Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Pelosi as a shadow president

Ric Caric has a good post about the constitutional crisis brewing in the background of the Iraq war funding fight:
[Pelosi] is seeking to displace the Bush administration as the primary center of leadership in this country and substitute herself for President Bush as the main spokesperson and symbol of the American people. It's a dangerous but necessary gambit. Because of their arrogance and incompetence, the Bush administration has forfeited the confidence of the American public. Not only did the Republican lose their majorities in Congress, but polls show that large majorities disapprove of Bush's conduct of the Iraq War, favor efforts to limit presidential discretion in handling troops, and support deadlines for withdrawing the bulk of American troops from Iraq. Faced with the loss of public support in the 2006 elections, the Bush administration responded by adapting a "surge" policy that was even more unwelcome to the American public than previous war strategies. It's not quite "Bush to America: Drop Dead!" But it's close.
Bush and Cheney have embraced a top-down authoritarian model of the U.S. presidency. "Serving at the president's pleasure" has become a mantra repeated endlessly by politicians, pundits and reporters alike, while phrases like "advice and consent" and "Congressional oversight" have been largely forgotten.

While the Republicans controlled the Congress, they embraced this model and were eager partners in the attempt to castrate themselves.

Pelosi and Reid are now waging a frontal assault on the unitary executive.

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