President Joe Biden has only been in office for eight days and Republicans are already accusing him of being a dictator just because he has signed 26 executive orders. Seriously.
Executive orders are a legitimate function of the executive branch to get some things done without Congress. In four years, disgraced former President Donald Trump signed 220 executive orders, many of which have done considerable damage to the country, yet Republicans never once complained, nor did they ever accuse Trump of being a dictator. Had Trump served a second term, he would have likely signed more executive orders than former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton.
Again, Republicans never once objected to Trump signing executive orders even after they called Obama a tyrant for issuing them during his presidency. And now they are back to accusing a Democratic president of being a dictator.
Not only is Sean Hannity pulling the “dictator” card, a right-wing reporter asked White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday if Biden sees himself as a “benevolent dictator” based on a quote from last year that has been, of course, taken out of context.
A Washington Examiner asks Psaki if Biden signing executive orders means he views himself as “a benevolent dictator.” Psaki replies by saying the reporter is twisting Biden’s words out of context. pic.twitter.com/RX9YIoxKb3
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 28, 2021
“I have this strange notion. 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,” Biden said. “We’re a democracy. We need consensus.”
Biden was specifically talking about changes to tax laws, which need to be passed by Congress. The executive orders Biden has been signing pertain to things he doesn’t need Congress to approve. Republicans had no problem with Trump signing executive orders, so they should not be whining now about Biden reversing those orders.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who is back to using the filibuster to obstruct Democratic legislation, is also once again referring to the Democratic president as a dictator for signing executive orders.
“As recently as October, now-President Biden said you can’t legislate by executive action unless you are a dictator. Well, in one week, he signed more than 30 unilateral actions,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.
Fact-checkers immediately debunked their accusation.
This alleged quote is incorrect. Biden did not use the word “legislate” — that was invented by Sean Hannity, who took a Biden quote of context. Memo to @LeaderMcConnell staff: fact check what you see on Fox News. h/t @ddale8 https://t.co/juB7wJPWIG
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) January 28, 2021
This is not an accurate quote and not in context. Biden was asked in 2020 if he’d make a certain tax change via exec order. He said no, must be Congress, since there are “things you can’t do by executive order unless you’re a dictator.” “Things” is key. https://t.co/KkH7ia8wgx
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) January 28, 2021
Not once did Republicans ever call Trump a dictator even though it would have been totally accurate. They certainly have no right to call Biden a dictator now. This is clearly an effort to stifle Biden’s executive agenda as well as his legislative agenda. Frankly, Democrats need to start using their power to put Republicans in their place. Several Republicans should be expelled from the Senate and the House and the filibuster should be brought to an end. Then Democrats can pass bill after bill and Biden can sign them into law. No executive orders required.
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