Joe Biden is incapable of giving interviews to his allies in establishment media without looking like a centenarian overdosing on Xanax. So, the administration recruited a sycophantic late-night talk show host for the job. And, as expected, the interview with Jimmy Kimmel, who set up tee-balls for our dotard leader, was as cringe-inducing. Biden struggled to remember his canned talking points, promised a “mini revolution” if Roe was overturned (the same day someone tried to murder a SCOTUS justice), and rambled into the ether. Biden is an unserious person doing very serious damage.
Dunking on Republicans and hating Trump might have been good enough to win in 2020, and it might get you frivolous applause from the automatons in Kimmel’s audience, but it isn’t political philosophy. That fact was evident last night as the host who once warned his audience about “fascists” asked the president why he isn’t unilaterally dismantling a constitutional right.
“Can’t you issue an executive order? Trump passed those out like Halloween candy,” Kimmel asked Biden, when referencing gun control. “I don’t want to emulate Trump’s abuse of the Constitution and constitutional authority,” responded the president … the same week he unconstitutionally invoked the Defense Production Act, a cronyist gift to favored solar panels that is ostensibly meant to bring down the price of gas and oil.
This president signed more executive orders in the first 100 days (this isn’t even counting the numerous other ways he’s governed through edicts) than any president in the 21st century, and it isn’t particularly close. Biden signed 32 executive orders in the first month — many of the limiting oil and gas production and undoing border security measures. Biden averages 67 executive orders a year, 12 more than Trump.
Of course, it isn’t necessarily the number of executive orders a president issues that matters — Calvin Coolidge signed 1,203 without abusing his power — it’s the intent. Postwar presidents rarely made domestic policy via executive order. Barack Obama, unable to build consensus on virtually any policy proposal, put the practice of governing by fiat into hyperdrive. And Biden’s use of executive power to make domestic policy was so unprecedented in the early going that even The New York Times editorial board felt compelled to scold him. This “is no way to make law,” the Times noted. “A polarized, narrowly divided Congress may offer Mr. Biden little choice but to employ executive actions or see his entire agenda held hostage. These directives, however, are a flawed substitute for legislation.”
One imagines the Times editors also understood that Biden, as Obama before him, would not only have his entire agenda nuked by a Republican successor, but that it would also give that successor an excuse to rule in the same authoritarian manner.
Biden, though, doesn’t seem to care. He is expected to use his executive power to “forgive” student debt by saddling taxpayers with the bill. With Dobbs potentially overturning the fictitious right to an abortion, Biden also told Kimmel that he’s looking into signing executive orders on abortion rights, an issue over which the president has zero authority. As is the case with any orders he would sign undermining Second Amendment, which would almost surely be overturned.
This is the same president who bragged about circumventing the Constitution, issuing slightly modified versions of an illegal “eviction moratorium” (which had begun under Trump) so he could offer “rental assistance” before the court shut it down again. Obama was the first modern president to openly argue that he had power to ignore the legislative branch because they didn’t adhere to his political demands. Biden might be the first modern president to openly argue that he could defy the courts for the same reason.
Look, I realize CNN and other networks have retired their Trump-era “lie trackers,” but there is simply no way Biden, when coherent, is any less mendacious than Donald Trump. There were, maybe, two or three incidental remarks in the Kimmel interview that the president let pass that were in the vicinity of reality. We’ve all grown up accepting that politicians will lie to us, but the ease and frequency — and audacity — in which they do so these days borders on sociopathic.