President Donald Trump continues to defy the legislative branch, declaring that he’ll refuse to comply with any subpoenas. He also claims that he has not obstructed justice — even as he rejects Congressional oversight.
Writing in the Boston Globe, columnist Bruce Cannon Gibney notes that the modern-day presidency is built for tyranny.
He points out that all presidents abuse their power, though none as flagrantly and to such extremes as Donald Trump.
“Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently declared that the 45th president has driven the nation to a “constitutional crisis,” Gibney writes.
“Pelosi’s statement is true, but it doesn’t go far enough. The modern presidency itself has become a constitutional crisis.”
Gibney points out that the executive branch has become a behemoth compared to the legislative branch and the judiciary.
“Over the decades, the executive has become an overbearing Leviathan,” he notes.
“It employs 4.1 million people, a population larger than that of the entire United States in 1790, and oversees a budget of more than $4 trillion, a sum eclipsing Germany’s GDP.”
“The other branches are minute by comparison, unable to check even a fraction of the executive’s excesses,” he continues. “The legislature and judiciary collectively employ just 76,000 people, scraping by on a $12.5 billion allowance.”
“As Stalin purportedly observed about power, quantity has a quality all its own, and as Orwell observed about Stalin, some animals are more equal than others.”
Gibney observes that bureaucracies impact every aspect of modern life — and that the most powerful bureaucracies — from regulatory agencies to the immigration system — are largely in the President’s control. It’s why Trump has been able to undo so many Obama-era policies.
“The Constitution doesn’t describe anything like the modern presidency. But the Declaration of Independence does — the British monarchy, whose actions the Framers described as ‘absolute Tyranny.'”