Democrats Have an Authority Fetish

September 10, 2015

Hillary Clinton is not a fan of Vladimir Putin, the Russian strongman whose regime she famously sought to "reset" relations with in 2009. Still, he does have one thing going for him, Clinton said during a question-and-answer session at the Brookings Institution on Thursday.

"I don’t admire very much about Mr. Putin, but the idea you can stand up and say ‘I will be your next president’? That has a certain, you know attraction to it," she said, in what was alleged to have been a "joking" manner, perhaps in line with her campaign's desire to project "humor and heart."

The joke might be funny, if Democrats weren't constantly lamenting the fact that America's political system does not permit its leaders to rule with absolute authority. President Obama, for example, has done this on numerous occasions.

"I am not a dictator," the president said in 2013 in response to a question about negotiating a budget deal with Congress. "Ultimately if Mitch McConnell or John Boehner say, 'We need to go to catch a plane,' I can’t have Secret Service block the doorway."

Earlier that year, Obama said his lack of absolute power was "something I've struggled with throughout my presidency." He added: "The problem is that I’m the president of the United States, I’m not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed."

Obama has told Spanish-language outlets Univision and Telemundo that he could not enact comprehensive immigration reform "just by myself" because "I'm not a king." That was before he decided he could basically reform the entire immigration system through executive action, a move that is being challenged in federal court.

One of Obama's favorite rhetorical ticks is to compare his relative lack of power in our democratic system to that of China's authoritarian regime. As the New York Times reported in 2010: "Mr. Obama has told people that it would be so much easier to be the president of China."

The president has even dabbled in authoritarian role-play:

Barack Obama, Xi Jinping

Given the way Hillary's campaign has been going of late, it's no wonder she'd prefer to just take power rather than have to convince all you idiots why she deserves to be elected.