Two clear themes emerged out of the Republican reaction to President Obama’s State of the Union address: the president is a dictator and also so weak that he’s going to let Iran “literally” blow the world up.
For some congressional Republicans of a tea party persuasion, Obama’s promise to use his executive powers were seen as clear threats to the American Constitution.
Texas Republican Rep. Randy Weber kicked off the theme of the evening with a pre-speech tweet in which he accused Obama of lying and called him a ”Kommandant-In-Chef [sic]” and “Socialistic dictator.”Fellow Republican Rep. Tim Huelskamp jumped on the bandwagon shortly after the speech began, complaining about the “new Imperial Presidency.”
That type of rhetoric might normally be expected from another Texas Republican, Rep. Steve Stockman, but Stockman’s reaction was relatively tame. The lawmaker who thought it fitting to bring Ted Nugent to last year’s State of the Union address simply walked out on this year’s event, according to the Dallas Morning News.
“Tonight I left early after hearing how the president is further abusing his constitutional powers. I could not bear to watch as he continued to cross the clearly-defined boundaries of the constitutional separation of powers,” Stockman said, according to a statement his aide provided.
“Even worse, Obama has openly vowed to break his oath of office and begin enacting his own brand of law through executive decree,” the statement added. “This is a wholesale violation of his oath of office and a disqualifying offense.”
Former senator and current Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint echoed that criticism, accusing Obama of acting like an “imperial president” in his speech.
“This President has acted like the playground bully who, when he can’t have everything he wants, decides to take his ball and go home,” DeMint wrote in his Facebook post Tuesday morning.
“The state of our union will be much stronger and more united if he works with the elected representatives of the people, instead of threatening them,” DeMint added, presumably ignoring the part of Obama’s speech where he said he was more than willing to work with Congress in addition to take executive action.
For Republican Sens. Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham, it wasn’t dictatorial strength but foreign policy weakness that drew the most critics.
“The world is literally about to blow up,” Graham said, according to Roll Call, while criticizing the president’s threats to veto legislation on Iran sanctions.
Cruz agreed, suggesting that Iran could be planning to nuke New York City or Los Angeles. “The result could be hundreds of thousands of lives lost,” Cruz said according to various reports, calling Obama ”perhaps the most dangerous line of the speech for the security of our nation.”