency less seriously." And as Trump went on to assert various kinds of extraconstitutional authority, I hoped that example would encourage his opponents to see the wisdom of dethroning imperial presidents and restoring the separation of powers.

With Trump gone, however, some Democrats seem determined to forget that lesson. "Joe Biden Must Not Shy Away From the Full Power of the Presidency," says the headline above a New York Times op-ed piece by University of Chicago law professor Eric Posner. "During the presidential campaign," Posner notes, Biden "was not shy about criticizing then-President Donald Trump for abusing his executive authority." But Posner, who seems to be drawing the wrong pointers from his 2020 book The Demagogue's Playbook, warns that such constitutional concerns are dangerous to the Democratic agenda now that Biden has replaced Trump. As Posner sees it, untrammeled presidential power is a problem only when Americans make the mistake of electing the wrong president.

"Many Democrats think that a lesson of the Trump years, culminating in the siege of the Capitol, is that presidential power needs to be curtailed," Posner writes. "Power that has accreted to the presidency over the years should be transferred back to Congress. Executive branch agencies, above all the Justice Department, should enjoy more autonomy. Oversight of the presidency should be strengthened. Only with such reforms can we be sure that future presidents will not abuse their powers." But "Democrats should be careful what they wish for," he says, because "a weakened presidency would hamper national governance, and Democratic policies in particular."

The Constitution assigns the legislative power to Congress, which can pass new laws only with the approval of both chambers. But that requirement is awfully inconvenient, Posner complains, especially for Democrats. "The Democratic margin in the Senate—zero—is too slim for Mr. Biden to push ambitious laws through Congress, which is balky and slow even when majorities in both houses are broadly in agreement with the president," he writes. "Congress by its nature moves slowly and gets little done, which often suits Republicans just fine, as they tend to prefer the status quo."

Worse, "congressional approval requires the consent of the Senate, which is disproportionately influenced by conservative senators from largely rural states." Posner worries that "if power is moved from the presidency back to Congress, national policy will shift to the right, on average, over time."

In short, Posner thinks constitutional constraints are fine when the president is a Republican but should be ignored when Democrats are running the show, because the ends (immigration reform and control of greenhouse gas emissions, for example) justify the means. That approach is not just unprincipled but dangerously shortsighted, for Democrats no less than Republicans. Even from a strictly partisan perspective, Posner's advice is sensible only if Democrats are sure they will always control the executive branch. People who abandon constitutional principles because they prove inconvenient are in for a rude surprise when the other team wins.

Is Biden likely to take Posner's advice? The evidence is mixed.

During his campaign, Biden originally promised to fight COVID-19 by issuing an executive order that would require all Americans to wear face masks in public. In September, he admitted that the president has no legal authority to issue such an order. Last week Ron Klain, Biden's chief of staff, said the order would be limited to "federal property and inter-state travel." The actual order, which Biden issued yesterday, is even narrower. It applies to "Federal employees, on-site Federal contractors, and other individuals in Federal buildings and on Federal lands." There is no mention of "inter-state travel." [Update: On Thursday, Biden issued a separate order that requires masks at airports and on commercial aircraft, trains, intercity buses, ferries, and "all forms of public transportation."]

By contrast, Biden plans to unilaterally extend a nationwide eviction moratorium that was originally imposed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), then renewed by Congress last month. The legal rationale for that moratorium relies on a sweeping and highly dubious interpretation of the CDC's authority to take measures "reasonably necessary" to stop the interstate spread of communicable diseases. If Biden accepts that interpretation, it is hard to see why he thinks a broad, nationwide mask order is beyond his powers.

"At best," Christian Britschgi notes, Biden's puzzling distinction between requiring face masks and prohibiting evictions suggests he "has an inconsistent view of his own powers to fight the pandemic." A less charitable interpretation is that "the new president is letting politics, not legal principles, guide his executive actions."

Several of the other executive orders that Biden issued yesterday have a firmer legal basis. For example, he rescinded the emergency declaration that Trump controversially claimed allowed him to pay for the border wall Congress refused to fund by diverting money from other parts of the federal budget. "It shall be the policy of my Administration that no more American taxpayer dollars be diverted to construct a border wall," Biden's order says. Unlike Trump's policy, that position defers to the legislative branch's control over federal spending. Biden's orders reversing Trump's changes to census procedures and lifting his ban on visitors from various predominantly Muslim countries likewise are clearly within the president's authority.

Biden also issued a memorandum aimed at "preserving and fortifying" protections for unauthorized immigrants who entered the country as children. That Obama administration policy, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), is framed as an exercise of prosecutorial discretion. DACA's defenders argue that it is constitutional in light of the broad leeway that Congress has given the executive branch in enforcing the immigration laws. DACA's critics say it is an unconstitutional end run around Congress, which so far has declined to protect this group of immigrants, despite broad public support for that policy.

Posner thinks Biden should not worry about such constitutional niceties, because they could stop him from doing what needs to be done. While many of Trump's critics were dismayed by his legally groundless assertion that he had "total" authority over COVID-19 control policies across the country, for instance, Posner wants Biden to assert that same unconstitutional power.

"A major complaint against Mr. Trump was that he failed to fully use his emergency powers to address the Covid-19 pandemic," Posner writes. "He could have, for example, increased restrictions on movement to help curtail the contagion and done more to help states buy protective equipment and to distribute vaccines. For Mr. Biden to follow through on his plan to formulate a more aggressive response to the pandemic, he will need to rely on the emergency powers that Mr. Trump disregarded."

In Posner's view, Biden should exercise kingly "emergency" powers to tell Americans whether and under what circumstances they may leave their homes. Yet the Constitution does not give Congress, let alone the president, the authority to impose a nationwide lockdown. Under the Constitution, the federal government is limited to specifically enumerated powers, which do not include a general authority to protect the public from communicable diseases. That responsibility lies primarily with the states, which retain a broad "police power" that goes far beyond the authority vested in the president or Congress.

