Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Full Reverse on Presidential Powers

Keep your eye on the ball, folks.

...It turns out that Bush's aggressive assertion of judicial power was not really the problem; the problem was, well, Bush. This, according to Gellman, is the real view of Dawn Johnson, the arch-critic of Bush administration legal policy who has been nominated to head the DOJ's Office of Legal Counsel. In her "popular commentaries in Slate and elsewhere" Johnson has vigorously attacked Bush and Cheney for "overreaching." But Gellman says that in her "scholarly writing" she takes the position that "the trouble was not that [Bush] asserted the power, but that he used it wrongly." How post-modern for a once-and-future top DOJ official to talk out of both sides of her mouth this way. As they say, don't believe everything you read on the internet.

The agenda driving this revisionism is obvious. The liberal Dems now control the executive branch, and they have no interest in diminishing its power. To the contrary, as John Podesta who headed Obama's transition team explains, Obama "certainly comes into office with a very powerful set of executive authorities and I suspect that he will use those authorities in order to get the key policy goals accomplished that he's set for the people."


You may or may not have approved of what Bush was doing with the 'unitary Presidency.' But the policy implications were serious because they apply to ALL Presidents.

1 comment:

steveegg said...

Just remember, all of Barack Obama's statements come with expiration dates. All. Of. Them.

-Jim Geraghty