Politico is reporting that Democrat Senator Robert Byrd, the eldest member of the Senate, is accusing Democrat President Obama of strengthening the executive branch, to the dismay of the legislative branch.
Byrd writes to Obama:
The rapid and easy accumulation of power by White House staff can threaten the Constitutional system of checks and balances. At the worst, White House staff have taken direction and control of programmatic areas that are the statutory responsibility of Senate-confirmed officials… As presidential assistants and advisers, these White House staffers are not accountable for their actions to the Congress, to cabinet officials, and to virtually anyone but the president. They rarely testify before congressional committees, and often shield the information and decision-making process behind the assertion of executive privilege. In too many instances, White House staff have been allowed to inhibit openness and transparency, and reduce accountability.
The irony of this letter is great because during the campaign, Obama promised a transparent government that would be accountable to the American people. Now here he is appointing all these czars that will directly report to him, taking power away from Congress. He doesn’t need to have his officials being confirmed by the Senate, he can just appoint them as a czar. But where are the screams of separation of powers clause that attacked President Bush during his terms? How about Obama trampling all over the Constitution in order to attain power and control of our country. There’s the beginnings of a dictatorship if I ever saw one.
Obama’s own words during the campaign:
I also reject the view, suggested in memoranda by the Department of Justice, that the President may do whatever he deems necessary to protect national security…We need to restore the balance between the necessarily secret and the necessity of openness in our democracy
It is worrying to read that Obama “rejects the view that the President may do whatever he deems necessary to protect national security”, because while willing to sacrifice the powers of the executive branch in regards to protecting us, he is for the view of expanding the executive powers to increase government’s size and scope. In terms of “openness”, who are these czars accountable to? The minute word leaks that these czars are monitoring more waste and corruption, Congress will call for hearings, that’s when we regain a majority in ’10, and Obama will gladly retort back to President Bush’s precedent of executive privilege, which he bashed, to protect his big government “solutions”.