I think that Daniel Henninger’s Wall Street Journal column on the president’s “creeping authoritarianism” is overwrought:
Every president since George Washington has felt frustration with the American system’s impediments to change. This president is done with Congress.
The political left, historically inclined by ideological belief to public policy that is imposed rather than legislated, will support Mr. Obama’s expansion of authority. The rest of us should not.
The U.S. has a system of checks and balances. Mr. Obama is rebalancing the system toward a national-leader model that is alien to the American tradition.
In my view President Obama suffers more than his predecessors have from a distinctively oppositionist Congress. However, I don’t think his problems stop there. I think that this president more than others of my memory really doesn’t like to be second-guessed. My impression is that he thinks that Congress should take his ideas, flesh them out, and enact them into legislation. Our government has never worked that way so why not now?
I also think that President Obama doesn’t have much interest in or patience with the mechanics of getting legislation passed.
However, even without “creeping authoritarianism” there’s a lot the president can do that would be well within his constitutional powers and neatly within the practices of prior presidents. The Pentagon would be a very good place to start.