Monday, January 08, 2007

The imperial presidency

I've been really struck by the gall of George W. Bush since the November elections, bullheadedly pushing forward with the same agenda, the same approach, as if the elections don't mean anything. (Yet when he was reelected in 2004 by a small margin, he called it a "mandate" that meant he had "political capital".) I found this article in the International Herald Tribune via Crooks and Liars, and it puts some of that into words better than I've been able to...

Observing President George W. Bush in action lately, we have to wonder if he actually watched the election returns in November, or if he was just rerunning the 2002 vote on his TiVo.

That year, the White House used the fear of terrorism to scare American voters into cementing the Republican domination of Congress. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney then embarked on an expansion of presidential power chilling both in its sweep and in the damage it did to the constitutional system of checks and balances.

In 2006, the voters sent Bush a powerful message that it was time to rein in his imperial ambitions. But we have yet to see any sign that Bush understands that. Indeed, he seems to have interpreted his party's drubbing as a mandate to keep pursuing his fantasy of victory in Iraq and to press ahead undaunted with his assault on civil liberties and the judicial system.

There's more, about the specifics of how the administration has responded to the new Democratic leadership. You can read the rest here.

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