The Clintons And Executive Power

Radley Balko struggles to find much daylight between the Clintons and Bush-Cheney in critical respects:

It's difficult to see Hillary Clinton voluntarily handing back all of those extra-constitutional executive powers claimed by President Bush. Her husband's administration, for example, copiously invoked dubious "executive privilege" claims to keep from complying with congressional subpoenas and open records requestsclaims the left now (correctly, in my view) regularly criticizes the Bush administration for invoking.

Hillary Clinton herself went to court to keep meetings of her Health Care Task Force secret from the public, something conservatives were quick to point out when leftists criticize Vice President Cheney's similar efforts to keep meetings of his Energy Task Force secret.

"I'm a strong believer in executive authority," Clinton said in a 2003 speech, recently quoted in The New Republic. "I wish that, when my husband was president, people in Congress had been more willing to recognize presidential authority."

That jibes with a February 2007 New York Times article on Clinton explaining her refusal to back down from her vote for the Iraq war: "Mrs. Clinton's belief in executive power and authority is another factor weighing against an apology, advisers said... she believes that a president usually deserves the benefit of the doubt from Congress on matters of executive authority."

Such is why President Bush has recently had some nice things to say about Hillary Clinton, leading some to speculate that Bush sees her as the Eisenhower to his Trumana candidate from the opposing party who criticizes his foreign policy during the campaign, but will likely pursue a very similar policy should she be elected.

You want a change from the Bush era? Only pure partisans think a third term for a Clinton co-presidency would do it. Yes, it would give every partisan Democrat a thrill. But if you care about the damage done by this president to the constitutional order, don't believe for a minute that the Clintons would reverse it. They love their power. 

       

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

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