Friday, August 5, 2011

Combatting the Imperial Presidency

Tom Hayden has an important piece about Congressional demands for an honest U.S. withdrawal of forces from Iraq. Whatever the U.S. invasion of Iraq may mean, Americans need to remember at least one core lesson: it is a classic example of the failure of the Imperial Presidency. The war was all White House: no public debate, no loyal opposition (which caved), and certainly no honest presentation of justification; in sum, a non-demcratic war. When war, and this was the second most expensive war in U.S. history according to Stiglitz, is planned, declared, and run by imperial rather than democratic means, democracy no longer has much meaning. It is wonderfully reassuring that a decade later, nearly 100 Congressmen finally realize that Congress should have been part of the decision-making process. So, of course, should you, dear citizen.

Question: Is the Imperial Presidency one of the institutions whose orderly failure needs to be designed?

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