Originally Posted by Jubelum
1. Clinton ignore plenty of laws. As did Bush I. As did Carter. As did Nixon. As they will forever.
2. Roosevelt- Japanese interment camps- no process or oversight
3. Bush fucked up, should have never gone to war, and misused intel. See #1.
If you are not angry, you are not paying attention. It's all the same. Since the Wilson administration.
But as in all things political, it's a matter of degree. For instance, it is true that presidents since Reagan have made use of signing statements to avoid compliance with congressional action which they deemed overly restrictive.
But Bush has eclipsed all that came before him, and not just in shear volume (over 750 signing statements and counting) but by dint of the fact that he never vetoes
anything, which would give Congress a chance to revisit the disputed legislation.
From a Boston Globe
Still, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Clinton used the presidential veto instead of the signing statement if they had a serious problem with a bill, giving Congress a chance to override their decisions.
But the current President Bush has abandoned the veto entirely, as well as any semblance of the political caution that Alito counseled back in 1986. In just five years, Bush has challenged more than 750 new laws, by far a record for any president, while becoming the first president since Thomas Jefferson to stay so long in office without issuing a veto.
Or in the matter of Roosevelt's incarceration of Japanese Americans: shameful, yes, but we were in the middle of an actual for-real-hope-they-don't-start-shelling-our-coasts-or-bombing-our-cities-if-we-lose-we'll-all-be-speaking-German-war
. A war that would be won or lost in a finite period of time, against the specific armies of specific countries.
Bush's "war on global terror", on the other hand, has no metric for "winning", no foreseeable end, and no hard and fast definition of who the "enemy" even is, much less what constitutes an "enemy combatant" (as in the case of Iraqi insurgents who are uniformly regarded as "terrorists", no different from the al Qaeda plotters of 9/11, even though it is clear that many of them are simply responding to our
occupation of their
Such open-ended definitions render comparisons with WWII meaningless. The "global war on terror" becomes simply a carte blanche
prescription for practically unlimited executive power, with no expectation for ever "standing down" and returning to normative constitutional practices.