Monday, November 12, 2007

Giuliani And Executive Power

Fairly disturbing reading here, by Rachel Morris at the Washington Monthly.

It is, of course, hard to say what the worst thing about the Bush presidency has been...but his push for wrecking the system of checks and balances by radically inflating executive power has to be high on anyone's list.

Scary thing about Giuliani--if Morris is right--is that he's got these same kinds of tendencies. According to this piece, Rudy doesn't think the law really applies to him, and is happy to distort it for his own purposes.

Add to that the wide-spread view that he's basically a bully...and it starts to seem possible that this is basically the last guy we want in the White House given the current state of the world.

I'm trying to keep an open mind about all the Republican candidates--pretty easy since I've ruled out voting for any Republican this time around as a kind of anti-Bush protest. But--especially since Brownback is out--Rudy is getting close to the bottom of my list.


Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

It's difficult for me to imagine a guy who thinks Carter was good and Reagan was bad ever voting Republican.

Hagel over Leiberman, mebbe.

The article on Giuliani seems fair---I've heard most of this. There's no question Giuliani would go too far in pushing the envelope of executive power. He doesn't ask permission, he waits for the pushback.

As I wrote a few weeks ago, the people will decide what kind of president and presidency they want. Altho I don't think Hillary will be shy, there is a chance of a president who won't push the envelope enough.

Will the next president back away from the "line" without ever getting near it? Defer to a historically feckless congress on foreign policy? Back off from action because of political opposition?

Because of the intensity of the political opposition that [Bill] Clinton engendered, he had been heavily criticized for bombing al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan, for engaging in ‘Wag the Dog’ tactics to divert attention from a scandal about his personal life. For similar reasons, he could not fire the recalcitrant FBI Director who had failed to fix the Bureau or to uncover terrorists in the United States. He had given the CIA unprecedented authority to go after bin Laden personally and al Qaeda, but had not taken steps when they did little or nothing. Because Clinton was criticized as a Vietnam War opponent without a military record, he was limited in his ability to direct the military to engage in anti-terrorist commando operations they did not want to conduct. He had tried that in Somalia, and the military had made mistakes and blamed him. In the absence of a bigger provocation from al Qaeda to silence his critics, Clinton thought he could do no more.---Richard C. Clarke

None of this describes Rudy. People may decide to take the bad with the good.

Or not.

4:33 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Fairly transparent attempt to turn the GOP's viciousness, incompetence, and partisanship--and the resulting harm to the nation--into Clinton's fault. Hamstrung by psychopathic opposition from conservatives at every turn? Forced to marshal his political capital as a result? It's HIS fault !!!! Why, the Gipper woulda... Yeah, there are, no doubt, presidents who could have figured out some way--by skill or by will--of removing the anchor that conservatives put around his neck. So, yeah, Clinton wasn't the best president imaginable. But it takes partisan blindness of monumental proportions to try to put the blame here on him, rather than conservatives. Fortunately, you appear to be up to the task...

And yeah, Tom, the thing is I USED to take your lame-ass party seriously. And yeah, me voting for them was a real possibility.

But George Bush has done a lot to change that. And, I've gotta say, so have you.

7:02 AM  

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