“If this were a dictatorship, it’d be a heckofalot eaier…just so long as I’m the dictator…HAHAHAHA!”And, no, the people did not rise up and demand a recount after that. Bush had already LOST the 2000 election. He was appointed president by the five Republican members of the United States Supreme Court.
And no, the people did not rise up to reject that either. Which is just one reason Bush figured the stupid American people would be OK with a dictator.
Because, even though Bush laughed when he expressed his political system preference, nobody for a moment thought he was joking.
One of the dangers of a strong executive power in the American system of government has always been that this power will corrupt the democratic spirit of the government—and especially any president given so much power.
That is particularly true in a time of war, where dictatorial powers allowed to the president, are supposed to be balanced by limitations of those powers to the time it takes to deal with an emergency and the supposed check against Executive hubris represented by the Congress and the courts.
Nice idea in theory anyway. But, as the United States is now on a perpetual war footing, and with Congress having surrendered its checking responsibility on the most threatening parts of the imperial presidency, and with the key conditions now prevail in the USA that make the danger of the theory failing in practice much more of a concern.
Confirming what many on the right have accused him of for years now, Barack Obama is said to be so frustrated with Congressional inaction on pretty much anything he wants done, the President is prepared to bypass Congress and just rule by decree or executive order—like he was a king or dictator.
Politico, echoing other recent reports on this issue, says today that Obama simply doesn’t care any longer how he is perceived by people.
“The president is done caring about congressional Republicans calling him a dictator. Or calling him at all.”In March of this year, when he realized that the Sequester cuts, automatic spending cuts invoked because Congress is so broken it could not agree on spending cuts through compromise, the President addressed what he understood to be the American people’s frustration with Washington and with his own apparent impotence or unwillingness to lead:
“I am not a dictator. I’m the President…I know that this has been some of the conventional wisdom that's been floating around Washington that somehow, even though most people agree that I’m being reasonable, that most people agree I’m presenting a fair deal, the fact that they don't take it means that I should somehow do a Jedi mind-meld with these folks.”That was then.
Now, instead of wasting time with a mixed-metaphor coaxing of Congress, Obama is reported to be ready to try the Emperor Palpatine approach:
“In order to ensure our security and continuing stability, the Republic will be reorganized into the first Galactic Empire, for a safe and secure society which I assure you will last for ten thousand years.”After all, Obama isn’t running for reelection. He is already being referred to as a “lame duck”, meaning an officeholder who commands little attention or respect because his time in office is short—even though Obama has 3½ years to go in his presidency.
Basically, Barack Obama doesn’t have to care what people think of him or his actions any longer. He doesn’t have to worry about compromising with Republicans, who have shown little interest in governing by compromise legislation. Obama has provoked such opposition that, since early 2011, when the Republicans took over control of the House of Representatives, he has been unable to rely on Congress to help him govern the USA.
To compromise in the current situation, where the GOP has a their way or the highway view of things, would be to enable the Congressional Republicans to rule by effective fiat anyway. And indeed, the legislation that has been signed, or the effect of inaction on legislation that has impacted the nation, is, as Romney put it—severely conservative.
No working democracy can exist where neither side will talk to or even acknowledge the pertinent existence of the other.
One side or the other in an intractable struggle will have to seize and exercise power. And the President is in the best position to do that, since he is already the Executive officer in the USA. Further, the United States is still at war, and still acting as if it is at war.
So, the President has the authority under the Constitution to do what is necessary to protect the security and welfare (or the "security and continuing stability") of the nation and its people—no matter what Congress does or does not do about it.
However, that is precisely the basis that so many dictators have used to seize power and destroy democratic governments: dictatorship just works.