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Old 02-13-2008, 08:48 PM
Thus Spoke Elvis Thus Spoke Elvis is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 329
Default Re: Executive Function Disorder

Originally Posted by TwinSwords View Post
With all respect, you're expressing little more than standard Republican Fear of Hillary, Queen Bitch. This is the same critique of Hillary as a power-mad fascist that has addled the conservative mind since Rush Limbaugh. There's no factual basis for it at all. (I'd be happy to have you point to some.)
Baloney. The opinion that Hillary is an obstinate control-freak is hardly isolated to the far right. In fact, it's a big reason why a lot of Democrats, including most of the liberal intelligencia, favor Obama. She's exhibited these traits throughout her public career, from her refusal in 1993 to make meetings and records of the Health Care Task Force open to the public, to the conduct of her presidential campaign (her support for the teachers union's lawsuit challenging the rules of the Nevada causus after it looked like she might lose, after previously having supported those rules when it looked like she was going to win; her attempts to have her "wins" in Michigan and Florida count for delegates after it looked like she would need them to beat Obama, after having supported the Democratic Party's decision to deny awarding those states any delegates after they broke party rules; the bunker mentality of her campaign, etc.).

Apart from Reagan, no modern president has pursued the extreme legal theories of the Bush administration. And Reagan's achievements in this area pale in comparison to what Bush has done.
Define "modern." Harry Truman committed U.S. troops to the Korean conflict without even asking for congressional authorization. President H.W. Bush and Clinton did the same with respect to Panama and Kosovo, respectively. President Roosevelt interned tens of thousands of Japanese-Americans via executive order. The U.S. has used very harsh interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, long before W. Bush came to power. Every modern executive through the Nixon Administration engaged in warrantless wiretapping of U.S. persons. The Clinton Administration started the extraordinary rendition program, and his counsel issued a legal memorandum in support of signing statements. http://http://www.usdoj.gov/olc/signing.htm The Carter Administration unilaterally terminated our defense treaty with Taiwan.

The significant difference between the Bush Administration and others is that we've been at war during seven of the past eight years. Accordingly, the Administration is making arguments in support of the executive's powers in the national security arena with a far greater frequency than prior administrations that were dealing with fewer, or less significant, military conflicts.

This is not to say that the every prior President would claim the same executive authority as Bush. Many wouldn't, but the historical record suggests that at least some -- Republican and Democrat -- in modern American history would. As I said in my initial post, the issue of executive power has been less of a political dispute than an institutional one.

Last edited by Thus Spoke Elvis; 02-13-2008 at 10:26 PM..
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