Kamala Harris embraces an imperial presidency

  • 29 April 2019
  • NormanL

It's no surprise to learn that the field of Democratic presidential candidates is hostile to the Second Amendment. But few have been more vocal about it on the campaign trail -- so far -- as Sen. Kamala Harris. The would-be Democratic nominee has, like so many on the left, called for sweeping crubs on gun rights. But Harris goes much further, promising to legislate from the Oval Office unless Congress immediately bows to her political wishes:

What’s most remarkable about Harris’s proposals, however, aren’t their content. It’s their framing: More than a year ahead of the election, Harris is already threatening to implement all of them unilaterally if Congress doesn’t pass them within 100 days of her taking office.

“We’re not waiting for a good idea—we have good ideas,” Harris said in a policy statement on her campaign website. “We’re not waiting for another tragedy—we have seen the worst human tragedies we can imagine. … We’re not waiting any longer.”

Conservative Cassandras have long described the imperial presidency as a slippery slope—each presidential overreach making the next easier, more inevitable. And now Harris is making it part of her central pitch to voters that she will revoke federal laws on her own if Congress won’t do it for her. The 100 days afforded Congress to do so barely qualify as window dressing.

Harris' approach would gild an already imperial presidency. That she would do so to trample a portion of the Bill of Rights only compounds the broad constitutional problem of vesting too much power in a single branch of government.