June 10, 2014

JAMES TARANTO: Springtime for Warmists: A Beltway commentator endorses “dictatorial” government.

Last month Rush Limbaugh remarked that the reason for “the re-establishment of climate change and global warming as a new primary impetus of the White House” is that “it offers the president opportunities to be dictatorial.”

A defender of the president might counter that “dictatorial” is overwrought. After all, whether or not his proposed regulations are wise, they are based on an act of Congress and an interpretation of that law that has passed muster with the Supreme Court. They won’t take effect until members of the public have had the opportunity to make their views known to the Environmental Protection Agency. And Obama will remain in office for only another 2½ years or so, after which his (democratically elected) successors will have the authority to revise the regulations. Congress also retains the authority to change the law.

But National Journal’s Lucia Graves takes a different approach. Instead of denying that Obama’s actions are dictatorial, she disputes Limbaugh’s implicit premise that there’s anything wrong with that. Lest you think we exaggerate, her piece is titled “Obama’s Thankfully ‘Dictatorial’ Approach to Climate Change.”

According to Graves, Limbaugh “has it precisely backward: The decision to use executive authority is the means, not the ends.” And you’ll never guess what justifies the means: “It also makes a lot of sense when it comes to global warming given Congress’s failure to pass the Waxman-Markey energy bill in 2009, and, for decades before that, to pass any sort of comprehensive climate legislation whatsoever.”

Yes, it has come to this. Americans are being urged to submit to “dictatorial” government because democracy is incapable of controlling the weather.

Have you noticed that the nature of the crisis du jour may change, but the solutions always involve higher taxes and more power for the political class? Show me a “crisis” that called for the opposite and I might take it seriously.

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