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
The Strategic Nightmare That Follows the “Forever War”
One of these days, the “forever war” between Russia and Ukraine will be over, and the serious challenge of dealing with the strategic triangularity of the United States, Russia, and China will begin. The Biden administration has complicated this task by pursuing a strategy of “dual containment,” believing that the United States can “contain” both Russia and China. Unlike the Soviet Union of the Cold War era, China cannot be “contained.” It is a global economic and political power as well as a formidable military power in the Indo-Pacific region.
When Difi Took on the CIA Over Torture
Very few senators have been willing to tackle the excesses within the intelligence community, but Senator Dianne Feinstein (D/CA) has been a heroic exception to that rule. Liberals and civic libertarians were a major part of Barack Obama’s constituency when he ran for president in 2008, and they had a right to expect his administration to investigate the CIA’s program of torture and abuse.