Episode XCVII of The American Political Melodrama: Krauthammer, Obama and The War Powers Resolution


I’m just catching up on my regular reading of the political columns and here is another gem of Conservative thought from Mr. Charles Krauthammer, thoroughly scolding President Obama for his bad behavior regarding The War Powers Resolution. I read this yesterday and decided to let it percolate a bit, before rereading it and then attempting to comment.

Being Commander in Chief is a rather heady business leading to a very well defined hubris and Mr. Obama is not averse to that temptation, in fact, he is right in line with his predecessor and his intellectual theorist John Yoo and his opportunistic positing of the ‘Unitary Executive’. The Right is in a dither, here, exemplified by Mr. Krauthammer about a serious constitutional issue, yet they hardly mentioned it when their party held the Presidency and he committed the same offence more than once. That is just stating the glaringly obvious, but when used as part of a cumulative indictment of the Constitutional Usurper Obama, the Socialist Obama and his various politically exploitable incarnations, it could have the crudest kind of political resonance; for crude political resonances is what the Republican Party has been about since the turn of the century. Should we attribute this very reasonably sounding column by Mr. Krauthammer, although larded with his usual attempts at telling sarcasm, which simply fall flat, to a victory of reason over political passion? The issue seems quite simply to be that some impediments in the communications between the Executive and Legislative branches of the government exist as a matter of practice and even of policy, related in part to the very concept of Commander in Chief: a military designation that reeks of authoritarianism, and does not express any tolerance for the republican practice of power sharing and divided responsibility.  Not even to speak of the ‘Imperial Presidency’ as an evolving problem, exacerbated by the very concept of the ‘Unitary Executive’, as political rationalization for tyranny, for authoritarian rule within the frame of a politically superseded Constitutionalism.        

Political Observer

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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