Imagine the gall of the executive branch, ignoring Congress and giving the detroit auto-makers even more cash than the lawmakers debated -- then turned down! Either Will is emerging as a world-class satirist, or he's absolutely clueless.
Where was Will, let alone his fellow Villagers, when Still PresNitWit Bush issued the 1,100 signing statements Will notes? Where was the outrage when Bush ignored treaty after treat, from the A.B.M to Geneva. Why does it make one whit of difference whether the President acts the part of imperial despot on the international arena or on purely domestic issues?
For decades, imperatives of wars hot and cold, and the sprawl of the regulatory state, have enlarged the executive branch at the expense of the legislative. For eight years, the Bush administration's "presidentialists" have aggressively wielded the concept of the "unitary executive" -- the theory that where the Constitution vests power in the executive, especially power over foreign affairs and war, the president is immune to legislative abridgements of his autonomy.
The administration has not, however, confined its aggrandizement of executive power to national security matters. According to former representative Mickey Edwards in his book "Reclaiming Conservatism," the president has issued "signing statements" designating 1,100 provisions of new laws -- more designations than have been made by all prior presidents combined -- that he did not consider binding on him or any other executive branch official.
Still, most of the administration's executive truculence has pertained to national security, where the case for broad prerogatives, although not as powerful as the administration supposes, is at least arguable. With the automakers, however, executive branch overreaching now extends to the essence of domestic policy -- spending -- and traduces a core constitutional principle, the separation of powers.
GeeZuz George, these guys have been ignoring the Constitution from day one.
And why, suddenly, after the Fourth Estate either sat blithely by as Vice President Cheney proclaimed himself "FourthBranch," or led the cheering for an illegal war, shrugged it's collective shoulders over domestic spying and approvingly kept that under wraps until after the criminals were safely reelected, tut-tutted torture, disapprovingly sighed over corruption permeating the government, and witnessed an American city drown -- why now should they be shocked that President Bush does whateverthehell he wants?
Now that Bush decided to prevent a second city from drowning, this time under debt and a crumbling manufacturing base, George Will is drawing a line in the sand. Feh! I don't recall the outraged OpEds will could have wrote demonizing Nancy Pelosi for taking impeachment "off the table." Where did I put that editorial he wrote calling for a War Crimes trial of Rumsfeld? I'm certain Will must have written something, somewhere, calling Bush, Cheney, Condi and Colin Powell a disgrace for their consistently inept and petulant foreign policy.
Did Will note the transformation of the Department of Labor into the Department of Union Busting? If his line is the domestic/foreign policy divide, why doesn't Will call for an indictment against Gonzales and John Yoo for approving the extension of wiretapping to ALL American citizens.
How on earth is this all Congress's fault, yet members of Will's private club -- the above-it-all punditocracy -- get a pass? Maybe Will has decided to become a vertebrate for a while himself, at least so long as a Democrat lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.