Politics Thursday: Defending the Republic â€&#822
Last week, I explained why I wrote my Congressional delegation asking them to censure the President. Along with my explanation why I thought allowing any President the power to selectively set aside laws was bad, I quoted from a number of conservative critics of the President's actions, including Bob Barr, one of the Clinton Impeachment managers.
Maybe it was the holiday, but that post brought zero comments. I didn't hear from anybody writing letters of their own and neither did I hear from our pro-Bush corner. I'm hoping that some of you across the political spectrum will go back and read last Thursday's posting and offer your answer to the question:
Should the President be able to pick and choose which laws his administration will obey?
Before you answer, understand that the next year will answer this question for ALL presidents, not just President Bush. If you answer yes, you are in effect saying.
I believe that President Hillary Rodham Clinton should be able to pick and choose which laws her administration will obey.
I believe that President John F. Kerry should be able to pick and choose which laws his administration will obey.
For the record, I don't care who the President is, laws are non-optional. If the law hurts a particular aim of the administration, the remedy is to get new legislation passed. A few leaders in Congress cannot excuse the President from this duty.
If we the American people allow the President to be formally granted this kind of power by Congress (probably unconstitutional) or by Supreme Court decision, there will be no limits. Not for the President or his successors of whatever party.
Can anyone in a free society really desire such a thing? If so, why bother with Congress or an independent judiciary? Shall we simply elect an executive every 10 years and turn the Capitol into a museum?