It didn’t take long for a New York Times article about Donald Trump’s plans to “increase presidential power in 2025” for the left to suffer yet another mental breakdown, rushing on the air and in print to call the news “terrifying,” “frightening,” “menacing,” “incredibly alarming.” And, of course, “fascist,” or as a University of North Carolina professor took to the Atlantic to declare, “a new kind of fascism.”
What has the left grasping for the Xanax again? Here are the horrifying facts as reported by the Times:
Trump – as well as other Republicans running for office – hope to “increase the president’s authority” over the executive branch of government, including “independent” federal agencies.
“He wants to revive the practice of ‘impounding’ funds, refusing to spend money Congress has appropriated for programs a president doesn’t like,” the Times reports. “He intends to strip employment protections from tens of thousands of career civil servants, making it easier to replace them if they are deemed obstacles to his agenda.”
As the Times puts it: “The agenda being pursued has deep roots in the decades-long effort by conservative legal thinkers to undercut what has become known as the administrative state.”
To constitutional scholars such as MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, this is “a plan to radically change the form of governance that we have in the United States. So as to concentrate all the power of the government in the hands of a single leader.”
Maddow and others throwing temper tantrums might try reading the Constitution one day. Right there, in Article II, Section 1, it says “The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.”
The Constitution also says that there are two other branches of government designed to check executive authority, known as Congress and the Supreme Court.
What really freaks the left out isn’t that Trump and many other conservatives want greater control over the executive branch, it’s that they are finally getting serious about taking on the fourth branch of government.
If you thought there were only three branches, you haven’t been paying attention to what’s been happening over recent decades. The growth of “independent” federal agencies that aren’t accountable to Congress or the White House. The explosion of regulations from unelected bureaucrats buried in various federal agencies, whose dictates, once written, often can’t be challenged in court. And the phalanx of civil service protections in place for those who actively try to undermine the chief executive or are just plain incompetent.
Because of all this, a change in administration often doesn’t result in a change in policies. Huge chunks of the federal government can and do thwart the agenda voters elected the president to enact.
This isn’t what the founders envisioned when they wrote the Constitution, but it is what several decades of leftist policymaking have produced.
As Don Devine, who was the director of the Office of Personnel Management in President Ronald Reagan’s first term, put it, “An autonomous bureaucracy has neither independent constitutional status nor separate moral legitimacy.”
This fourth branch of government isn’t a problem when Democrats are in the White House, because most federal bureaucrats want the same thing they do — a bigger and more intrusive government.
But woe to conservative presidents, who often not only have to fight political opponents outside their administrations but also those who are technically working for them.
Also worth noting is that when a Democratic president seeks to purge the government of political opponents, they are celebrated.
Shortly after President Joe Biden took office, the Washington Post wrote a glowing story about how he was cleaning house of Trump holdovers and why it was a good thing.
“As Biden tries to reset the government to match his priorities,” it reported back in 2021, “Democrats fear the Trump holdovers, who served in partisan roles, could undermine the new administration as they move into the civil service, which is supposed to operate free of partisanship.”
The Post went on to showcase how Biden was “showing a willingness to cut tenures short” and had quickly moved “to dump several of high-profile, Senate-confirmed Trump appointees whose terms extended beyond Inauguration Day — in some cases by several years.”
Try as we might, we could not find a single story that compared Biden to Hitler for taking such actions.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board