Remember When an Imperial Presidency was a Bad Thing?

Travel with me, dear reader, back in time to the years of the Presidency of one George W. Bush. For Common Core graduates, that’s 2001-2009.

Take a look at the media from that time. You find headlines describing Mr. Bush as an “imperial president” quite frequently, in both major newspapers and various online forums, such as TruthOut and Socyberty. There were even at least two books written about it, one during and one after Mr. Bush’s administration.

An astute observer would glean from this that a president acting unilaterally, without support of Congress, in defiance of the laws, is a bad thing. It should be noted for the record that Mr. Bush did none of these things, and both the Supreme Court, and the FISA court (whose authority he was said to have usurped) agreed that he had the authority to take the various actions that caused our nation’s left-of-center individuals to cry “imperial presidency!”

However, my point today is not to rehash Mr. Bush’s administration. It is to point out that we have, today, a president acting far more imperially, completely ignoring both Congress and the will of the people, and these same people on the left are largely silent.

In point of fact, we have Democrats in both the House and Senate supporting the new Imperial President and his clearly unlawful actions. This is hypocrisy on stilts, and it demonstrates quite nicely the lust for power that lurks in the hearts of virtually all elected Democrats. They don’t run for office to serve their fellow man but to rule him with an iron rod, and if he balks and elects the other party, they will punish him even more severely, even if they have to step clearly outside of the law to do it.

Their earlier stated concerns about Mr. Bush’s “imperial presidency” are also revealed to the intelligent observer as nothing more than political posturing, not the high moral principle they would have had us believe it was. Moral principles are not changed with the party of the occupant of the Oval Office, but political calculations do, and these clearly did. The only moral principle that is in evidence on the left is the totalitarian urge to control every aspect of the hoi polloi‘s lives, from their health insurance right down to their light bulbs and toilets. One wonders when they’re going to get around to regulating the softness of toilet paper.

As Dr. Thomas Sowell pointed out so brilliantly in his book The Vision of the Anointed:

What a vision may offer, and what the prevailing [leftist] vision of our time emphatically does offer, is a special state of grace for those who believe in it. Those who accept this vision are deemed to be not merely factually correct but morally on a higher plane. Put differently, those who disagree with the prevailing vision are seen as being not merely in error, but in sin. For those who have this vision of the world, the anointed and the benighted do not argue on the same moral plane or play by the same cold rules of logic and evidence. The benighted are to be made “aware,” to have their “consciousness raised,” and the wistful hope is held out that they will “grow.” Should the benighted prove recalcitrant, however, then their “mean-spiritedness” must be fought and the “real reasons” behind their arguments and actions exposed. While verbal fashions change, this basic picture of the differential rectitude of the anointed and the benighted has not changed fundamentally in at least two hundred years.

Thus, Mr. Bush was to be denigrated as an “imperial president,” while Mr. Obama, whose actions match that description far better, is to be given not only a pass but supported, because his actions match the vision of the self-anointed leftist elite. As I said earlier, hypocrisy on stilts.

One can hope, and indeed one does hope, that this massive hypocrisy is not lost on the American voter, and that the Party of Hypocrisy will be treated to a long exile from power. However, given the power of the mass (leftist) media and the short memory span of modern Americans, many of whom can’t even tell you who Joe Biden is, this may be a forlorn hope.