Monday, April 07, 2008

Imperial presidency hubris

Andrew Sullivan, at one time a leading conservative blogger, was quoted as saying the following over the weekend regards certain Bush administration figures:
The latest revelations on the torture front show the memo from John Yoo...means that Don Rumsfeld, David Addington and John Yoo should not leave the United States any time soon. They will be, at some point, indicted for war crimes.
In other words, circumstances, schmirkcumstances-- lock 'em up! The constitution reigns supreme regardless of any ole terrorist attack.

This morning Sullivan's apparent nemesis linked to a story detailing the ways and means being discussed of how the next president might fast-track certain climate change policies in an extra-congressional fashion, ie, via the executive order. In other words, constitution schmonstitution--climate change is an emergency that warrants bypassing legislators since our very lives are at stake!

So we have a couple of juicy morsels here. We have super hypocrisy from anyone on the left who would support such a notion after accusing Bush of trashing the constitution to chase imaginary terrorists in an effort to produce a "climate" of fear, while the same people fearmonger over climate (despite scientists saying there's been no significant warming since 1998). We have the "told you so" factor from constitutional scholars on the right who've long warned of how Bush's freewheeling use of the presidential fountain pen might affect future presidencies.

But the entire debate was perhaps put into at least some context by this comment in the Daily Camera piece:
But, even if the new president does use executive orders to, for example, enter into international agreements or stop certain kinds of high-carbon fuels from entering the country, that doesn't mean the order will stick.

"A president can't issue an executive order that goes against a statute," Ginocchio said. "Congress can stop you with a veto-proof vote, or Congress can choose not to fund it."
Those very same checks and balance exist right now.


Anonymous said...

While it's tempting to take those big, fat, slow-moving pitches and slam them out of the park, if you keep pointing out liberal hypocrisy like that, you're gonna go blind.

A.C. McCloud said...

I'll try to cut back.. ;-)