Posted: 5/20/2002 9:53:11 PM EDT
"Bush kicks ass!" Ya well now, if he has his way it will be your ass that gets kicked.
Bush out to beef up presidency
Critics claim office is more potent now than at any time in recent history.
By Bill Straub / Scripps Howard News Service
WASHINGTON -- It's not a bad job considering it comes with a rent-free mansion and door-to-door limousine service, but President Bush maintains that the position he holds as the leader of the free world should come with an additional perk -- power.
Bush says the inherent powers of the presidency have eroded to an unsettling degree over the past 30 years and he is moving to reclaim the lost prerogatives of the nation's highest office. He has drawn a distinct line that he has suggested no one dare cross.
"I have an obligation to make sure that the presidency remains robust and that the legislative branch doesn't end up running the executive branch," Bush said.
Ari Fleischer, the president's press secretary, said presidential powers have been diminished "in multiple ways" as part of a "long-standing, gradual process." The president has little say in how the nation's budget is devised and constraints exist over how he uses the military.
Congress also has placed restrictions on the president in military matters with the War Powers Resolution of 1973, Fleischer said. And the spate of congressional investigations into administration activities, particularly during the Clinton era, which involved "the sharing, the yielding of information by the executive branch to the Congress," has tended to weaken the office.
Critics counter that the administration's effort is nothing more than a thinly veiled power grab and that the office of the president is more potent now than at any time in recent memory. [b]Bruce Fein, a former Justice Department official who worked in several Republican administrations, said the United States "has never had a more imperial presidency, at least since (President Franklin D.) Roosevelt during his conduct of World War II."
"What the president is claiming is legally and historically absurd and politically stupid," Fein said.[/b]
Mark Racicot, appointed by Bush to be chairman of the Republican National Committee, said the time has come for the president to reclaim lost authority because "the ability of the president to carry on communications and get unvarnished advice has eroded over a period of time."
Fein said that while it's appropriate to cite national security at times, it's ridiculous to claim that anyone will be inhibited by his or her communications with the president if the information is made public.
"He (Bush) hasn't pointed to a single case," Fein said. "I've been around this town a long time, almost 30 years, and I've never encountered one individual who told me he's not going to the Oval Office unless he's promised confidentiality. It's the biggest hoax in the world. Why he's making up all this stuff is utterly and completely baffling."
Any other liberals want to chirp in? DScott? kentstate4? [:D]