These words didn’t take long to come back to haunt Joe Biden.
As Americans have watched since Wednesday, the newly inaugurated president is kicking off his time in office by signing a flurry of executive orders aimed at rooting out his predecessor’s legacy, and jump-starting the Democratic agenda.
But they also showed how much Americans can believe — or not believe — in Biden’s belief in democracy.
Only four months ago, then-candidate Biden sat at a town hall in Philadelphia to assure ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that he planned to govern by consensus if he won the election. Only a dictator, he said, relied on executive orders.
“That’s why — you know, the one thing that I — I have this strange notion,” Biden said at a town hall event in Philadelphia. “We are a democracy. Some of my Republican friends and some of my Democratic friends even occasionally say, ‘Well, if you can’t get the votes by executive order, you’re going to do something.’ Things you can’t do by executive order unless you’re a dictator. We’re a democracy. We need consensus.”
Clearly, Biden, who signed a record-shattering 30 executive orders in his first three days alone, according to CNN, has realized there are quite a few things the country doesn’t need “consensus” for. On Tuesday, he signed four more, the U.K. Guardian reported.
‘Who’s the dictator NOW?’ Biden shatters first-week executive order total of 4 predecessors combined (by FAR) https://t.co/vmqtH4tb0G
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) January 26, 2021
Clinton—2 in his first week in office
Bush—2 in his first two weeks in office
Obama—5 in his first week in office
Trump—4 in his first week in office
Biden—30+ in his first five days in office
Remind me again which president governs like a dictator?
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) January 26, 2021
Rule by Decree: President Biden has issued more executive orders in his first week in office than any other president in American history. https://t.co/qnlx3vr5Vv
— Kyle Morris (@RealKyleMorris) January 26, 2021
That’s the same guy who had that “strange notion” of democracy way back in October. The same guy who said flat out that there are “things you can’t do by executive order unless you’re a dictator.”
No rational American can expect the mainstream media to pay attention to little things like the statements a new Democratic president made less than five months ago. The major news outlets and lords of social media long ago made their political preferences clear.
(It’s questionable whether a rational American can expect Biden himself to remember what he said five months ago, for that matter.)
But Americans of every political stripe need to be aware that the new president is already showing a predilection to rule by decree.
They also need to remember that back when she was still campaigning for the presidency, Biden’s waiting-in-the-wings vice president, Kamala Harris of the lean and hungry look, is already on record stating how she would wield the power of the Oval Office pen.
During a Democratic primary debate in April 2019 (before she left the campaign before a single vote was cast), Harris made it clear that she thinks Congress exists solely to do the bidding of the president.
And if it fails to do that bidding, a president has the power to go over its head – even to abrogate American constitutional rights.
In answer to a gun control question, Harris declared that she would “give the United States Congress 100 days to get their act together and have the courage to pass reasonable gun safety laws. And if they fail to do it, then I will take executive action …”
Democrat vows to void the constitution, but do go on how you’re concerned about Trump being a dictator.
— Razor (@hale_razor) April 23, 2019
So, that’s the power couple occupying the presidency and vice presidency of the United State: A man who only months ago declared that a “dictator” ruled by executive order then proceeded to unleash a record-breaking number of them; and a woman who’s understanding of the American presidency appears to be something closer to the royalty of old Europe.
And they’re members of the party that for four years compared former President Donald Trump to the worst dictators of history.
Joe Biden’s words are already coming back to haunt him. They’re likely to be haunting the rest of the country for a long time to come.
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