Posner is right that federalism and the separation of powers are obstacles to a president who wants to impose his will on the nation. Democrats welcomed those obstacles when that president was Trump. They should resist the temptation to think such limits can be safely abandoned now that their guy is in charge.

 

NEXT: Putin Opponent Navalny Arrested, Faces More Than 3 Years in Prison

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206 responses to “Will Democrats Embrace the Imperial Presidency Now That Their Guy Is in Charge?

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      1. Will Democrats Embrace the Imperial Presidency Now That Their Guy Is in Charge?

        Democrats move the government in the direction of more centralized and more powerful federal government than republicans. They are the party of endless social services, benefits, safety nets, and basically, fucking commie pinko bullshit. So yes - democrats will embrace these powers now that their guy was in charge. What the fuck kind of question is this??? Obama definitely embraced every power within his abilities - even some he didn't have. So Jacob "Sullen Dick" can get back to sucking leftist cock, and getting high, while having leftists fill up his guts with their ideological load so he can later shit it all out right here, on the pages of reason.com.

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    2. Yup, Reason’s leftist faggots were so desperate to get rid of Trump they conveniently ignored the literal fucking Nazi who’d replace him.

      1. Wrong. Army of God fanatics slobbering at the thought of forcing women into reproductive functions against their will completely ignored that pesky 19th Amendment. Now the lewsers want to whine about ballot stuffing, sneaky furrin warez, mail monopoly ballots, “we wuz robbed”–everything except the females and hepcats they were so eager to coerce actually casting a countermanding vote. This they did after squeaking into power past 4 million Libertarian votes. That is a special kind of stupid.

        1. Yes, forcing you not to murder your own baby is clearly slavery. I get that the government shouldn’t be involved, but come the fuck on.

          1. Hank jacks it to bootleg videos of Kermit Gosnell murdering healthy full term infants poet birth.

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        2. Wrong. Army of God fanatics slobbering at the thought of forcing women into reproductive functions against their will…

          Wrong. They are not being "forced" into reproductive functions, because they did it of their own volition. Nobody. Literally nobody, forced them to have unprotected sex and make a baby. If they don't make babies - then they won't feel the need to murder them. Thus they shouldn't make them.

          You can't have the corresponding freedom associated with libertarianism, without the corresponding responsibility built into the populace. Abuse freedom, and laws get passed. A high quality people, responsible, and moral, don't need laws. Laws are a testament of failure, where the public has proven themselves not moral. Likewise with abortion. If a baby, or the instantiation of a human being in the start of them taking form has no value, has no sanctity, then adults don't either, and we might as well endorse murdering each other.

          1. Have you heard of rape? What if protected sex fails?

            it really is not akin to murdering each other – but if you feel that strongly about it, I assume you support banning guns. Not controlling them. Banning them altogether.

            1. Wow, never thought someone could be as ignorant as you.

            2. Rape is not the fault of the baby. If you want to kill the rapist, well, you’re at least punishing the responsible party.

            3. Have you heard of rape? What if protected sex fails?

              it really is not akin to murdering each other – but if you feel that strongly about it, I assume you support banning guns. Not controlling them. Banning them altogether.

              Taken as a whole, your analogy is ridiculous on all fronts. There is not a single "reasonable" thought here, on the comments section, of reason.com.

              Taken piece by piece, is even worse...

              Have you heard of rape?

              Yes. Next? Are you willing to allow a carveout in the law for victims of rape, but ban murder of other babies? I think not. So let's just move on.

              What if protected sex fails?

              Then you have a baby. And then you can take some fucking responsibility in your life... maybe. The fact you would choose murder over taking responsibility says it all. You fucktard libertarileftists want all the freedom and zero responsibility. Unfettered open borders, abortion, prostitution, drugs. You guys are losers. Real fucking losers, that make the responsible libertarians look like shit. The reason we need laws, is to address you guys. Responsible libertarians don't need all these laws.

              it really is not akin to murdering each other

              Right. So manslaughter then? I mean, if someone purposely does it - its intentional homicide. Ok. Moving on.

              but if you feel that strongly about it, I assume you support banning guns. Not controlling them. Banning them altogether.

              Ridiculous comment.
              1) There is a difference between taking a life with a gun in self defense and taking a life of a completely utterly innocent newborn baby.
              2) There is a difference between taking a life in war with a gun with purpose aforethought and taking a life of a completely utterly innocent newborn baby.
              3) There is a difference between a criminal killing an adult for whatever reason and taking a life of a completely utterly innocent newborn baby.
              4) One can own a firearm and never actually kill anyone, ever, whereas no one at all, anywhere, can abort a baby, and not take a life. The fact you can't see this shines some light on your intellect, or your leftist programming, one of the two, or combination of both.

              And lastly, I can see you are an equality freak, who thinks a life is a life is a life, with your nonsensical gun control argument. It is not. Some lives are worth more than others. Since all of us have a finite life, some lives are worth dying over. And there is a difference between a baby whose life is just starting and a middle aged man whose life is halfway over.

            4. What if protected sex fails?

              Positive proof you guys use "abortion" as contraceptive. Horrible people.

          2. Abortion is perhaps the toughest issue to resolve. From a libertarian perspective, no one should want the government telling someone what they can or can’t do with their body. However, from a moral perspective, it seems pretty devaluing of human life if, in some states, you will get a longer prison sentence for killing an unborn bird than for killing an unborn human. Then there is the whole rape/incest issue that divides even those who are anti-abortion. There will likely never be a solution that will satisfy both sides of this issue.

            1. From a libertarian perspective, no one should want the government telling someone what they can or can’t do with their body.

              No one told them to fuck and make that baby. 99% of abortions are for convenience, so "telling them what they can or can't do with their body" is a moot point to me. They fucked and they made a baby, and then they express in outrage, "You can't tell me what to do with my body!" Hello. What you did with your body - you chose that. Not the government.

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    3. Since Biden’s first executive orders ignore the reality that the senate has to approve treaties and rescind immigration laws passed by congress, it’s pretty clear he has no intention of abiding by constitutional limits at all.

      As for Trump’s overstepping his authority, the Supreme Court rejected two or three times more Obama’s executive orders than Trump.

    4. “Will Democrats Embrace the Imperial Presidency Now That Their Guy Is in Charge?”

      It is a rhetorical question.

      1. DEMOCRATS SUK

      2. Will Jacob Sullum have his salad tossed by his boyfriend?

    5. Agree 100%

      The Ds have always embraced the imperial presidency. In fact, their voters can’t possibly imagine a non-authoritarian presidency or government. They just couldn’t stomach a heretic in that position.

    6. “Will Democrats Embrace the Imperial Presidency Now That Their Guy Is in Charge?”

      Correction

      Will Sullum Embrace the Imperial Presidency Now That His Guy Is in Charge?

    7. What a bullshit article. And from a publication that pit in overtime trying to get Usurper Biden into office.

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  3. Yes, they will, and fuck you, Reason. But muh private companize!! Just start your own Twitter!!!

    Yea, and the government will investigate one but not the other.

    Fuck you, Reason.

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    1. SleepyJoe likes to probe.

    2. If Parler doesn’t like it they can start their own FBI.

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  4. What was the rule about headlines that ask a question, the answer is always “no”?

    In any case, this is an exception to that rule. Of course they will love it. Or at least look past it, like they did with Obama’s drone program.

    1. It’s Betteridge’s Law of Headlines: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betteridge%27s_law_of_headlines
      I was actually just coming down here to point out that this article violated that rule myself.

    2. Hey DOL you lying fuck.

      De Oppresso Liber
      January.19.2021 at 8:07 pm

      R Mac, are you stupid? Or just disingenuous? Mother is on my do not reply list since she went full anti-Semite.

      I have never ever said anything remotely racist or antisemitic, you mendacious piece of shit, and you know it.

      I want an apology, and I’m going to make your time here completely fucking miserable until you do.

      1. What do you expect from an asshole who pretends to be a special forces vet?

    3. I am making a good salary online from home.I’ve made 97,999 dollar.s so for last 5 months working online and I’m a full time student.WSfv I’m using an online business opportunity I’m just so happy that I found out about it………….Visit……….Home Profit System

  5. “Partisans who abandon constitutional principles because they prove inconvenient are in for a rude surprise when the other team wins.”

    You mean like the time Obama instituted DACA unconstitutionally, entered into the Paris accords unconstitutionally, and unconstitutionally entered into a treaty with Iran?

    Because Biden reentered two of those unconstitutional travesties his first day in office, and it is widely assumed that he will reengage in another treaty with Iran–specifically because two-thirds of the Senate would never ratify it.

    1. The probability of this kind of behavior provoking another populist backlash approaches one as more and more unconstitutional travesties are added to the list. Pack the Supreme Court, add some states, come after our gun rights, and institute the Green New Deal, and they may graduate from a populist reaction to a full blown, right wing dictator.

      It wouldn’t be the first time a right-wing dictator rode in on a wave of popularity. It’s actually kinda predictable, isn’t it?

      1. At this point, I’m willing to vote for anyone who opposes 42 genders curricula and race riots, even if they commit some war crimes.

        1. Can’t have war crimes without a war.
          Ain’t had a war since we quit numbering them.

  6. Jacob, have you ever read about the rise of fascism in Italy?

  7. Wait. What?

    Your telling me that the guy who was the VP to Pres 44 who proudly proclaimed he had a pen and phone just might emulate that guy now that he’s in the Oval Office? Who could have seen that coming?

    Narrator: Everyone. Even the D’s, and they are ecstatic about it.

  8. Will Democrats Embrace the Imperial Presidency Now That Their Guy Is in Charge?

    Duh.

    1. “Duh.”

      Yup, sounds like you

    2. Why not ask whether the sun will rise in the east tomorrow? More uncertainty about that question than whether Democrats will go for greater presidential power when they hold the White House.

  9. The year 2009 is on the phone. It wants you to stop using its commentary.

  10. Yes. Yes they will. Why would you think they would not, Sullum?

    Each party supports government overreach – when they’re doing it.

    They were fine with Obama’s ‘pen and phone’s and they’ll be happy the pen is back on the hands of another malleable puppet.

  11. They never didn’t. Their only principle is opposition to Trump=Resistance! and opposition to them=Treason!

    1. I should add that the only difference now is that there is no resistance. Nobody will resist the leftist agenda from their government bureaus or their billion dollar bank accounts or their news rooms or their intelligence agencies or their prosecutors offices or their blue checkmark accounts or their corner offices at corporate HQ or their “non-government” organizations that always seem to be flush with taxpayer dollars. The Biden administration will impose its agenda on us largely unmolested and with no roadblocks to its imperial ambitions.

      Enjoy, Reason. This is exactly what you wanted.

      1. Biden can’t do anything unmolestrd

        1. He can’t leave anything unmolested. There’s a big difference there.

      2. Why not just let the Jew conspiracy take power for a while and see if you don’t actually like it?

        It’s better than a bunch of toothless yokels seizing power, I can already tell you that much.

        Seriously if you’re going to be Nazis, at least get some nice looking blond guys in crisp uniforms. You’re never going to defeat the “globalists” looking like creek trash.

        1. I’ll believe you care about Nazism when you care about the anti-semitism in the democrat party.

          If you can’t clean your own house, you certainly can’t clean anyone else’s.

          1. I never said only Nazis could be antisemitic. Or that that’s the only problem with the Nazis.

        2. Bro, you’re the guys that are putting jews in ghettos and preparing camps for them.

        3. And you’re also the guys that have been terrorizing black neighborhoods and murdering black children for the last year or so. And you’re also the guys that are reintroducing segregation and racial purity laws. And you’re the guys that are exploiting a Reischtag fire to consolidate your power.

        4. And your boy brought three divisions worth of politically vetted soldiers to “guard” the capital, and your representatives are calling for lists of dissenters to put into camps.

