The President Doesn’t Follow the Law
The President is regularly taking advantage of our preoccupation with the pandemic to weaken and even gut our democracy. There have been three major anti-democratic steps in the past few weeks, beginning with the removal of the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, Michael Atkinson, without cause, which federal law requires. On April 13, the President claimed that he had “total authority” over 50 U.S. governors to open up the U.S. economy, although he backed away from that empty threat within 24 hours. Nevertheless, it demonstrated his lack of adherence to the Constitution, the rule of law, and the separation of powers. Most recently, the President threatened an action that has no precedent in U.S. history, forcing Congress to adjourn to allow him to make numerous recess appointments to various positions.
Official Positions are Unfilled
There are already too many officials in an acting capacity, which circumvents the advice and consent clause of the Constitution. Many key positions are unoccupied because the current administration hasn’t nominated anyone, which points to the inability of the administration to even function on a basic level. Both Republican and Democratic legislators are resisting the President’s efforts to shut down Congress.
Skirting the Rule of Law
These actions demonstrate the President’s lack of adherence to the rule of law. They have the marks of abuse of power, which threaten to gut the oversight and accountability roles of the legislative branch of government. We shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that some of the most threatening authoritarians were initially elected by the people; and not guilty of seizing power. Think Hitler; think Erdogan; think Duterte.
We must speak out against the President’s actions which threaten our Democracy. As the masthead of the Washington Post proclaims: “Democracy Dies in Darkness.”
Recent News and Latest Book
Meet Our New “Secretary Of State”…Nancy Pelosi
In any event, Pelosi’s travel to the world’s worst trouble spots creates significant confusion regarding official U.S. policies and politics. In flexing the flabby diplomatic muscles of the U.S. Congress, Pelosi is engaging the international community without any obvious coordination with the White House or the Department of State. The notion that anyone from the House of Representatives could have an impact on U.S. foreign policy or diplomacy is particularly ludicrous. Unfortunately, her trips seemingly amount to a last hurrah.
The Dangerous Civilian-Military Chasm In America
One of the greatest weaknesses of presidential leadership over the past 60 years has been the lack of presidential experience in the military and the inability to control the military. Several weeks before his seminal Farewell Address, President Dwight D. Eisenhower told his senior advisers in the White House, “God help this country when someone sits in this chair who doesn’t know the military as well as I do.” His successors have been deferential to the military and too many of them have used military force to bolster their credentials. This has been a major factor in the expanded power of the military establishment.