Under the Constitution, the President is commander-in-chief and employs the force. And so we now have the President going out because of this piece of paper and this agreement. ‘I can’t do what I need to do to protect the country,'” Woodward said. “That’s a kind of madness that I haven’t seen in a long time,” he said.
Well, Woodward’s thesis seems to be that American Presidents wield the powers of divine monarchs, and have no limits on their abilities to do whatever they want, as long as the claim is made that it is to “protect” the United States.
The Constitution – I know, I know, are you serious? – does place limits on the President’s powers in many areas. He cannot, for instance, spend money that Congress has not authorized him to spend. He cannot unilaterally declare and wage war against the wishes of Congress. At least that used to be the case – I’m not so certain it is the case any more, however.
Woodward’s supposed excoriation of Obama is getting a lot of play in the usual circles, but his criticism basically boils down to, “Hey, President Obama, why aren’t you acting like a totalitarian dictator?”
I’m not sure that’s a criticism anybody who actually loves liberty should be making – although of course that group would not include Bob Woodward.