The Spectacle Blog

Gene Healy on the Imperial Presidency

By on 6.2.11 | 11:46AM

Gene Healy thinks that there are few checks on the president's power left: 

Abroad, Obama claims the power to start wars at will; scoop up your email and phone records without answering to a judge; assassinate you via drone strike far from any battlefield, and -- should your relatives complain -- keep the whole thing secret in the name of national security.

At home, Obama has summarily fired the CEO of General Motors, America's largest automaker; flouted bankruptcy law to shaft Chrysler's creditors and pay off his union allies; pressured half-nationalized car companies to produce pokey little electric cars, had his National Labor Relations Board assert veto power over a private company's decision to move a factory to a "right to work" state; and, via imperial edict, began restructuring the industrial economy by imposing restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions despite Congress' refusal to pass cap-and-trade legislation.

Pretty impressive for a guy who 10 years ago was an unpublished law professor and obscure part-time state senator from Illinois.

And the idea of the president as "commander in chief of the economy" is pretty chilling

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