Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) gave an interview to the Christian Broadcasting Network in which he rather strongly denounced President Obama’s threats to impose gun control through executive orders. “I’m against having a king,” said the Senator. “I think having a monarch is what we fought the American Revolution over, and someone who wants to bypass the Constitution, bypass Congress, that’s someone who wants to act like a king or monarch.”
To be more specific, the notion of suffering rule without representation was a big sticking point with the authors of the Declaration of Independence. Speaking of kings and monarchs is a valid shorthand way of expressing the notion that unitary government is the problem… even if the absolute ruler has to stand for election every four years, and even when he’s limited to two terms in office.
Bypassing Congress is an aggressive method of ruling without representation. It’s supposed to be difficult to force sweeping national agendas upon a free people. The modern appetite for swift, “efficient,” all-powerful centralized government is a denial of that principle. It’s tough to find issues where Rand Paul agrees with, say, Harry Reid, isn’t it? Good. That difficulty defines the boundaries of what the federal government is supposed to be doing. Battles over the extension of those boundaries should be nice and vicious. The American people deserve no less.
What makes a “king?” It’s not the means by which he takes the throne, or the length of time he remains there. The threat of punishment at the ballot box in four years is not a sufficient check on executive power, especially for a President who will never again face the voters.
What is “taxation without representation?” Ask your grandchildren, when they are taxed through the nose to pay off deranged spending commitments they weren’t alive to oppose.
I see nothing wrong with invoking the language of the American Revolution, when it is so clearly still in progress.