Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The Imperial Presidency

Her brother probably preferred it when she was skewering Clinton for his sexcapades.

It's Not Personal, Jack, It's Strictly Business - New York Times
But looking at the big picture, in some ways the imperial presidency is working out quite well for everyone.

Think about it: all those congressmen don't really need to do their jobs anymore. With the president able to make war more or less as he chooses, treat the enemy as he sees fit and snoop on Americans at will, our representatives have more time for the duty many are clearly best suited to: playing golf gratis in Scotland. (Remember how the White House press used to give poor Bill Clinton such a hard time about mere mulligans?)

Now that Dick Cheney has freed Congress from the bother of advising and/or consenting, lawmakers can work on new ways to game the system and wallow in the G.O.P.'s culture of corruption - while tut-tutting about the decline in American moral values.

Since the Republican-run Capitol doesn't have to worry about holding the Bush White House accountable for excesses in torture and spying and the other myriad ways it has placed itself above the law, congressmen have more leisure hours for Abramoff successors to treat them to some Redskins games and steak dinners.

Checks and balances are now as quaint as the Geneva Conventions. Congress is complicit in putting its thumb on the scale for the executive branch.
And since the imperial presidency is run by the vice president, W. has a lot of free time to do the things he likes to do. Confined with his wife and mother-in-law at the Crawford ranch, he spent his Christmas vacation mountain-biking and clearing brush.

Actually, it looked like the brush cleared him.

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