Tue Feb 5, 2013, 01:03 PM
kpete (51,721 posts)
POTUS Doesn't Have Power To Stop Us From Killing Each Other -But He Has FULL Power To Do It Himself?
So this is where we stand in 2013, in the second month of the second term of this administration -- the president does not have the power to convince us fully to stop killing each other, but he has the full power to do it himself. The presidential power to persuade in domestic affairs has melted before a superheated extremist Republican Congress, but the presidential power to act, unilaterally, overseas is more robust than it ever has been. This cannot be said to be truly tyrannical; hell, Caesar was able to give Rome an infrastructure while he was off slaughtering the Gauls. Our presidency now encourages the person in the office to be an inefficient authoritarian. Our presidents have terrible trouble making domestic policy, but no trouble at all making war. They can't rebuild our highways, but they can wreck the goat paths in west Asia.
Much of the talk on the drone story centers around whether or not the revelations will hurt the cause of John Brennan, whom the president wants to head up the CIA. Brennan's a holdover from the previous administration, and he's been hip-deep both in the drone war, and the legal arguments justifying it, throughout the current one. That seems to matter very little to me. The Congress is not ready yet to deny appointment to anyone who has made too much war on the president's behalf. (Congressional reaction to the drone war in general largely has been limited to loud complaining about the administration's lack of transparency, and the corresponding lack of congressional oversight. The administration is still stonewalling congressional demands to see the actual legal memos that the administration has used to justify the killing of Anwar al-Alwaki. In other words, it's pitched as a run-of-the-mill Beltway turf war.) What matters more to me is that we seem to be slow-playing ourselves into a situation in which the presidency becomes an institution primarily concerned with foreign affairs and, specifically, with where we make war, and against whom, and why, and all of those according to reasons that the presidency can decline to share with the rest of us. This puts more distance between the president -- any president -- and the people who put him in office. It hamstrings the president's power to do anything about the issues most immediate to the people in this country, but it unleashes him to do anything he wants anywhere else in the world. It is a deformative reinvention of the office, and it will come to no good end.
Read more: The Pulpit's Bully - Esquire http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/About_The_Presidency#ixzz2K2qlOoUC
7 replies, 1062 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
POTUS Doesn't Have Power To Stop Us From Killing Each Other -But He Has FULL Power To Do It Himself? (Original post)
|Hell Hath No Fury||Feb 2013||#7|
Response to kpete (Original post)
Tue Feb 5, 2013, 01:20 PM
jberryhill (44,267 posts)
3. The War Powers Act needs an upgrade in view of new circumstances and technology
Congress needs to define a legal framework for the use of weapons not contemplated by the current War Powers Act. The absence of clarity is one of the problems.
Response to randome (Reply #5)
Tue Feb 5, 2013, 01:31 PM
jberryhill (44,267 posts)
6. As the OP is about "killing" people, we may assume a weapon
I don't think anyone is seriously going to question the executive's authority to conduct foreign surveillance.