          It’s quite shocking how much like national socialists other socialists look like.

          1. Authoritarian tyrant, moi?

            If you didn’t want a Reichstag fire response, you shouldn’t have set the Reichstag on fire. At least not without a plan.

            I demand a better class of Nazi, all I’m saying. It’s hardly even fun to obliterate poor duped unshowered rednecks. Get some gravitas so it looks like we’re doing important shit when we crush you and burn your cities again.

            1. “If you didn’t want a Reichstag fire response, you shouldn’t have set the Reichstag on fire…”

              If you don’t want to be recognized as a fucking lefty imbecile, you shouldn’t post imbecilic lefty lies.

      3. ^THIS!!! Moonrocks gets it…..

  12. “electing a preening, petty, thin-skinned, whiny, vindictive, vacuous, mendacious, boorish bully”

    TDS-addled shit.

    1. WHITE BLIGHT GOT BANNED!!!

    2. He wasn’t talking about Biden?

      At least Trump never challenged anyone to a pushup competition.

    3. Trump is all those things though. Just because Trump is not Joe Biden should not blind you to the fact that Trump is a stupid asshole. Just because Trump occasionally said (and even more occasionally did) some good things does not excuse his failings in office.

      1. And you shouldn’t be pretending that matters when all the other choices were worse.

        You’re a coward shitting on the participants from your perch on the sidelines. Save it.

        1. Sure it matters. If you are determining which candidate is better (or less awful), don’t you need to consider all of the virtues and flaws of all the candidates? You have to actually think about the person. It’s not a priori knowledge that Trump would have been preferable to Biden.

          1. It actually is. Ho read Biden’s platform website. He was open about his impulses.

      2. Damn straight.

      3. “Trump is all those things though.”

        Yes, and focusing on personality is so, what, high-school level?
        I’ve read Hitler was quite polite.

      4. Good actions far outweighs bad words.

        The fact that half this site thinks differently is the fucking issue.

    4. “Will you shut up man?”

  13. What the fuck is wrong with Reason?

    1. Their congenital abhorrence of the idea that the Democrats may actually be the drivers of authoritarian 5endencies within the US government

      With Trump, dictatorship was always a clear and imminent danger. With Biden, it is disbelief that he might go so far. They do not want to see any real dangers coming from the Left.

      1. There is no danger they will subvert the constitution to seize power. This is because they are smarter than Trumpers and know that you can’t start a revolution unless you intend to win.

        And as much as commie kids may want a revolution, they have like zero guns between them.

        1. They had 25,000 just the other day.
          Properly vetted for rightthink and everything.

          1. That was just the US government. I can’t help that it’s touchy about not wanting to be murdered by virgins in cow suits.

        2. The commies don’t necessarily need to posses firearms; they just need to control those that do. This is why you’re on probation within the Continuum, this dimension’s temporally valid Tony.

        3. We’ve just watched the DNC fiddle an election, utilize a Reichstag fire, order their assets to censor the internet, and create a Pretorian Guard.
          And yet Tony would have us believe that 200 unarmed idiots against 2000 armed capitol police was a coup.

          Fuck you Tony! You’re the mouthpiece of fascism.

          1. If that’s how you want to interpret it, I don’t see why I would have a problem with that.

            Maybe the most paranoid among you will try to beat the US government at war again. Maybe you’ll be the first revolutionaries in history to win with a Twitter mob but no army other than semi-literate isolationists and no leader. You’re welcome to try. You were always welcome to try.

            The might of the United States in the hands of fascists. Yes, that is a very scary thought indeed.

            1. “The might of the United States in the hands of fascists.”

              So you’re finally admitting that the people who now control the US military are the ones who are the fascists?

              Interesting.

              1. You could just judge how silly that thought is yourself.

                What’s happening on Newsmax is not what’s happening in reality. Not at all. Your first clue should have been Trump losing when he lost. What did they report again?

    2. libtards took over

  14. RESIST!
    Not my president
    IMPEACH!

    1. It’s not like you need a valid case to impeach a president. It’s just a standard political maneuver whenever one party controls most of the legislature but not the presidency.

  15. I am making a good MONEY (500$ to 700$ / hr )online on my Ipad .Last month my pay check of nearly 30 k$.This online work is like draw straight-arrow and earn money.Do not go to office.I do not claim to be others,I just work.You will call yourself after doing this JOB,It’s a REAL job. Visit here.

  16. Worse, “congressional approval requires the consent of the Senate, which is disproportionately influenced by conservative senators from largely rural states.” Posner worries that “if power is moved from the presidency back to Congress, national policy will shift to the right, on average, over time.”
    Feature not bug.

    1. yeah, requiring the states to be on board with treaties the whole nation of states signs up for is so 18th Century.

  17. The imperial presidency is largely a creation of FDR following Woodrow Wilson’s legacy. It is the Democrat’s baby, why would they reject it?

  18. Dems have always embraced the Imperial Presidency. They criticized Trump for not being Imperial enough with Glorious National COVID Policy.

  19. I keep thinking of a line by Don Henley: “this tired old man that we elected king.”

  20. Oh wait, you’re serious. Let me laugh even harder!

  21. Executive orders

    And ice cream. I hear he really likes ice cream.

    Of course everybody likes ice cream so what’s my point.

    I have no idea.

    1. C’mon, man!

    2. That’s a bunch of malarkey!

    3. Kids love ice cream, too!

  22. For some reason (hahahaha, get it? /lame) I don’t take Jacob’s concerns seriously.

    https://youtu.be/BnA-ghhW_WI

    We’ll both be in the gulags together.

  23. Bit of a silly headline. They embraced it when their guy wasn’t in charge. It wasn’t about ’embracing it or not embracing it’. It was simply that the wrong King was in charge and they would do anything, including committing a soft coup to get him out.

  24. They certainly embraced the Imperial Presidency when Obama was President. I don’t see why you think that there is even a smidgen of a chance that they won’t embrace it now.

