Liberals and conservatives share a common concern about excessive power that has gradually accumulated in the presidency. Sadly, however, they do not feel the urgency of this problem at the same time, which suggests that their hand-wringing is a matter of partisan calculation rather than of principle.
From Washington Examiner
When a Republican is in the White House, it is common for conservatives to make excuses for the chief executive’s excesses. Likewise, when a Democrat takes the reins, many liberals, fairweather friends of the constitutional restraint, are prepared to overlook usurpations they would never otherwise tolerate.
Democrats today therefore face a problem. For eight years, they have accommodated, abetted and defended unprecedented abuses that they accepted because they performed by a president of whom they were fond because his agenda and theirs were the same.
Perhaps it never occurred to them that they were removing checks and balances that they’d wish existed when the other party took charge, as will be the case in two months’ time.
Three years ago, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., abolished the Senate minority’s ability to filibuster most presidential nominations. He did so against the wise advice of Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich. He has thus guaranteed that for at least two years, President Trump will be able nominate almost anyone Republican senators are willing to confirm. Democrats, in a 48 seat minority, can blame themselves for demolishing their ability to influence affairs.
Obama created or strengthened many precedents that will now expand Trump’s presidential power. Obama asserted a power to enforce immigration laws in a systematically selective way, according to his preferences rather than according to law. He changed laws without the congressional consent. He asserted presidential power over congressional procedure. He instituted government by waiver to force states to adopt policies. He even waged war without congressional assent.
That is just a small sample of his excesses.
Liberals defended him in all these things. He may have been a scoundrel, but he was their scoundrel, and they stuck by him as he traduced constitutional principal and traditional practice to ram his agenda down the throat of a recalcitrant nation. What, in the longer term, they did was make sure Trump or any other successor is equipped with precedents and excuses for overreaching.
We hope Republicans do not decide that turnabout is fair play, because this attitude is what allowed presidential power to get out of control in the first place. Instead of making Trump more powerful than Obama has been, we hope the GOP will press Congress’s prerogatives and that Democrats have the good sense to support them.
Read Full Story At Washington Examiner