Clinton and Executive Power
Hillary Clinton said she give up some expanded executive powers:
If elected president in 2008, Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton would consider giving up some of the executive powers President Bush and Vice President Cheney have assumed since taking office.
In an interview published Tuesday in Guardian America, a Web site run by the London-based Guardian newspaper, Clinton denounced the Bush Administration’s push to concentrate more power in the White House as a “power grab” not supported by the Constitution.
Asked if she would consider giving up some of those powers if she were president, Clinton replied, “Oh, absolutely … I mean, that has to be part of the review that I undertake when I get to the White House, and I intend to do that.”
“There were a lot of actions which they took that were clearly beyond any power the Congress would have granted, or that in my view was inherent in the Constitution,” Clinton said. “There were other actions they’ve taken which could have obtained Congressional authorization but they deliberately chose not to pursue it as a matter of principle.”
My initial thoughts when I first saw this article were…since when did Hillary Clinton start caring about Constitutional limitations on government? The answer to that is….she doesn’t. And, if Congress approves some action that is constitutionally questionable, like sneak-and-peek or the NSA wiretapping program, does that justify it? The answer to that is…no. There is a process to amend the Constitution. Legislative action without the required Constitutional changes should be scrapped by the Supreme Court, especially one that claims to follow an “originalist” philosophy. But when a court uses the judiciary without textural support to justify the position of the executive branch, which is just as much a case of judicial activism as any liberal judge undercutting those “family values” that I can’t seem to find anywhere in the Constitution, conservatives seem to be perfectly fine with that.
I’ve already posted this article, but Radley Balko makes the case that Hillary Clinton will continue the same course that Bush has taken with regard to expanded executive powers, and argues that she will continue to seek expansion
:What about secrecy and executive power? It’s difficult to see Hillary Clinton voluntarily handing back all of those extra-constitutional executive powers claimed by President Bush. Her husband’s administration, for example, copiously invoked dubious “executive privilege” claims to keep from complying with congressional subpoenas and open records requests—claims the left now (correctly, in my view) regularly criticizes the Bush administration for invoking.
Hillary Clinton herself went to court to keep meetings of her Health Care Task Force secret from the public, something conservatives were quick to point out when leftists criticize Vice President Cheney’s similar efforts to keep meetings of his Energy Task Force secret.
“I’m a strong believer in executive authority,” Clinton said in a 2003 speech, recently quoted in The New Republic. “I wish that, when my husband was president, people in Congress had been more willing to recognize presidential authority.”
That jibes with a February 2007 New York Times article on Clinton explaining her refusal to back down from her vote for the Iraq war: “Mrs. Clinton’s belief in executive power and authority is another factor weighing against an apology, advisers said… she believes that a president usually deserves the benefit of the doubt from Congress on matters of executive authority.”
Such is why President Bush has recently had some nice things to say about Hillary Clinton, leading some to speculate that Bush sees her as the Eisenhower to his Truman—a candidate from the opposing party who criticizes his foreign policy during the campaign, but will likely pursue a very similar policy should she be elected.
Clinton is just more of the same…you’d think hawkish conservatives would love her as much as they love Rudy Giuliani.