As a Senate committee debated yesterday whether to create a “truth commission” to investigate alleged abuses of White House authority during the Bush era, President Obama has quietly adopted some of his predecessor’s expansive views of the power as commander in chief – especially concerning antiterrorism policies.
Those moves could lead to a confrontation over the scope of presidential authority with the Democratic-led Congress, whose leaders say they intend to recalibrate the balance of power between Congress and the White House. Some top Democrats, Obama allies, and civil libertarians say they are closely watching how the new president uses his power, and intend to challenge him if he does not voluntarily roll it back to pre-Bush limits.
Bush Jr. may have expanded executive power under his administration and been smug about it, earning the ire of the liberal left.Â But did you think once elected, Obama’s first course of action would be returning a more normal balance of power per the Constitution?Â Of course not – he’s using that power just as any newly elected leader would.Â Oops – this isn’t an iPod commercial anymore; this is the real thing.
Republicans got into power in the late 90s and early 2000’s and end up with infighting and a go-nowhere approach to politics. Democrats got into power in 2008 and 2009, and the same thing happens. When are we going to finally realize that both parties are the same group of politicians spinning their wheels on Capitol Hill?
We don’t need a “truth commission” to rein in some of the executive authority granted to – well, himself – by Bush. We simply need to move forward with an approach that stems from the Constitution: “Do you have the power, as the head of the executive branch of government, under the Constitution to do that? No? Well then you can’t do it. And if you do, our Court system will ensure you’re stopped.”Â When our society was filled with wise leaders who were elected based on a shared values system of the people, this worked very well.Â When you elect any old goon into office because he sounds good, you realize when in office that he’s like a game show host without a producer or director but merely a stage:Â drunk with power and losing focus quickly.