ABC has some rather awkward coverage of the latest presser with Josh Earnest where a pesky reporter once again spoils everyone’s good time by remembering things which Barack Obama said way back in ancient history… specifically one year ago. Jonathan Karl tried repeatedly to get the Press Secretary to explain how Barack Obama could say that he’s not an emperor with the power to randomly change the rules as he sees fit, shortly before preparing to do just that.
Jonathan Karl: Does the President still stand by what he said last year when he said, quote, I am not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed. Is that still operative?
Josh Earnest: Absolutely.
JK: Not a king either?
JE: That’s right.
JK: Because he was asked very specifically about expanding the deferred action executive order for the dreamers to their parents, and he said, September 17th of last year, very clearly, if we start broadening that, then essentially I would be ignoring the law in a way that would make it very difficult to defend legally, so that is not an option. Is that still operative, when the President said specifically that expanding the doc executive order is not an option because it would be ignoring the law. Does he still believe that?
JE: Well Jon, I don’t want to get ahead of any sort of announcements the President may make before the end of the year about executive actions that he may take to fix our broken immigration system. Since this interview aired, the President did direct the Attorney General and the Director of Homeland Security to conduct a review of the law…
JK: So just to be clear, you’re saying that this is no longer operative because we’ve had a review. So when the President said that expanding the docket to apply to the parents of the dreamers for instance, would be broadening and essentially ignoring the law in a way that would be difficult to defend legally, that it’s not an option, that that statement is no longer operative?
JE: What I’m saying is that we’ll have an opportunity to evaluate the actions that the President has chosen after he’s announced.
JK: But I’m not asking about the options. I’m just saying…
It drags on from there and only gets worse. There’s nothing new or groundbreaking to be found in this interview, and that’s really not the point anyway. Earnest is spending his time dancing on the head of a pin attempting to make this look like anything other than precisely what it is: a complete reversal of what the famed constitutional law professor said repeatedly in the past until it was no longer politically convenient to say it.
I sort of wondered why Josh agreed to take this job when it came open. It was pretty obvious that Obama was already heading down a rocky road toward a bridge that was likely going to wash out in the next heavy rain. And Josh is the one who has to stand out there every week in front of the cameras and keep pretending that the road is smooth as silk.
I don’t envy him the job these days. The video follows for your hump day entertainment.