  25. Like they ever stopped.

  26. Does a bear shit in the woods?

    1. Only following an environmental impact review, and receipt of a federal shitting license.

  27. Trump’s an asshole but he’s our asshole. At least he was transparent.
    Once you get past the dementia, corruption, ignorance and pathological lying, Biden’s not so bad.

    1. Trump might be the most corrupt person to ever live. He could barely string two coherent sentences together, none of them ever true. The only thing he’s knowledgeable about is how to brag about where his uncle went to school.

      If you continue thinking it wasn’t the dumbest fucking move to make him president, either for the sake of the country or the political prospects of “your” team, then you shouldn’t ever vote again.

      1. This statement is hilarious in light of a mumbling, doddering fool who saluted a parking meter while muttering about his tapioca. At least he knew he was in Cleveland.

        1. Tony is ‘special’ you know.

        2. At least he knew he was in Cleveland.
          If he knew that, he wouldn’t have been there.

          1. They told him that’s where his Depends were being kept

        3. Wasn’t my first choice, but thank God we didn’t run Elizabeth Warren against a 70 million strong Trump. You can thank the old fool for saving the republic whenever you feel like it.

          1. Will you still say that after Harris invokes the 25th amendment to dump Biden out on his ass?

            1. That’s a silly thing to worry about. He could just die.

              Then oh no we’d have the scary half-Marxist half-cop as president. I wonder if she flips a coin before deciding whether to put violators of the property class into cages or foment worker rebellions.

      2. I find it hard to label President Trump who was only in politics for 4 years the most corrupt to ever live. I doubt there is anyone from Biden down in our government now that could withstand the scrutiny and hundreds of investigations without finding a crime as President Trump did. Admittedly the left and their ally the fake news media certainly proclaimed allegations of corruption and crime but not one ever came to fruition. Speaker Pelosi would have never missed a chance to impeach the President if they could have found something even close to a crime.

        1. They found so many crimes. You just think the Mueller report was some kind of exoneration.

          He used the presidency as a taxpayer-funded marketing scheme for his golf resorts. Come on dude, you’d hate that if he were still a Democrat.

          1. “They found so many crimes.”

            Some late library books, a couple of un-paid parking tickets and some of those were committed by people who knew Trump at one time or another.
            You’d think shitstain would get tired of repeating the same lies and having his face rubbed in them, wouldn’t you?
            Nope, lefty fucking ignoramuses never get tired of it.

            1. It would probably be a good idea to work on getting everyone to forget you ever sucked Trump dick.

              Unless you want to write a memoir and make a little money off the experience.

              1. Your sexual fantasies are of no interest to me and probably anyone else, shitstain.

      3. “Trump might be the most corrupt person to ever live…”

        If you don’t want to be recognized as a fucking lefty imbecile, you shouldn’t post imbecilic lefty lies.

      4. It was never about Trump. It’s always been the alternative:
        Hillary was the most corrupt in my view;
        Obama ain’t even black, globalist piece of shit – and corrupt;
        John Kerry – shit stain – and also corrupt;
        Bush – fuck him, dancing Israelis…
        Let’s see old fuck Biden or Harris stay out of wars for 4 years. Trump has that, anyway.

      5. Tony, how do you even manage to breath on your own? I have never seen such a glaring display of arrogance and stupidity. You are the perfect democrat. We all know that you fantasize about having Creeepy Joe’s hands all over your body.

  28. WILL they??? Gosh, I dunno….and the suspense is killing me!

    1. Yeah. What would Xi do? I find it hilarious how democrats go on about social democracy and tout Scandinavian countries as their example, when it’s clear they are chasing after the CCP model of ‘social democracy’.

  29. If Democrats willingly give up some power they could have used on the premise that Republicans look to them as role models, they would be incorrect.

    Republicans are welcome to rejoin this plane of existence at any point. Here facts exist. There are no “commie globalists” trying to destroy Christianity. Not that we don’t have enough real problems.

    The only thing keeping this country afloat is Republicans not having any power. We saw what they did. They don’t even like the constitution if it gets in their way. Or the idea of democracy. Tell me more about how Joe Biden needs to tone it down.

    1. It’s impossible to type 3 paragraphs that completely void of meaning. And yet, he did it!

      Congratulations, Tony, you became even dumber, no matter how against the odds, you did it!

      Maybe if you’re lucky, unlike his predecessor, Biden will use those cruise missiles against those icky libertarians! I mean he has to, to save our democracy!

      1. Do you think it was overreach to take people who vandalized the US capitol in an attempt to overthrow an election and gently coax them into jail cells? What more do you want for them, a medal?

        1. “…people who vandalized the US capitol in an attempt to overthrow an election…”

          Lefty fucking ignoramuses believe all sorts of fantasies.

        2. It’s just too bad they can’t arrest them all.

          1. They made it easier by being so fucking stupid that they were playing “masks are for fags” in the commission of a fucking crime happening on TV!

    2. trying to destroy Christianity

      For someone like you who’s gone on at length about how he’d absolutely love to destroy Christianity, your assurances ring hollow.

      1. And, yeah, there are communists trying to destroy Christianity. That’s kind of part of the whole communist thing. I don’t think they are running things at this point, but it does make up a good chunk of the left. I’m not religious at all, but amazed at how hostile many people are to it.

        1. It’s just an antisemitic conspiracy theory. The same one for a hundred years. My god does it have legs though.

          Look closely enough at QAnon and it’s all the same shit.

          1. Tony, you are the only moron here who follows QAnon. Seriously, I am about as conservative as one can be, and I know nothing of QAnon.

            1. Sorry for learning and knowing about something relevant to the world.

      2. It’s just that gods aren’t real yet people have a ridiculously strong need to commit mass murder in their names. Religion is a very good way to organize tribes against each other, in a Darwinian sense. It serves very little use in a world with nuclear weapons and people who want to actually get along with each other.

