Barack Obama National Security Politics The Bush Legacy The Opinionsphere The War on Terrorism

“Nobody’s going to wage a tough political battle to give up power.”

Yglesias makes a good point about the odd dynamic Republicans are creating on the national security front:

Part of why it’s so problematic for congressional Republicans to be so busy attacking the Obama administration as too hesitant to torture people and so forth is that the natural order of checks and balances is totally turned on its head when the opposition is urging the executive to seize more power and become less transparent. Nobody’s going to wage a tough political battle to give up power.

I’ve stated before that I believe it is primarily the job of the Courts and legislature – and even of individual citizens to the extent they are able – to provide a check on the Executive branch – as not only can one not expect a president to give up power – but for him to do so unilaterly serves to strengthen the power of the executive in the future. If the Courts or the Congress forces him or her to give up power, then the system of checks and balances is working – and the executive is seen to be subject to them in the future.

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