Rand Paul (R-KY) apparently doesn’t like executive orders. While speaking before the New Hampshire chapter of Generation Opportunity, Paul told the audience that his first executive order “would be to repeal all previous executive orders.”
Presumably, this means the Emancipation Proclamation, Truman’s orders to end racial discrimination in the military, and Ford’s ban on political assassinations would all be gone under President Rand Paul. So naturally, his proclamation was met with “booming cheers” from the conservative audience.
Paul added that “Democracy is messy, but you have to build a consensus to pass things. But it ‘s also in some ways good, because a lot of laws take away your freedom. So it should be hard to pass a law. And it, frankly, when you do it the proper way, is.”
It didn’t take long for his office to start backtracking; late Friday, the Senator’s office suggested that Paul was speaking with a “rhetorical flourish,” saying that “it was not meant to be taken literally.”
Except Paul said something in the same vein last month, when asked by an NPR affiliate in Kentucky if he would ever issue an executive order. Paul said he would issue orders “only to undo executive orders.” Was he speaking with “rhetorical flourish” then, as well?
Given Paul’s audience, a certain degree of ignorance in regards to history, economics, sociology, human psychology, and reality is to be expected. These are, after all, the same people who think the Gilded Age was a great period of time and want to dial the clock back to a time before Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle revolted readers with its nauseating story of the meat-packing industry.
Still, Paul makes it sound like a President can issue any order they please, without regards to the limits assigned to them in the Constitution. Reading Paul’s words and having followed him for as long as I have leaves me with the distinct impression he either failed civics or he’s deliberately misrepresenting what the tool is about to the vast hordes who did fail civics.
Every single president (except William Henry Harrison, who’s presidency lasted about as long as one of Rush Limbaugh’s marriages) made use of the executive branch tool. And some of them more than others:
That’s what tyranny looks like. Look at how many times Obummer just dismissed the Constitution with a wave of his hand, like it didn’t matter. He’s drowning the country in executive orders, undermining our economy, and destroying God’s Own America.
He’s almost as bad as Clinton, and if you ask any rightist, that’s pretty bad.