The Imperial Presidency and the End of the Constitution and Rule of Law

I was recently discussing with a friend my total disgust with how we have moved so far from being a Constitutional state to the point the rule of law is pretty much dead.

We now have a Presidency that wages war without any formal declaration, and keeps a secret list of not just obvious enemy combatants, but US citizens, who are subject to execution totally without regard to the law at the whim of the Executive. The protections of the fourth amendment are so shredded that it is pretty much a joke to even reference it anymore. It is only going to be months, not even years, before we have predator drones routinely patrolling the skies of the United States.

Congress is pretty much dysfunctional So we have no oversight, no controls, no reviews. The Star Chamber is pretty much running the country. Obama has taken all the tools of the Imperial Presidency put in place by predecessors since the 1980’s, and run like a marathon runner with them.

The fact we are still running a gulag in Cuba, instead of bringing the prisoners to the US and subjecting them to an honest series of trials, just pretty much says it all.

You know, I was so hopeful when Obama spoke, and emphasized he was a Constitutional scholar, and understood the need to restore the rule of law. I even got to shake the man’s hand. My staff and I had helped the Secret Service set up Assembly Hall for his appearance here during his first campaign, so I got to come to the entrance late and be escorted to the very front line cattle gate below the stage, where he would be passing by after he came down the stairs of the stage after his speech.

At this point, I am done. I do not plan to give another dime to any candidate for any office.

We have, in fact, pretty much become an Orwellian police state at this point, where constant war is good, and we will starve granny and make her eat cat food before we stop lining the pockets of the military industrial complex (which Dwight Eisenhower saw coming and warned us about) with cost overruns, fraud, cheating, and unneeded and useless and overpriced supplies and hardware.

Anyway, here is a column from Esquire you should read on this topic, by Charles Pierce. He goes straight to the jugular. It is short. And the last paragraph packs a powerful punch.

This is what happens when you elect someone — anyone — to the presidency as that office is presently constituted. Of all the various Washington mystery cults, the one at that end of Pennsylvania Avenue is the most impenetrable. This is why the argument many liberals are making — that the drone program is acceptable both morally and as a matter of practical politics because of the faith you have in the guy who happens to be presiding over it at the moment — is criminally naive, intellectually empty, and as false as blue money to the future. The powers we have allowed to leach away from their constitutional points of origin into that office have created in the presidency a foul strain of outlawry that (worse) is now seen as the proper order of things. If that is the case, and I believe it is, then the very nature of the presidency of the United States at its core has become the vehicle for permanently unlawful behavior. Every four years, we elect a new criminal because that’s become the precise job description.

A Bad Idea Gets Worse By Charles P. Pierce


Author: Ron