Friday, November 7, 2008

Obama and The Catch22

drawings by marguerita
Barack Obama set the tone for his presidency yesterday in his first public appearance since being elected when he displayed authority, humour and panache seldom evident in George Bush.
Puppies and economy fill Barack Obama's first day | World news | The Guardian

“Ambition must be made to counteract ambition,” James Madison wrote, meaning that America’s divided system of government would depend on both the president and Congress forcefully pursuing their respective roles — and in so doing, acting as a natural check on each other.
Why did that fail to happen during the Bush years, and will a new president and newly elected Congress act to undo the excesses of presidential power over the past eight years?
The assertion and expansion of presidential power is arguably the defining feature of the Bush years.
Come January, the current administration will pass on to its successor a vast infrastructure for electronic surveillance, secret sites for detention and interrogation and a sheaf of legal opinions empowering the executive to do whatever he feels necessary to protect the country. The new administration will also be the beneficiary of Congress’s recent history of complacency, which amounts to a tacit acceptance of the Bush administration’s expansive views of executive authority.
Magazine Preview - After the Imperial Presidency -


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