        1. And yet your side has killed ten times more in the name of?????

          1. I think you actually believe that.

            I think people went with a vulgar madman because they were convinced the alternative was fanged Stalinists. I just wish you’d stop consuming media that makes you stupid, that’s all.

    3. Our Founders also didn’t like democracy or the idea of mob rule. That is a compliment to Republicans. What was the last un-Constitutional action by Republicans?
      If Christianity is not under attack why is no longer in our schools and even discouraged in local governments? The ten commandments which hung in courts and government buildings and schools has been removed. A cross in the wrong place is taken to court and torn down. Is that a reflection of the people of the country? If decided Democratically by the people Christianity would be back in our schools and governments, abortion would be restricted and gay marriage would not be a right.
      Separation of religion and government was put in the Constitution to protect religion. Our Christian Founders prayed every morning asking for guidance in a Christian Church while writing the Constitution. As moral men of high standards and character they never considered Americans would allow the drift from the moral teachings of Christianity.
      “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams

      1. Then John Adams was a dumb dumb. Only the worst people are religious these days. Though to your credit, I doubt you are as devoutly adherent to your religious ideals as even a minor member of ISIS.

        You’re right, they didn’t like mob rule. That’s why everyone got so upset when Trump sent a mob to try to rule.

        Careful with your evidently thorough understanding of history and politics. You wouldn’t want to accidentally call democracy the same as mob rule and start believing somehow that losing the popular vote means you’re automatically a winner. John Adams hated tyrants who rules despite the people’s wishes, I’m pretty sure.

        1. Tony, are you religious? Then you totally refute your own statement.

      2. National Socialist Germany was the elected rule of Positive Christianity zealots over a nation whose non-christian population was about 3%. This is plain as day in the NSDAP platform, in the Enabling Act speech, the Kristallnacht laws and the death camps all over Northern Germany and Poland. It failed for the same reasons as the Jim Jones Christian Socialist cult in Guyana. The 19th Amendment was the Golem that unhorsed Herbert Hoover, George Holy War Bush and mystical Trumpista fanatics. Congratulations!

  30. I mean, no, why?

    Everyone knows Congress abdicates its duty at every twist and turn and that Republicans in Congress in particular are all about obstruction with a Dem is at the helm.

    No sense in trying to be high and mighty about it- use the power to get shit done, even if it stands temporarily.

    1. “use the power to get shit done, even if it stands temporarily”

      And yet this totalitarian fuck calls Republicans “fascist”.

      1. It’s all projection with people like raspberry and Tony.

      2. Search “Republican National Socialism” where I show by platform comparison that Republican partisans are exactly fascists. What other difference is there between mixed-economy looters who want to sacrifice you to the State and those that want to sacrifice you to the State, Race and Church?

    2. “… Republicans in Congress in particular are all about obstruction with a Dem is at the helm.”

      Yes, they’re the opposition party, you stupid pile of lefty shit.

  31. When did they have problems with Trump’s imperial power? Their only problem is that they didn’t like him, not his power. They wanted him to issue national mask mandates, ban firearms, and expand online surveillance with his powers, and that was a guy they hated.

    With a guy they like? They’ll want a camera inside every home, monitored by Biden’s Top Men.

    1. They also wanted him to be even more pugnacious on foreign policy. I think it was some woman on CNN that described Trump’s authorization of a bombing to be “presidential.” These people are more disgusting than the generals, lobbyists, and the POTUS since they not only cheer on these actions but deride those who rebuke them.

    2. “They’ll want a camera inside every home”

      “Alexa, what’s the modern equivalent of 1984’s telescreen?”

      1. Thank you for the snark of the week.

    3. looking to Sullum for historical clarity?

  32. I didn’t see that much railing against the imperial presidency when Trump was in power either. I’m sure there was some, but most things I saw were along the lines of “The wrong guy is in power.”

    I think that is a different problem in that it’s inherently viewed that this is a right power of the presidency to wield.

    1. ^THIS… Trump was a direct threat to the Power-Mad [WE] mob of Rulers and an Imperial President. Also as Moonrocks points out.. They were NEVER against worshiping Gov-God Saviors only against the Gov-God Savior that never acted like a Gov-God Savior.

  33. Sullum had to write this tongue-in-cheek. If not, he better claim he did. Otherwise, he will be considered literally brainless.

  34. Seattle City council renews vow to fire white police officers.

    To be sure, white officers are racist and a problem, but this feels like it might be wrong. Hard to articulate why.

    The move comes after a nearly 20% cut to the budget and a loss of nearly 200 officers from the department. The SPD has the lowest deployable rate of officers since 1990, as the city experiences a surge in violent crime, including a 26-year-high murder rate. We shouldn’t be firing anyone.

    Legal issues aside, the only practical way the council can fire white officers is to negotiate the right in the next contract. They’ll get their chance to in 2021. The Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG) contract is up for renewal.

    1. Lol, of course wrong-thinking brown people are also now considered “white”, so it seems that this is all just a fiddle to create their own little SS.

      WASHINGTON POST: The Racial Enemy Is Multiracial Whiteness

    2. I can only imagine that Washington has some kind of antidiscrimination law that says you can’t fire someone based on their race. How is this supposed to work?

  35. Actually, I’d might be for firing all white politicians. Then close the government.

  36. yeah you’re some kind of Constitutionalist lol.

  37. My main complaint about Biden is just how goddamn stupid he is. I don’t want to see him take a senility test, I want to see him take an IQ test because I think the guy’s retarded. He thinks he won election to the Senate at a young age – he was appointed by a group of bankers who knew he was a perfect patsy. He had to plagiarize his way through life because he’s incapable of an original thought of his own. He doesn’t understand that Obama hates his guts because Joe was forced on him by the racists in his own party who “knew” America was too racist to accept a black man as President so they needed the most bland and harmless white bread white man as his running mate. He regularly got all “tough guy” with voters who challenged him because he’s too dumb to know that the average 8-year old girl could stomp his old geezer ass into the dirt. And he honestly expects people to believe him when he says he has no idea what Hunter was up to and that Hunter is the smartest guy he knows – because it’s absolutely true. He really did have no idea what Hunter was up to because he’s too goddamn stupid to have wondered about it and he really does think Hunter is the smartest guy he knows because Hunter regularly steals his nose and he has no idea how he does it.

