The Spectacle Blog

Obama’s Petty Tyranny

By on 1.5.12 | 3:32PM

Like others too numerous to mention, I am appalled at President Obama's abuse of his office in making recess appointments when Congress is not in recess.

Thus I am in partial agreement with Quin Hillyer that these are acts of tyranny. At the risk of quibbling with Quin, I am only in partial agreement with him because Obama isn't a tyrant in the sense that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, Bashar Assad of Syria or Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe are tyrants. As much as one may dislike the manner in which Obama carries out his duties, he isn't ordering the murder of his political opponents and otherwise innocent civilians. It is an important distinction to make when critiquing President Obama's governance. After all, in Iran, Syria and Zimbabwe, there are virtually no means to remedy a President's capriciousness. This is not the case in the United States.

Indeed, I would argue that Obama is engaging in kind of petty tyranny that befell a number of his predecessors. FDR's attempt to pack the Supreme Court in 1937 and Truman's nationalization of the steel industry in 1952 come to mind. The court packing plan was thwarted by Congress while the Supreme Court overruled the nationalization scheme. If FDR and Truman can be successfully challenged then why not Obama? Tyranny doesn't get any pettier than a President too impatient to wait for Congress to recess to make a recess appointment.

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