“There Doesn’t Have to Be a Bill”

Tracinski’s Rule has been broken, and the left feels emboldened and liberated. That was the clear message of President Obama’s second inaugural address, and we can see its ripple effects everywhere, particularly in the Senate, where the Democrats are making the most of their majority.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is foolishly attempting to weaken the filibuster so he can sweep aside resistance from the Republican minority. (It is foolish because Senate majorities are far from permanent, and Democrats might soon find themselves in the minority, wishing they had a filibuster.)

Meanwhile, Ezra Klein describes how much President Obama can accomplish in his second term merely by unleashing the power granted to him in the first term by the vague, free-floating regulatory authorizations in Obamacare and the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation.

Most ominous, however, is the announcement from Senate Democrats that they have abdicated their legislative powers and are calling on the EPA to unilaterally regulate carbon dioxide emissions, imposing the global warming energy dictatorship that the left wants.

After years of trying—and failing—to get climate-change legislation through Congress, top Senate Democrats are publicly ready to hand over the power to President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency.

“A lot of people don’t recognize that EPA has huge authority to reduce carbon in the air,” Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said at a briefing Tuesday. “A lot of you press me…on: ‘Where is the bill on climate change? Where is the bill?’ There doesn’t have to be a bill,” Boxer told a group of reporters in her office in the Hart Senate Building. “There will be many approaches, but I’m telling you right now, EPA has the authority in the transportation sector, in the electricity sector, and the industrial sector under the Clean Air Act.”

There is a name for a political system in which the legislature “hands over power” to the executive and there “doesn’t have to be a bill” for the chief executive to be able to impose sweeping controls. The name for that system is “dictatorship.”

That is what happens when you let the left feel that it is safe to openly proclaim and pursue its goals.


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