    Joe Biden really and truly does believe he’s a smart man, that’s how fucking stupid he is.

    1. Choice between two people. No point in crying about it. I never get the guy I want.

      What you should work on is running an actual competent person next time so that a vacant geezer doing normal government things doesn’t look like a historic genius by comparison.

      1. “…I never get the guy I want.”

        Given you’re a fucking lefty ignoramus, we can breathe a sigh of relief.

        1. You’re right about that.

  38. Hey Jacob, it appears that less than 24 hours into his term Biden has unidentified agents in camouflage gassing protesters in the street, and making arrests.

    I seem to recall ENB was very concerned about this sort of thing just a few months ago. Can you see if she’s ok?

  39. Will Reason risk being “de-platformed” and actually criticize Joe Biden instead of asking rhetorical questions and keep hammering on Trump? Somehow I doubt that. Biden’s first day in office certainly gave a lot of cause for criticism, yet Reason deferred to a rhetorical question. That says a lot. Maybe after “de-platforming ” Reason will wake up, but we will never know, their voice will be silenced by then.

  40. Mr. Sullum has a conveniently short memory, as is typical of most Reason talking heads.
    When his highness Obama the First stated that he had a phone and a pen, the Democrat majority could not clap hands loud enough. When Trump won, they were outraged that he would do the same. Now they are, for two years at least, running the show, hey are merely reverting to form. If the President signs Executive Orders, Congress does not have to do anything.

  41. You will soon be forced to shut down your comments section. Why?

    Because simply referring to Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s famous report, “The Negro Family: The Case For National Action” is now a hate crime and therefor you must remove all comments or be shut down.

  42. Is Jacob fucking serious? What do you think, Jacob? That The Party will impose firm checks and balances on their septuagenarian puppet?

  43. If these last two cult leader Imperial Presidents did not teach us that the President should be regarded as, at most, a damned head bureaucrat we are unteachable pinheads. Even if some of us agreed with Obama or Trump on some policies, their cult like followings, divisiveness, substitution of executive caprice for legislation, inept governance, and their record growth of an already to big and too costly government should teach any remotely aware American not to drink Cool-aide out of wash tubs a la Guyana.

  44. “With Trump gone, however, some Democrats seem determined to forget that lesson. ”

    Seriously? After Obama’s “Pen and phone” you ask if they forgot? After dozens of Obama drone kills you ask if they forgot?

    It’s their bread and butter!! It’s what they live for! They’ll forget to breathe before they forget the thrill of exercising the raw power of bending people to their will.

  45. Everyone talks about this RACE problem and says that this RACE problem will be over when the third-world pours into EVERY White country and ONLY into WHITE countries.
    Everyone says the final solution to this RACE problem is for EVERY White country and ONLY White countries to “assimilate,” that is, intermarry, with all those non-Whites.
    They’re pushing White Genocide!
    They claim they are “anti-racist”, what they are is anti-White.
    Anti-racist is a code word for anti-White.

    1. Storm Front’s aver there to the right.

    2. I rest my case. Here is christian nationalsocialist racial collectivism in its undisguised eugenic nakedness. Pay close attention and see yourselves as libertarian individualists interpret your posturings. Foreign readers will certainly recognize these vituperations right across the various language barriers. These Dixiecrats labor to Keep America a Grunthole. Congratulations!

      1. “I rest my case.”

        Your “case” is based on one asshole who got an elbow in the ribs within 15 minutes?
        Hank, you are hardly ever lucid in American English, but stupidity like this suggests you’ve been studying with turd.

      2. Eugenics and Dixiecrats? So you are talking about democrats, right? You speak with some authority, so I surmise that you speak from experience.

  46. Can he force state taxpayers to pay union dues once he abolishes right to work? Sounds unconstitutional to me. I thought they might want to wait a little bit longer to really tank the economy.

    For those of you too young to remember Union ruled states or don’t know what NYC is turning into right now (or didn’t grow up in the Northeast or Illinois)… One of my earliest memories as a child in the late 1970s was of guys running out of their houses (or their cars on a crowded highway) to push cars that had stalled. We never had freedom of choice in autos until the early 80s. American cars were absolute pieces of shit. No one could get anywhere or do anything. Maybe that is by design in this administration.

  47. Is Biden likely to take Posner’s advice? The evidence is mixed.

    No it isn’t.

  48. Amazing the Mr Sullum could write an entire article about this. Will he next write one on “Is water wet?”

  49. Republican National Socialists could avoid the pain and anguish of Sullum kicking facts into their sensitive little faces by going somewhere else. There are dozens of superstitious fanatic magazines simply oozing juicy prophesies about how Satan will treat Biden and Kamala, and offering recipes for bleeding free love Jezebels white with coathanger abortion laws. Some of them might even pay to hear Trumpistas whining and “mansplaining” how their Savior got the crap beat out of him by grrrlz with voter registration cards.

    1. What the hell are you even rambling about? You are Tony level stupid, and that takes some effort.

  50. Everything is proceeding exactly as I have foreseen.

    1. Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL battle station!

