Presidency

Obama: Dictator or Monarch?

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As part of his strategy of shifting blame for the sequester onto Republicans, President Obama told reporters that his hands were politically tied. He stated, “I am not a dictator, I’m the president.” In other words, he could not bypass Congress to unilaterally impose his will. And yet this is precisely what Obama has been doing for years. He has ... [click for more]

His Majesty Obama and the Debt Ceiling

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President Obama may be poised to claim an unprecedented executive power. Or not. It depends on whether you credit official denials from White House Press Secretary Jay Carney or public statements from high-ranking Democrats. The monarchical power in question is the ability to raise the debt ceiling at will. It involves bypassing the House of Representatives, which currently has ... [click for more]

Flexing Executive Privilege

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The rather dry matter of executive privilege is becoming a hot talking point in the news. This power of the executive branch is the latest battleground between the president and a largely hostile Congress. The Republican congressman Darrell Issa — chairman of the recently scorned House Oversight Committee — is determined to create as much heat as ... [click for more]

The Cult of Executive Power

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The Cult of the Presidency: America’s Dangerous Devotion to Executive Power by Gene Healy (Cato Institute, 2008); 356 pages. Just in time for the 2008 presidential campaign comes the book we need to get Americans to think sensibly about the office that the candidates are so furiously seeking. [click for more]