House Speaker John Boehner plans to sue President Obama over perceived abuses of the separation of powers. Over at the Daily Caller, I argue that Boehner has a point that the executive branch has grown too powerful. But the problem can’t be solved by a mere court case:
But suppose the lawsuit succeeds. It still wouldn’t solve the fundamental problem driving the growth of executive power. As Cato Institute presidential scholar Gene Healy put it, “If the Obama presidency has driven Americans mad, perhaps that’s because we’ve embraced a demented notion of the presidency itself,” one Healy describes as some mixture of Superman, Santa Claus, and Dr. Phil. When it comes to the presidency, we have met the enemy, and it is us.
When George W. Bush promised, without irony, to “rid the world of evil,” people believed him. With his post-9/11 approval ratings reaching the upper 80-percent range, Congress granted Bush expanded powers through the USA PATRIOT Act and other measures. The result was not the end of evil; it was the TSA, warrantless NSA surveillance, and host of other civil liberties abuses.
President Obama has not improved the situation; read the whole thing here. Also check out Gene Healy’s excellent 2008 book Cult of the Presidency, and its short e-book sequel, False Idol, both of which I could not recommend more highly.