The latest issue of Hillsdale College’s Imprimis features former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey’s assessment of the Obama administration’s approach to the fight against Islamism.
President Obama campaigned for office largely on the claim that his predecessor had shredded the Constitution. By the Constitution, he could not have meant the document signed on September 17, 1787. Article II of that document begins with a simple declaration: “The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.” Not “some” or “most” or even “all but a teeny-weeny bit” of the executive power. The President is vested with all of it. This is particularly noteworthy when compared with the enumerated legislative powers vested in Congress: “All legislative Powers herein granted.” The Founders understood, based in part on their unfortunate experience under the Articles of Confederation, that the branch of government most likely to be in need of the ability to act quickly and decisively is the executive. The branch most likely to overreach is the legislature.
The conversation reminds this commentator of an observation from former Bush anti-terrorism official Juan Zarate during an interview with Carolina Journal Radio/CarolinaJournal.tv.