Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds

The Cynicism of the Commentariat?

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H2 3/7/09

Become a Fan
  (32 fans)
Even Obama's friends in the commentariat --including Keith Olbermann, and two of his major allies, Chris Hayes of THE NATION and Howard Fineman of NEWSWEEK-- are speaking of Obama and his relationship to the issue of presidential power in a way that I find most cynical, and I certainly hope is mistaken.

The situation under discussion the past couple of days is that it is reported that Obama pushed hard for this deal between Rove and Congress on his testifying.

The reason these pro-Obama commentators give for his wanting this deal is that it prevents him from having to go into Court and either a) backing the Bushite idea of executive privilege --which was a scandal! or b) cooperating in rolling back BUsh's expansions of presidential powers.

Each one of these guys posits that all presidents, Democratic and Republican, want those powers for themselves, and so find option (b) unappealing.

Good Lord! You'd think that becoming president means putting on Frodo's Ring (which was Smeagol's ring). "My precious, my precious," these guys have Obama saying, in effect. Power as an intoxicant.  None can resist its seductions.

I sure hope they're wrong about Obama. If he's the man I think he is, then he wants the office of the president to have the powers given it in the Constitution, and the long-standing traditions of the workings of checks and balances. If he's the man I believe him to be, he'd feel he'd be losing nothing to have "executive privilege" cut back to what was good enough for the presidents before Bush.


Because that claim was one that an honorable man, having taken an oath to defend and protect the Constitution, would never WANT to exercise in any case. To use that privilege, as Bush has, is simply to refuse to recognize the authority of the other branches of the government.

So what the hell does it mean that these progressive voices --who have done such a great job in exposing the depredations of the BUshites in recent years-- can just blithely ASSUME, without any apparent evidence, that OF COURSE a president would not want to go into court and say, no, "executive privilege" does not allow people like Karl Rove and Harriet Miers to just give the finger to a duly issued Congressional subpoena?

What does it mean that these guys are so quick to assume and accept that Obama would exert himself to get a settlement, rather than send in his DOJ to join the Congress in declaring that such subpoena's are obligatory on the likes of Rove in an instance of this sort, where a Congressional committee is in pursuit of a vital national issue, and in oversight of an executive that seems to have abused its powers in a systematic way?

Whether they're right or wrong about Obama, it seems remarkable --and disturbing-- that they'd just ASSUME and ACCEPT that Of Course a president would be loath to relinquish the usurpatious powers his predecessor claimed against precedent and the Constitution!

 

Andy Schmookler, an award-winning author, political commentator, radio talk-show host, and teacher, was the Democratic nominee for Congress from Virginia's 6th District. He is the author of various books including The Parable of the Tribes: The (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Why Do Conservatives Like Colbert? Article Plus Critique

Mel Gibson's Rant as Profound Clue

To Anti-Obamite Lefties: It Doesn't Matter If You're Right

How Important is the Loss of Friendship?

The Mystery of Obama's Relationship with Power

Power and Corruption: Just What Is Their Relationship?

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
10 people are discussing this page, with 32 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)
Pros: 1. Obama administration is becoming notoriou... by Mark Sashine on Saturday, Mar 7, 2009 at 4:18:56 PM
I can see, Mark, what you're talking about.&nb... by Andrew Bard Schmookler on Saturday, Mar 7, 2009 at 4:51:56 PM
They play on the darkest feelings of their listene... by Mark Sashine on Saturday, Mar 7, 2009 at 5:03:45 PM
I thought, Mark, that you'd like that subject ... by Andrew Bard Schmookler on Saturday, Mar 7, 2009 at 5:16:52 PM
but there is a twist: to criticise evil is  s... by Mark Sashine on Saturday, Mar 7, 2009 at 5:44:08 PM
I wonder if you could expand on why you think that... by Andrew Bard Schmookler on Saturday, Mar 7, 2009 at 6:34:23 PM
is best explained by V. Solovyov's  ... by Mark Sashine on Saturday, Mar 7, 2009 at 6:46:40 PM
 I am glad to see you two having this interes... by Katrin R. on Saturday, Mar 7, 2009 at 9:03:20 PM
I did not vote for Obama because I saw, during the... by jersey girl on Saturday, Mar 7, 2009 at 7:09:45 PM
The powers that Bush took upon himself were to all... by Robert Arend on Saturday, Mar 7, 2009 at 7:51:14 PM
If Obama knows who the "real" terrorists are why i... by jersey girl on Saturday, Mar 7, 2009 at 8:46:16 PM
"You either want to live in a free country or... by Andrew Bard Schmookler on Saturday, Mar 7, 2009 at 9:06:33 PM
We are not 'free', no human being is entir... by Katrin R. on Saturday, Mar 7, 2009 at 11:24:27 PM
Ahh, Jersey Girl, perhaps there is truth in that w... by Robert Arend on Saturday, Mar 7, 2009 at 9:15:16 PM
I do not claim to know everything worth knowing ab... by Andrew Bard Schmookler on Saturday, Mar 7, 2009 at 9:24:50 PM
You can tell a lot about a person by studying thei... by Robert Arend on Saturday, Mar 7, 2009 at 10:01:03 PM
Eyes are the windows to the soul.... by Katrin R. on Saturday, Mar 7, 2009 at 11:27:47 PM
You guys missed my point entirely.  Didn'... by jersey girl on Sunday, Mar 8, 2009 at 8:19:59 AM
I am giving Obama a "pass" because he is... by Jennifer Hathaway on Sunday, Mar 8, 2009 at 9:59:08 AM
Love your "fight story" btw ..lol. ... by jersey girl on Sunday, Mar 8, 2009 at 10:21:28 AM
'As far as those powers?  Hell yea, he sh... by Katrin R. on Monday, Mar 9, 2009 at 12:13:09 PM
Love your "fight story" btw ..lol. ... by jersey girl on Sunday, Mar 8, 2009 at 10:41:58 AM
If you have ever stepped into a big ant bed that i... by virginius "gin" arnold on Sunday, Mar 8, 2009 at 11:06:04 AM
“Judge me not by the color of my skin, but t... by jersey girl on Sunday, Mar 8, 2009 at 11:24:42 AM
There are two ways to end a hierarchy. One is to b... by Jennifer Hathaway on Sunday, Mar 8, 2009 at 11:32:40 AM
With all due respect, I can't see it being dis... by jersey girl on Sunday, Mar 8, 2009 at 1:21:06 PM
You are "willing to wait for a peaceful dismantlin... by Arktig Silver on Sunday, Mar 8, 2009 at 2:11:23 PM
You're right, I don't know Gorbachev beyon... by Jennifer Hathaway on Sunday, Mar 8, 2009 at 2:39:33 PM
If GWBush goes to trial the first thing the defens... by Markageloo Breza on Sunday, Mar 8, 2009 at 1:01:36 PM
If the boat is sinking just having a nicer captain... by Markageloo Breza on Sunday, Mar 8, 2009 at 1:08:20 PM
Will the denial about the pro-war, corporate frien... by Michael Cavlan on Sunday, Mar 8, 2009 at 1:22:57 PM
if they stopped then what do they have to talk abo... by virginius "gin" arnold on Sunday, Mar 8, 2009 at 2:16:33 PM