Restrain the next President
February 13, 2007
The Democratic presidential candidates should present a plan for working with Congress to restrain the powers of the President. The current administration has stretched the meaning of a few phrases in the Constitution to grant despotic powers to the Commander in Chief. The next President and Congress should pass much tougher laws to strengthen the War Powers Act, to limit the President’s ability to operate in secret, to grant immediate access to documents in the Justice Department, etc. If the executive feels something is unconstitutional, there should be a process to immediately get a hearing by the Supreme Court to work it out. The candidates should be asked what lessons they’ve learned about unchecked executive power. They should be asked what powers they will yield to congressional and judicial oversight. It doesn’t matter how they voted on Iraq, they all realize it’s a mess over there. The more important question is how can we restrain the next President so this never happens again. We cannot allow another despot to gain complete control over our government and run it into the ground.