  51. BTW, those ‘pipe bombs’:
    “Discovery of pipe bombs in DC obscured by riot at Capitol”
    […]
    “The threat is substantial in Washington, where many government buildings, including the U.S. Capitol, are usually open to the public and thousands of tourists wander through massive museums and some of the most iconic monuments in the country at all hours of the day and night and can even get close to the White House.”
    (note that many buildings are usually open to the public, so those protesters were hardly even ‘trespassers’, let alone ‘seditionists’)
    […]
    The two explosive devices were very similar, and both were about a foot long with end caps and wiring that appeared to be attached to a timer, according to two law enforcement officials familiar with the matter. Investigators are still examining the devices and their components to determine the specific compounds inside the pipe bombs, but they both appeared to contain an unknown powder and some metal, the officials said…”
    (by now, you’d have to hope that the ‘investigators’ might have figured out the wiring and identified the powder, but that seems to be not the case, and metal? Yeah, that’s “pipe”)
    https://apnews.com/article/donald-trump-joe-biden-inaugurations-capitol-siege-8828a6a920198d0ea1ee0c73a49d8847
    Finally, take a look at the photo, compare it to physical size of the rat-poison container. If that’s a pipe bomb, it was made by someone who couldn’t afford anything larger than 1″ pipe and an M-80.
    Finally, the ‘bombs’ were placed at both the RNC and DNC headquarters, but the narrative has them as “TRUMP!”
    I have no idea whether it’s a false-flag operation, but if it’s actually a danger, it’s a lame attempt.
    Gonna take down the government, yeah, boy!

    1. 3/4 galvanized pipe with an egg timer. Stashed behind a garbage can.

      Still dangerous but not exactly Atlanta or Boston level.

      1. What was inside?

        1. Fair point. It could have been filled with baking soda and been nothing more than scary.

          But it is prudent to assume something functional. Even so, whether it was black powder, fireworks charge, or something like powdered aluminum/confection sugar it would have been capable of taking off a hand, maybe killing an unlucky individual standing very close, but not much more. Even if it was intended as nothing more than a noisemaker it would not have been all that impressive.

          If it contained acetone peroxide or some other actual high order explosive you’d have to wonder why they bothered stuffing it in a pipe as they do not need any sort of pressure vessel and there would be much better and easier ways to create shards/shrapnel.

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  53. The reality is that when one of the duopoly parties controls too much power they always overreach. It is apparent that neither of the duopoly parties cares about constraints on government unless they are out of power.

    Even then their opposition is largely virtue signaling to keep the populace occupied and divided. Basically a distraction to keep the populace for realizing that the duopoly parties are essentially the same.

    It’s time that the populace opens up their eyes and realize that the enemy of the people is the swamp of government and the elitist power brokers. It is time that people vote in mass for third parties.

    It’s difficult for the a duopoly candidate who will likely win, to declare they have a mandate when more people cast votes and the majority of votes go to third parties.

    Everyone should be striving for a multi-party government where alliances between parties on very specific issues. Anti-war parties regardless of economic policies can agree on ending war even though they disagree on Capitalism versus Socialism. Capitalist favoring parties can agree on economics even if they disagree on National Security and war issues.

    The benefits would likely be smaller bills that are more focused instead of the huge junk bills that have tons of port and a title that is unrelated.

    1. Or “It is time that people vote in mass” for State, County and City governing instead of National!

  54. The Democratic National Socialist Party is a bunch of Hypocrites?

    Well, No. Not really. They were just upset that President Trump never *pretended* to be their almighty Gov-God Savior and Dictator (by cutting UN-Constitutional federal powers) so they PROJECTED wildly their own curs-id religion onto everyone they could, made up excuses on how curbing dictation = dictation, how cutting tax theft = theft, how protecting national borders = Not a job of the national government.

    The bottom line was always the same though; The worshiping of the Imperial Presidency as the Gov-God Savior of their pathetic lives. That’s what National Socialism/Communism is; an Imperial government put in charge of saving everyone from themselves.

  55. The bottom line was always the same though; The worshiping of the Imperial Presidency as the Gov-God Savior of their pathetic lives. That’s what National Socialism/Communism is; an Imperial government put in charge of saving everyone from themselves.

  56. When standards don’t exist for one they exist for no one. Obama exceeded his authority with full backing of liberals, Trump with his supporters full backing.

    The 2 party system has guaranteed the support of 1/2 the people no matter how badly the rule of law is trampled.

    1. How about a 1-Party System called the U.S. Constitution. With various but bind-ed opinions under that.

  57. Again, you’ve put the word “Will” in the wrong place and used the wrong punctuation at the end. Let’s fix that for ya. “Democrats Will Embrace the Imperial Presidency Now That Their Guy Is in Charge!”

  58. Trump was called a wanna be dictator by the left everytime he signed an executive order. Now the same people saying that are the same people telling biden to “rule” by executive order. Hypocrisy thy name is democrat.

    1. lol… Executive Orders that for the most part restricted UN-Constitutional Agency dictations. Only Democrats want UN-filtered [WE] mob “rule”. It’s in their very party name — [WE] majority rule and thus is why their alignment is all about [WE] mob identity politics.

      The idea that people might have Individual Liberty and Justice instead of being Ruled by Gang-Member law is the biggest threat to their gangster mentality.

      1. Same mentality that gave the USA slavery for years. Same party, same mentality, same identity-marked entitlements and ‘ruler’ (plantation owner) politics.

  59. The Democrats may bemoan the “imperial presidency” when a Republican occupies the Whitehouse, but they basically invented it,and call it the “modern presidency” when their guy is president.

    The Democrats would prefer that many of their policy goals not be subject to any amount of public debate which Congressional action would necessitate. Quicker, easier and less noticeable to use executive action.

  60. The Democrats will embrace the Imperialist Presidency, now that Biden is in charge, they embraced it when Obama was in charge, the Republicans embraced it when Trump and W were in charge. Most Democrats and most Republicans continue to embrace wars, drone strikes and aid to Israel.

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  63. Isn’t the real question whether anyone living can remember a time when the Dem party didn’t embrace the idea of an imperial presidency?

    Another good question to be asking is, will the MSM return to their voluntary role as the the de facto “Ministry of Truth” now that the office is held by someone so closely associated with “St Barack the Infallible”?

    What I really want to know in the near term, but don’t have the stones to straight-up ask all my leftist friends is whether dissent is still “patriotic”, or is it back to being “racist”?

  64. Yes, forcing you not to murder your own baby is clearly slavery. I get that the government shouldn’t be involved, but come the fuck on.

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