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Chuck Krauthammer Is Suddenly Concerned About Executive Power

It looks like we can count Mr. Krauthammer among the many conservatives who rekindled their love of the Constitution on January 20th, 2009 after an eight-year estrangement.  First he lambastes a “toxic” DHS memo about ways to avoid deporting unaccompanied minors and sex slaves (yes, apparently compassion is “toxic”), then he exposes this diabolical power grab:

A 2007 Supreme Court ruling gave the Environmental Protection Agency the authority to regulate carbon emissions if it could demonstrate that they threaten human health and the environment. The Obama EPA made precisely that finding, thereby granting itself a huge expansion of power and, noted The Post, sending “a message to Congress.”

That’s right, the EPA reached that conclusion solely to increase its regulatory power, and not because the earth is melting.  Krauthammer hates people who exaggerate threats in order to expand executive power… unless it’s Bush and Cheney declaring a neverending War On Terror to turn themselves into unaccountable dictators.

He had no problem defending extra-constitutional executive-expanding solutions like warrantless wiretapping, indefinite detentions, military tribunals and torture back then, because that was an existential struggle.  But now?  Now he luuurrrves him some checks and balances:

Everyone wants energy in the executive…. But not lawlessness…. But at least there is one restraint on this bloated power: the separation of powers. Such constraints on your life must first be approved by both houses of Congress.

That’s called the consent of the governed. The constitutional order is meant to subject you to the will of the people’s representatives, not to the whim of a chief executive or the imagination of a loophole-seeking bureaucrat.

Fine words.  They would have been very timely five years ago.

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