Thursday, August 7, 2014

Pundits Beginning to Turn?

In response to concerns raised about possible executive overreach by the Obama administration, some pundits are now speaking up.

At Bloomberg View, Megan McArdle, writes:
Am I saying that the dark night of fascism will descend upon us all if Obama goes forward with this? Of course not. There is a lot of ruin in a nation; American presidents have tried these sorts of power grabs before, from the suspension of habeas corpus to court packing to, I dunno, Richard Nixon’s whole last year in office. But do you know why the dark night of fascism never descended? Because long before we got to that point, honorable politicians, journalists and citizens said “Enough.” It’s time for all of us to say that again, loud enough for President Obama to hear it.
Meanwhile, over at the Washington Post, Chuck Lane, a former New Republic editor, concedes that the "broadest measure Obama is considering would be constitutionally dubious, politically explosive and flatly contradictory to his own recently expressed views."

National Journal's Ron Fournier said yesterday of a potential executive power grab by President Obama that it "would be a nuclear bomb that would blow open and make this country even more divided in a way that most Americans just don't want."

UPDATE: Fournier expands on his case against the Obama administration's "nuclear option" on executive power:
Depending on how far Obama extends presidential authority—and he suggested Wednesday that he's willing to stretch it like soft taffy—this could be a political nuclear bomb. The man whose foundational promise was unity ("I don't want to pit red America against blue America") could seal his fate as the most polarizing president in history.
Ed Morrissey connects the current debate about executive power to the Watergate crisis:
The familiarity of these events, coupled with the increasing impulse of Obama to abandon constitutional limits, shows that America largely ignored the lessons of Watergate. It’s not enough to be wary of executive power when the opposition party controls the White House, as Republicans belatedly learned in 1974; to defend and protect constitutional government and the rule of law, that vigilance has to exist at all times.

Some of the same voices that shrieked with horror at the threat of the “unitary executive” under George W. Bush seem perfectly comfortable now with Obama ruling by executive fiat rather than governing under the rule of law, as long as it’s only their bĂȘtes noires that get targeted.

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