I think that it’s a pretty natural human impulse, especially when times are tough, to just want someone to tell you what the fuck to do, to make unilateral decisions, especially ones that bypass the rules in order to get things done. I mean, shoot, I can remember arguing, probably in this very space, that Bush had a moral obligation to bypass state and local officials and get into New Orleans and rescue some people.
I still believe that’s true.
But watching Obama go into Libya without congressional approval or watching Haslam trying to turn the making of our drug laws over to a commission and out of the hands of the legislature, I’m feeling like the most dangerous impulse leaders in a democracy can fall prey to is the desire to short-circuit democracy for the sake of expediency.
I still believe that, when it comes down to American lives, as it did in New Orleans, that impulse is correct. But when it comes to making war or… well, it’s a war on drugs, right? So, when it comes down to making war, that impulse is always wrong. You should be accountable to voters, especially because you will be risking the lives of some of those voters.
I honestly don’t think this is something Democrats have been better on than Republicans. It’s a non-partisan issue–people with that much power have to be on-guard for the scary ways it corrupts you. And acting, even in what you believe is the best interests of the People, like a dictator?