Posted on | March 24, 2011 | 10 Comments
Eric Posner at Volokh presents the challenge, emphasis mine:
Today, originalists—or at least those who enjoy influence such as judges—occupy themselves with the Bill of Rights, and, with the exception of the second amendment, the whole tenor of the movement has been oriented toward eliminating the various civil-liberty related rights manufactured during the last half century. Another group of people—not all of them originalists—want to dismantle New Deal regulatory institutions but this effort has utterly failed.
There is no constituency for reforming the executive. That is a simple political fact about the United States, and therefore no one with real influence is willing to follow the necessary implications of originalism for executive power. Why not? Because Americans want a strong president. They want a strong president to defend the United States from terrorists, to deliver humanitarian interventions, to respond to natural disasters like Katrina, to resolve financial crises, to combat climate change, to fix the deficit. The call for leadership by a strong executive in response to the crisis du jour is reflexive. When a crisis strikes, and the government does not respond adequately, everyone complains that the president has failed to display leadership. This type of response is so reflexive that it is applied even to events that occur outside the United States. Thus, a few days ago the New York Times attributed Japan’s travails to “the absence of a strong leader capable of rallying the nation.” Everyone understands the theoretical risks of a powerful executive—that was the now completely forgotten theme of the Bush administration—but, as a matter of mainstream thinking at least, those risks are worth taking.
This is precisely why no one should be surprised that Obama==Bush. Obama may want to be something different, but the Oval Office succubus could suck a bus.
And this is why I’m no raging Sarah Palin fanboi: there isn’t much indication she’d be any different than the previous two. And the more her fanbase moves in the fanatic Paulestinian direction, the more the Left will laugh, knowing that their Alinsky effort to over-personalize the Presidency is winning.
Keep increasing the involvement, Americans. We can realize the Founder’s dream of an informed electorate if we continue to expound on the ideas that
(1) the State is not God, and
(2) rock star politicians are not the answer.
Keeping those two ideas in mind, executive reform may be possible in an election cycle or two.