By Hunter, Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 12:27 PM PST
I lived through the Iran Contra incident, and I have lived through a president declaring a new executive privilege to torture. I was alive when Oliver North put on a nice clean suit and testified in front of a room full of angry people, and I watched Gen. Colin Powell hold up a little vial and make the case that Iraq and al Qaeda were close enough to being the same thing for the world to just pretend for a little while that they were, I watched the teevee as people who pointed out flaws in a White House story were retaliated against aggressively, and sometimes illegally. I remember a scandal in which the Justice Department was considered partisan prize to be won, and litmus tests created to treat it as such. I listened to a very new, very old interpretation of executive power that declared a president could nullify individual portions of newly passed federal laws by attaching an addendum to his signature saying so. I remember some sport noting that the color-coded terror warnings output by the government coincided superbly with the periods of time the White House was facing bad or unwelcome news on other fronts. I remember countless hearings, and a few indictments, and a few pardons, and I have lived long enough to no longer even be able to remember all the politicians and staffers that have been run from office or thrown in jail for being cheap crooks in a line of work that seems to collect cheap crooks like leaves on a fall lawn. And I am not very old.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) criticized President Barack Obama Sunday for issuing executive orders on major issues like health care rather than going through Congress, arguing that it was leading to an “increasingly lawless presidency.”Speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” Ryan said that Obama was subverting Congress by signing executive orders, which Ryan said is “creating a dangerous trend which is contrary to the Constitution.”
Photograph (modified) of Paul Ryan during introduction to speak at Georgetown University, by Win McNamee (Getty Images). http://sojo.net/blogs/2012/04/26/ryan-seeks-defend-catholic-roots-gop-budget