Monday, January 09, 2006

What does the Constitution say about an American king?

Unrewritten history: Goerge Washington could have assumed the role of King of America, and turned it down. That's a true fact. He later, however, did accept the job of President.

The Republican party, the party of original intent, is letting George Bush expand his presidential power in direct opposition to the intent of the framers of the Constitution.

For better or worse, though, this is not the system envisioned by the framers of the Constitution. The framers meant for the legislative branch to be the most important actor in the federal government: Congress was to make the laws and the president was empowered only to execute them. The very essence of a republic was that it would be governed through a deliberative legislature, composed carefully to reflect both popular will and elite limits on that will. The framers would no sooner have been governed by a democratically elected president than by a king who got his job through royal succession.

For the last four years, a Republican Congress has done almost nothing to rein in the expansion of presidential power. This abdication of responsibility has been even more remarkable than the president's assumption of new powers.



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