Thursday, May 26, 2005

GOP Concentrating Power in the Executive?

The Washington Post has a rather interesting article on steps the GOP has taken to establish the primacy of the Executive Branch and more specifically, the chief executive. Comparing the structure to a corporation with a powerful CEO (the President) and a compliant Board of Directors (Congress), the article sweeps across initiatives to limit debate of policy in the legislature, minimize legislative oversight and establish political fiefdoms in the executive agencies. The article goes on to talk about the fact that the next battleground will be the courts, and the threat of the Nuclear Option will prevent future filibusters of judicial candidates.

What's somewhat intriguing is that the criticism of the current Republican efforts in the article are almost all drawn from retired Republican legislators:
"Every president grabs for more power. What's different it seems to me is the acquiescence of Congress," said former representative Mickey Edwards (R-Okla.), a government scholar at the Aspen Institute.
"Anybody with a brain knew once Republicans got their hand on the wheels . . . there was going to be punishment" because they felt silenced and slighted when Democrats were in control, said former senator Alan K. Simpson (R-Wyo.). "It's unfortunate."
"I would remind my friends that you may one day be in the minority and you won't want to be [run] roughshod over," said former minority leader Robert H. Michel (R-Ill.), who served in the House for 38 years, 14 as leader.
I wish I had longer to ponder and post about this article, as I think it is a pretty profound one. But I guess my main thought is what will the American public, and libertarian-leaning Republicans, think of this apparent power grab.


Ress said...

What are the chances the GOP congress will regret all this transfer of power if/when a Dem. is elected president?

CTK said...

Ress: too German-y.

As a libertarian-leaning ex-Republican, I think it blows. Good piece.