GOP political strategist Karl Rove blasted President Obama's new contraception mandate on Fox Friday, saying the rule sounded like a third-world country run by a dictator donning mirrored sunglasses.Well, that's a novel concept coming from Bush's Prostate. You may recall that the Bush administration argued that there were essentially no limits to executive power. Included among the things the president asserted the "authority" to do were indefinite imprisonment without trial; wiretapping of American citizens in contravention of congress, the courts and the Constitution; torture; extradition to other countries that torture, and pretty much anything else you might care to name. Now Rove is arguing that the president has stepped into third-world dictator status for imposing regulations on commerce. Well, hell if I know which Constitution he's working off of, because it sure isn't the one I've read.
"Where does this authority come from," Rove asked Fox's Bill Hemmer. "This sounds like some third-world county governed by colonels in mirrored sunglasses in which he dictates, 'I, the supreme leader, dictate that something will be provided free when we know the cost of that will have to be borne by everybody else in society that's not getting the free good.' "
This isn't even a sincere argument from Rove, either. It's just something he crapped out in front of Fox News because that's the place to go when you have something really, really stupid building in your brain and you need to let it out. The president can't set regulations laying out what companies must or must not do? That's a new one. Under that wonderfully Republican notion, the government couldn't regulate product safety, or test our food, or impose penalties for environmental degradation, or regulate against fraudulent practices, or literally anything else. I realize this is the new Republican fantasy world, but Rove's notions were adequately dispensed with two hundred years ago. It also is damn difficult to square the Republican premise the government can't impose a regulation that costs businesses money but can do whatever the damn hell it wants to private citizens because the Constitution doesn't apply when the president says it doesn't. Heck, according to Virginia the government can mandate people stick things in your vagina for no medical reason, and at your expense—Republicans are all about regulating the marketplace, so long as it's the right people being regulated.
Do Fox News viewers honestly believe things like this, so long as they are spoken by valued conservative talking heads and/or luncheon meats? I know they know their Constitution, because they spend all day every day telling other people to read theirs, and because I'm quite certain the profuse numbers of American flags displayed by the network educate their viewers as to the basic points of American law merely by osmosis. The ability of the government to regulate interstate commerce and, in fact, to impose rules on that commerce that may require extra expense on the part of companies or customers of those companies is a very basic one. If all it took to put yourself above U.S. regulations was to slap a corporate logo on yourself, you can bet that half the people in America would incorporate themselves tomorrow.
But to have this coming from the preeminent pushers of the "unitary executive" theory, holding that a Republican president can do whatever the hell he wants and courts and congress can lump it? That's pretty rich.