George F. Will: Are we witnessing how a presidency unravels?

Published: Sunday, Nov. 24 2013 6:40 p.m. MST

The New York Times reports that last March Henry Chao of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which superintended creation of the HealthCare.gov website, told a conference that he had worries: "Let's just make sure it's not a third-world experience." When such an embarrassing experience occurred, Obama responded like a ruler of a banana republic unfettered by constitutionalism and the rule of law. Although no president has even a line-item veto power (which 44 governors have), this president asserts the power to revise the language of laws by "enforcement discretion," and suggests no limiting principle.

But even this is a crisis only if Congress makes it so by supine acquiescence. Congressional Democrats are White House poodles. They also are progressives and therefore disposed to favor unfettered executive power. Republicans are supposed to be different.

George Will's email address is georgewill@washpost.com.

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