If Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) wants to be considered as a serious candidate for president, then perhaps he needs to do better research into what he’s talking about when he makes historical comparisons.
Paul made the comments on Friday, a day after Obama formally announced the executive actions, at the Kentucky Association of Counties conference in Lexington, Kentucky.
“I care that too much power gets in one place. Why? Because there are instances in our history where we allow power to gravitate toward one person and that one person then makes decisions that really are egregious,” Paul said. “Think of what happened in World War II where they made the decision. The president issued an executive order. He said to Japanese people ‘we’re going to put you in a camp. We’re going to take away all your rights and liberties and we’re going to intern you in a camp.'”
“We shouldn’t allow that much power to gravitate to one individual. We need to separate the power.”
First, as has been noted here and elsewhere, the president is using executive power on immigration in the same way almost every other president has since World War II, including the sainted Ronald Reagan.
Second, Mr. Paul’s specific comparison to the internment of Japanese citizens during World War II may be geared to rile up an emotional response — the action was racist and reactionary to the point that the U.S. government officially apologized (even though it took over fifty years to do it) — but both the Supreme Court and the United States Congress went along with it. President Roosevelt may have acted by executive order, but he had help.