Arlen Specter on "The Need to Roll Back Presidential Power Grabs"

Are you a Specter-hater, newly or oldly? Well read this, and tell me what you think. The new Democrat's lede:

In the seven and a half years since September 11, the United States has witnessed one of the greatest expansions of executive authority in its history, at the expense of the constitutionally mandated separation of powers. President Obama, as only the third sitting senator to be elected president in American history, and the first since John F. Kennedy, may be more likely to respect the separation of powers than President Bush was. But rather than put my faith in any president to restrain the executive branch, I intend to take several concrete steps, which I hope the new president will support.

Link via Secrecy News. Reason's executive-power topic page is here.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    "President Obama, as only the third sitting senator to be elected president in American history, and the first since John F. Kennedy, may be more likely to respect the separation of powers than President Bush was."

    Comedy gold. Pure comdedy gold.

  • hmm||

    I'd trust the cat to sit and rollover before I trusted any president to give up power.

    He's probably planning world domination as I type this. The cat that is. Cute lil' kittah.

  • Kyle Jordan||

    +1 John

  • Naga Sadow||

    Well the Constitution is very clear that the President has vague discretionary powers to do as he pleases as long as he doesn't piss off Congress. He's a god-emperor of sorts. As long as he doesn't try to assault the Hot Gates in a bid to destroy Athens and subjugate all of Greece then he doesn't have to worry about anyone challenging his powers.

  • Untermensch||

    Hmm. He is, for the most part, playing with window dressing, but it's more than some are willing to do. The only one with anything to it really is the one on signing statements. But even that is only useful in cases where the executive simply flouts the law via signing statements. It doesn't impact those cases where there is a conflict of interpretation and the executive wins or where the legislative branch rolls over and plays dead.

  • ||

    He voted for TARP and the Stimulus. If you aren't willing to defund the President, then you aren't willing to castrate the Presidential powers.

    Blue or Red - Arlen is full of shit.

  • Xeones||

    I intend to take several concrete steps

    Please tell me this means "concrete shoes," Senator, and that those steps will be toward the deepest part of the Potomac.

    What's amazing is the level of self-delusion on display here. Specter really believes that he believes this, and further, believes that everyone else will believe it too.

  • ||

    Are you a Specter-hater,

    Who isn't?

  • ||

    Oh, and I have to say I laughed and laughed when the Dems fucked him, and stripped him of his seniority, after promising him they wouldn't.

    Comedy fucking platinum, bitches.

  • ||

    Is this before or after the switch?

    If it's before, I'd give it a 6.5 on the Hackwatch, with the potential to go higher if he changes his tune again.

    If it's after, I'm no longer surprised he got low seniority on the committee.

  • MNG||

    I give Specter props for standing up to his own party at times. Standing up to your own party all the time is being a bit goofy, but standing up to them at key times is a profile in courage.

  • ||

    He starts by kissing the president's ass and joining his party. That's a sure fire way to make him respect you and give back power. It would be brilliant if it weren't so fucking retarded.

  • Abdul||

    Put me down for "oldy" on Spector hating.

    He wants the president to respect separation of powers, so his first suggestion is to diminish the power of the supreme court to decide which cases it will hear? Constituionally, he can do this because Congress can determine the jurisdiction of federal courts, but he doesn't see the disconnect?

  • MNG||

    IIRC Specter's idea to limit the jurisdiction of the Court has to do with several times it has, in his opinion of course, unfairly negated Congressional legislation.

    I doubt Specter will rubber stamp Obama, he did not do that for his old party even at the height of their power, why would he do it now?

  • Naga Sadow||

    That's not even the real Arlen Spector. Specter had grown so rich, he wanted to retire. His name is Ryan; he inherited the seat from the previous Arlen Specter. The man he inherited it from was not the real Arlen Specter either. His name was Cummerbund. The real Arlen Specter has been retired 15 years and living like a king in Patagonia.'

  • MNG||

    Naga
    Don't be so naive. The real Arlen Specter died years ago when he lost all of his hair from cancer. At the time, fearing a loss of the Republican majority the GOP party Inner Circle met and through various bargains with Satan (modifications of their long-existing contracts) breathed life into a golem appearing and sounding like Arlen Specter.

    However, you are correct that the golem retired 15 years ago and dwells in Patagonia.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "In the seven and a half years since September 11, the United States has witnessed one of the greatest expansions of executive authority in its history, at the expense of the constitutionally mandated separation of powers."

    Greatest in history?

    Has Specter never heard of FDR?

  • Naga Sadow||

    MNG,

    Meh. That's what he wants you to think. He leaked the golem story to scare snoopers off his trail in Patagonia. He wasn't prepared for 4 hippies and a dog to come looking for him.

  • Naga Sadow||

    "It's not a scarf! It's an ascot, dammit!"

  • ||

    I intend to take several concrete steps, which I hope the new president will support.



    Good luck with that, Arlen.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I don't remember MNG being so witty and affable.
    You been reading Dale Carnegie again, MNG?

  • Naga Sadow||

    CN,

    He's usually pretty cool. He, unfortunately, has his bad moments like any one else on these boards.

  • ||

    has his bad moments like any one else on these boards

    What? I'm always perfect shining awesome... and polite too, you little toerag.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Goddammit SugarFree! You really are an attention whore, aren't you? Okay. Here goes.

    SugarFree is the progenitor of cool. SugarFree is so cool he eats ice cream in a snow storm. SugarFree is so awesome that if he put his picture on his new blog you could go blind from his pure awesomeness.

  • ||

    At least you've started to grasp my magnificence.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Whoa! I have step away from the computer now. Your prose is turning my stomach into a swirling miasma of cool. To much exposure and I could become a slave! Later.

  • ||

    DON'T YOU WALK AWAY FROM ME, BOY!!!

  • ||

    SF-

    Are you the guy in the new Dos Yequis commercials? The one that starts out by saying, "his reputation is expanding faster than the universe?" and ends by the guy stating, "always stay thirsty."

  • ||

    Are you the guy in the new Dos Yequis commercials?

    Possibly. I sometimes wake up in strange places with checks from ad agencies.

  • Naga Sadow||

    SugarFree,

    I'm gonna take a shot in the dark and ask a simple question.

    *looks around to make sure no one's around*

    Do you know Tyler Durden?

  • ||

    I don't know who you are talking about, sir.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Hey! You're name linky thingee doesn't go to the new blog page about LoneWacko!

    Shenanigans! Shenanigans!

  • JB||

    Now that he has come out of the closet and admitted he is a Democrat he will lie even more. That is what Democrats do.

  • Dr Duck||

    Now that he has come out of the closet and admitted he is a Democrat he will lie even more. That is what Democrats do.

    Damn straight! And only Democrats!

  • duderman||

    What a fucking joke. He'll do whatever the polls instruct him to do.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement