Sunday, November 9, 2008

apres le honeymoon, le deluge

I honestly want to keep hope alive, be the change I wish to see, and all those platitudes. Really I do. I cannot pretend, though, to feel confident knowing that the constitutional law professor I helped get elected might just be more of the same, perhaps cloaked in blue as opposed to red. (Interesting to find this on the AP on the same day my Sunday New York Times magazine features a cover story on whether or not Obama will roll back Dubya's executive power-plays.)

I guarantee someone will argue that without executive orders we wouldn't have the Emancipation Proclamation or the WPA. (We also wouldn't have had those pesky internment camps during World War II, but who's really counting?) My issue? There is no real constitutional basis for executive orders. Call me crazy (or call me Ron Paul), but I thought the Constitution was, like, the law of our land; a document which organizes our branches of government and specifically states the scope (and limitations) of all three branches. I also thought that if we the people (including the President) felt hemmed-in by the law of the land, we have a means to amend our Constitution. I don't like the idea of one person having sweeping, broad power over the government, even if I agree with him on most things. I was hoping for change, remember?

(For shits and giggles: the Wikipedia page on U.S. executive orders. Please note the length of Dubya's list in relation to the entire list.)

1 comment:

JJisafool said...

Anna, I can understand your hesitance. Executive orders are very much centralized power, which is why Bush so loved them.

But, the sense I got from the linked article is that Obama is mainly looking at Bush-admin executive orders to overturn, to reset from the policy agenda Bush set. I hope I'm right, because I agree that it disturbing to have centralized power used even when it is in shared interests.