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Pretty impressive for a guy who 10 years ago was an unpublished law professor and obscure part-time state senator from Illinois.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

Send to Kindle

Like this Article

Print this Article

Print Article