Sunday, December 15

NY Times writer: "We need to give more power to the president!"

Unless you're a political junkie you may not know much about a NY Times columnist named David Brooks.  A decade or so ago Brooks was employed by one of the conservative magazines, but gradually drifted over to the liberal camp.

This week Brooks brought his skills and insight to bear on our current problems--and he's got a solution:

He thinks we need to give the president more power.

No, really.  He's serious.
This is a good moment to advocate greater executive branch power, because we’ve just seen a monumental example of executive branch incompetence: the botched Obamacare rollout. It’s important to advocate greater executive branch power in a chastened mood. It’s not that the executive branch is trustworthy; it’s just that we’re better off when the presidency is strong than we are when the rentier groups are strong, or when Congress, which is now completely captured by the rentier groups, is strong.
One rarely sees so much utter bullshit in a single paragraph:  Brooks claims this is a good time to push for giving more power to the president *because* of the huge example of executive incompetence shown in the launch of Obamacare?  What bizarre reasoning!

He claims "we're better off when the presidency is strong than we are...when congress...is strong."  This is...interesting.  And when did he come to this conclusion?  Certainly not back when a Republican held the office.  But now...now is different, you see.  Apparently because Obama.  Do go on, David:
Here are the advantages [of a more powerful presidency]. First, it's possible to mobilize the executive branch to come to policy conclusions on something like immigration reform. It’s nearly impossible for Congress to lead us to a conclusion about anything. 
So the first claimed advantage is that "it's possible to mobilize the executive branch"--from the context one deduces he means "get it to move quickly," and one can see why he wanted the camouflage--"to come to policy conclusions on something like immigration reform."  By contrast, he claims it's almost impossible for congress--the branch authorized by the Constitution to actually *make* laws--to "lead us to a conclusion about anything."

But of course it's not actually "conclusions" Brooks seeks, but rather decrees, replacing the slow and often messy process of debating and crafting laws with much faster executive actions.  Why take the time to let congress do it when a decision by the president would be so much faster?

I'll say it here:  Brooks should be taken out and shot tomorrow at dawn. 

See how much faster and easier that was than going through a long, messy trial for treason?  What?  You say this is an outrage, David?  A violation of your Constitutional rights?  But dude, you just threw out the Constitution when you urged giving the president the power to "reach conclusions"--i.e. make laws.  If you can do that, what's left to prevent others from doing it too?

Brooks goes on to claim that
executive branch officials, if they were liberated from rigid Congressional strictures, would have more discretion to respond to their screw-ups, like the Obamacare implementation. 
Ah yes, that's what we need:  More "discretion"--clearly meaning more power--for officials of the executive branch to "respond to their screw-ups."  How are they prevented from doing that *now*?  What "rigid congressional strictures" does Brooks think are the problem here?  Let me guess:  That whole "oversight" business, in which congress has the power to investigate screwups by the president's people?  Can't imagine how that's a problem, since congress has never thrown a single one of the corrupt, lying, incompetent bastards in jail.

I'm really stunned that any rational adult could write such a piece as the one penned by Brooks.  Oh, and for those who may have worried that a much more powerful president would necessarily mean a more powerful, less responsive, more abusive federal government, Brooks has this reassurance:
We don’t need bigger government. We need more unified authority.
"More unified authority."  Consider the workings of a mind that could push for an all-powerful leadership post--one that could make laws by decree, as Obama has done--and then rationalize this ghastly destruction of the Constitution by saying "we need more unified authority."

We have met the enemy, and he is David Brooks.

Update:  Thanks to the internet everyone can see when corrupt assholes like Brooks talk out of both sides of their mouth.  Here he is last February 8th on a PBS show:
We should never trust concentrated power. That is not what the country is based on. It’s based on checks and balances.
So what changed between then and now to prompt his 180-degree change of position?  

Of course the source of that quote is a biased organization known to slant every story it runs to favor one political party, so you should probably do your own fact-checking.  It's from PBS's website.

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