The presidency has more power now than ever. Will they ever have a reason to give it up or is this the beginning of the end for constitutional checks and balances?
“The war, therefore, if we judge it by the standards of previous wars, is merely an imposture. It is like the battles between certain ruminant animals whose horns are set at such an angle that they are incapable of hurting one another. But though it is unreal it is not meaningless. It eats up the surplus of consumable goods, and it helps preserve the special mental atmosphere that a hierarchical society needs.”
–The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism
by Emmanuel Goldstein
Seems to me that your thread title is asking one question, and your post another.
Will there be a reason for the Presidency to relinquish the power it has accreted over the last thirty years or so? IMHO, yes–Congress will force it to, and the Supreme Court will back it up.
It might take a while, but eventually it will be too hard to ignore, and the system will correct itself. Of course, the longer it takes, I suspect the more reactionary the response will be, and it’s entirely possibly it’ll go too far in the other direction, effectively neutering the Presidency. But that, too, will work out in time.
It may sound optimistic, but it’s happened in the past, and it’ll happen again. And I think it’ll happen well before citizens start marching en masse.
I believe that the “War on Terror” itself won’t ever be truly ended, it will just sort of fade in and out depending on whether or not the president thinks he’d score points with his constitutents in using it, or they believe they have reason to attack a country. The rhetoric’s power will diminish exponentially after each attack on a Western country, or any issue in the world involving terrorism that becomes too large to ignore.
The powers will also fade out. The court, the voters, congress will eventually start slipping them away as laws fade out or approach their deadlines. I have yet to see a reason that the President will continue with them indefinately.
Last I heard, Dubya’s been getting a huge popularity boom. So he’s just going to keep doing what he’s doing until that boom goes away… and then he’ll say, “Yup, we got 'em. Now let’s all go home and return to normalcy.”
Oh, make that a prediction… sometime, before the next election, Bush will use that phrase… “Return to normalcy”. I’ll even put money on it.
—Will there be a reason for the Presidency to relinquish the power it has accreted over the last thirty years or so? IMHO, yes–Congress will force it to, and the Supreme Court will back it up.—
I don’t think this holds up to reality very well: wouldn’t you say that there have been many waves of growths in government power that have never fully receded? The office of the President has gained powers over the last century that have not gone away: an incredible array of powerful new agencies, all protected by high walls of secrecy.
Fortunately, you’ve got the second amendment as your safeguard.
Bryan Ekers, you could also say that the Branch Davidians, for example, had the 2nd amendment as a safeguard. In the end, though, the gubmint always brings in more & bigger guns.
In other words, please don’t shoot back at the cops – they’ve had more practice.
OP: Will it ever be in the presidents interest to end the war on terror?
Not this president. Right now he’s appealing to the most visceral reactions of people to garner the popularity he could never have by appealing to reason. It’s called demagoguery, the “leadership style” of people who have more guile than brains. As to andros’ comment that Congress and the Supreme court would make the President relinquish power, I’m skeptical, since the Congress feeds on the same emotions and prejudices the demagogue relies upon to gain that power, and the Supreme Court is already sympathetic to this President, to say the least.
Oh, and SPOOFE, look for GWB to use the term “abnormalcy” at least once before he says the line you expect.
I must applaud an outstandingly worded subject title.
The answer is NO. Being at war is a huge psychological club for the president to enforce solidarity within the government. And the “war” is so ill-defined it can go on forever. First, the Taliban; next, Al Queda; next, Hamas; next, the IRA; next, Basque separatists; next, the Shining Path; next, the Posse Comitatis(sp?); ad infinitum. And let’s not forget any goverment who won’t turn over the people on our suspect lists.
No. It’s not in his interest to end the war on terror, that is not until the end of his second term, then he can finish it up, write “dubya was here” and go down in the history books as the guy who saved the world.
Or he just might start WWIII.
Well, what would be the ‘exit strategy’ for the War on Terror? What are the criteria for victory? If that criteria includes an end to all organized, politically motivated violence in the world, then the war will never end.
It’s not really a “war” in the traditional sense. It’s more of framework for political and military action. Much in the same way the Cold War was.
They have a reason to give it up every 4 years. It is up to the people to decide.
Quotes from Orwell:
While very clever, do nothing but oversimplyfy complex and very real issues.
It can be in the president’s interest to “end” the war (or at least declare it won somehow), but only if it is done before the people demand it. He can only demand that the people abandon “normalcy” for a temporary period, and, if he is not responsive, he risks getting voted out. The only risk to the nation and our civil rights long-term is from an apathetic, alienated populace - and that is what worries me.
Given the impossiblity of stamping out all terrorists, and also given that it’s not like recruiting is hard for them these days, it would seem like never - but there is a time limit.
The war on terrorism is yet another policy shtick, like the war on drugs and the war on poverty. The latter two have lost their power over time, but Bush can trot out terrorism anytime he wants and connect it to anything he desires - for now.
Until there is a major terrorist success, each time he uses the words, they lose power. Eventually, the majority of the public and Congress will realize nothing much has happened since 9/11. I can see the process even now.
The U.S. military tends to atrophy between large conflicts for the same reason. Everyone figured WWI was the last big one, for example.
It would be in the President’s electoral interest for mainland America to be attacked right about now.