Monday, April 13, 2009

Obama loves that executive power

Here's a link to this week's column for, which goes into a little more detail on a subject I have raised before, the fact that Obama is exercising and apparently enjoying most of the expansions in executive power the Bushies championed during their time in power, from unwarranted wiretapping to the invocation of the "state secrets" doctrine in trials to prevent evidence of (Bush-era) excesses from coming out in public to the apparent determination to make Bagram prison in Afghanistan the new Guantanamo, where anybody the president or the military likes can be imprisoned indefinitely without charges or habeas corpus rights. Fortunately the judicial branch is pushing back a bit on some of these excesses.

During the Bush years I used to tell conservatives that they wouldn't feel so complacent about the expansion of executive power once it was in the hands of a Democrat -- though for most of those years I tended to invoke Hillary Clinton. I think perhaps that Obama is even more philosophically well-disposed toward virtually unaccountable executive power even than Bush was. After all, he wants to remake the health-care and energy sectors and the entire economy along"green" lines, and it will take a heap of power to even begin to think about doing that.

No comments: