George F. Will: When a president goes rogue

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  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 5, 2014 2:25 p.m.

    Re: "I love my country and I'd like to be able to fully respect it too"...

    I'm glad you love your country, and want to respect it too. I seem to remember lots of democrats saying the same thing... when Bush was in office. Even the President's wife admitted that she's never been proud of her country a day in her life... until her husband became President. So your feeling is pretty common out there...

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    June 5, 2014 2:02 p.m.

    It doesn't matter who else has done what throughout history -- it is still wrong. When (not if) these released terrorists combine their efforts and strike again and lives are lost, do you then approach the mourning families and say 'Reagan gave missiles to Iran'?

    There are many who feel that the United States has lost its credibility in the world. I heard once that you may well always love someone, but if you can no longer respect them . . . . I love my country and I'd like to be able to fully respect it too.

  • Jack Aurora, CO
    June 5, 2014 1:57 p.m.

    If you have standing, then file suit to have this portion of the law heard by the courts....of course you will have to hope that it gets to the Supreme Court to rule on its Constitutionality and not just your own opinion. Oh, and by the way, what part of it is unconstitutional on your opinion? Limits on the President's actions are well within the purview of Congress to enact... so what's your beef with it?

    They required him to notify them of his actions 30 days out, they didn't limit him from the exchange.....He didn't and they are rightfully outraged.

    So, what's your objection to it?

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    June 5, 2014 1:23 p.m.

    I wonder if Obama is keeping a tally of how many laws he can break while in office. I wonder if he as a goal in mind.

    He is racking them up fast.

    To liberals, Obama is not God. He is not in Congress. He is not king. He does not get to make the laws. His job, as executive, is to execute the laws. In this case execute doesn't mean behead the law, it means to uphold the law. Perhaps that will dispel some of your confusion.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    June 5, 2014 12:57 p.m.

    "What, then, did you mean by, "gonna lpug my ears and say LA LA LA LA"?"

    Very simple. Partisans give a pass to their side but blast the other side for doing similar things.
    And both sides do it. But they go to great lengths to somehow make a distinction, where one typically does not exist.

    Perfect example is embassy and consulate deaths and attacks under Bush. The dems blasted them and the GOP defended them. But, somehow Benghazi is different.

    "you try and view and treat R and D the same?
    your comments have shown otherwise."

    Thats not what I said. When parties do something similar, I view them and treat them the same.

    I believe that Benghazi was a failure. As were the attacks under Bush. I didn't see one as a giant scandal and give the other a pass.

    Feel free to call me out if you find me doing differently. Most of my posts are pointing out the similarities to highlight the hypocrisy, not as a defense.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    June 5, 2014 12:43 p.m.

    @ 2 bits, I agree that President Obama should not have signed the bill, but the bill was bigger than just this issue, which is why he objected to that provision. If the GOP wants to challenge the decision, they can go to court. But they won't because they know the provision would not stand up in court. And look at what you say. Reagan was caught in a scandal and some were indicted, but not Reagan. You want Obama to be in trouble. In the end, you show logical inconsistency and an obvious bias. You say trading POWs is not illegal, then you say it is. The problem with the critics is they argue both sides to support an illogical conclusion, as long as they get in their shots. Wow, is about all I can say.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    June 5, 2014 12:14 p.m.

    you are not defending... What, then, did you mean by, "gonna lpug my ears and say LA LA LA LA"?
    you try and view and treat R and D the same?
    your comments have shown otherwise.

    airnaut/open minded
    going back and forth from home to work?
    what is "impreachable"? I'm not familiar with that word.

    Sign of a politically biased comment...

    Someone who can not see past the "if Obama did it, then it's obviously wonderful"

    Romney was 2012,

    just proves "you can fool all of the people (or enough, at least) some of the time, but you cannot fool them all of the time

    welcome to 2014.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    June 5, 2014 12:07 p.m.

    Hey 2 bits -

    "My question is... why is Obama not in ANY trouble when he does it?"

    It's because only "Conservatives" think Obama did anything wrong.

    And most people don't care what "Conservatives" think.

    . . . Glad I could help.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    June 5, 2014 12:05 p.m.

    Hey Lost -

    "Recent CNN poll shows BO’s favorable ratings exceed his unfavorables in only 1 of 12 measures!"

    And yet voters STILL favor Obama over Romney.

    And the Republican-heavy House of Representatives polls lower than ever.

  • Nan BW ELder, CO
    June 5, 2014 11:50 a.m.

    I agree with the article and applaud all our journalists who are ferreting out the real truth about the president's blatant disregard for the U.S. Constitution as well as having incredibly poor judgment, if that is what it is.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    June 5, 2014 11:27 a.m.

    Sign of a politically biased article or partisan American...

    Someone who can not see past the "if Obama did it, then it's obviously wrong, illegal, or being controled by Socialists or Communists"...and all Republicans doing it get a Get Out of Jail Free Pass...

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    June 5, 2014 10:51 a.m.


    "I believe that President Reagan gave 1500 missiles to Iran in exchange for seven American nationals, all in secret. Am I correct?"

    You are. A material difference between Obama’s blunder here and Iran Contra is deception. The arms for hostages deal was done under the table. When it got out, Reagan’s role in it was not clear. He went on national television and denied that arms had been traded for hostages. It was months later when Reagan finally acknowledged that arms had indeed been traded for hostages.

    Obama showed poor judgment in this deal but at least it was above board. He may have broken the law in not notifying Congress 30 days in advance. In the case of Iran Contra, the White House kept the Congress completely in the dark. The Hill found out only when it came out in the press.

    Some things to consider on the issue of a President "going rogue."

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 5, 2014 9:29 a.m.

    The law he broke is not a prohibition on make trades for prisoners of war. We do that. We always have.

    The law some say he broke is the "National Defense Authorization Act". There's one for each year, so obviously President Obama signed THIS one into law (not Bush or anybody else).

    It requires the President to give Congress 30 days advance notice before releasing prisoners from Guantanamo. (So the President can't release prisoners from Guantanamo secretly).

    This quote from a CNN article...
    "The law says they are to give us 30 days' notice. If the President thought that was unconstitutional or an invalid law, than he shouldn't have signed the bill... He knew very well that he was required by law to give us 30 days' notice and he didn't do it."

    Reagan didn't release prisoners from Guantanamo (which is the illegal part). But we did have a weapons embargo at the time, so what he did was illegal also.

    But there were lots of investigations and indictments when Reagan did it.

    My question is... why is Obama not in ANY trouble when he does it?

    When Reagan did it... Democrats indicted 13 people!

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    June 5, 2014 9:17 a.m.

    How to know if something is true, or is it partisan ---

    I'd bet my very last dollar that if Pres. Obama had actualy done something impreachable --

    Rep. Jason Chaffetz or Senator Mike Lee would be all over the Sunday Morning TV shows, and 24/7 Fox News personally heading up the investigation into it...

    Irony of the day --
    Sarah Palin's entire persona is about "Going Rouge",
    and yet the entire Tea-Party is her #1 fan base.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    June 5, 2014 9:15 a.m.


    I am the first to admit that both R and D do lots of wrong things. And personally, I try to view them and treat them the same.

    I am not blind to the fact that our leaders make mistakes and or do things that are downright wrong.

    You will seldom hear me defending either side. What I do it point out that there is little difference in the transgressions of either side.

    My outrage, unlike many, is not selective.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    June 5, 2014 9:12 a.m.

    The law violates the Constitution. If Bush was President, that Administration would have done the exact same thing. Do you need the legal history and the memos to substantiate this? If Congress has an issue with the President's action, they should take it to court and get it settled. They won't, because they know the President was right under the Constitution.

  • billmosby Salt Lake City, UT
    June 5, 2014 8:48 a.m.

    If the gizmo detainees are prisoners of war, they will all have to be released when the war ends, which seems to be what will happen at the end of this year. So the 5 were released about 6 months early, and will supposedly be under surveillance for an additional 6 months after the war ends. And even Bergdahl's Army detractors say he should have been brought home even at the cost of making the exchange. Nothing to see here, really, except the usual Republican habit of politicizing everything.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    June 5, 2014 8:36 a.m.

    Gonna plug you ears and say “la la la”

    BO apologists have a LOT of practice doing that.

    So you will ignore the changes in laws between the 1980s and now. Your hero, BO has done the same, obviously. And not just laws passed since the 1980s – anything he doesn’t like he ignores, including Obamacare!

    You must be at work rather than at home because you are not posting as open minded. Executive orders are not the only method. BO has used more regulations than any POTUS in history. The Federal Register has ballooned more under BO than under anyone else.

    You BO apologists are in the minority. Recent CNN poll shows BO’s favorable ratings exceed his unfavorables in only 1 of 12 measures! Most measures show strong opposition to his policies. Too bad it has taken us so long.

  • my two cents worth Ridgefield, WA
    June 5, 2014 8:15 a.m.

    If you agree that the President broke laws, has gone "rogue", is impeachable, then what are you going to do about it? Go gather your "facts" and talk some Congressman into starting the process too impeach, arrest and/or jail the man.

    As for me, I believe there is not enough evidence to do any of those procedures. And if I am correct, all this whining and complaining is partisan grumbling, albeit with plenty of zeal and with the aim to taint the whole Democratic party to help usher in some Republican wins.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    June 5, 2014 8:13 a.m.

    When a president goes rouge, he should be impeached, correct? So wheres all the evidence?
    There is nothing but more partisan fantasy and poor history recollection, in nearly everything george says.
    George is just another faux hole with nothing to offer but chum for the fanatics.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    June 5, 2014 8:09 a.m.

    Are we talking about Reagan or Bush who reigned with more "Executive Orders" - by passing Congress - than any other Presidents in modern history?


    just more of the same old Sour Grapes about President Obama to whip up the conservative base to get published in conservative newspapers and collect a pay check, again?...

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    June 5, 2014 7:47 a.m.

    I thought going Rogue was a good thing? After all, didn't Palin or Romney title their book that?

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    June 5, 2014 7:04 a.m.

    Susan Rice has proven her ability to read talking points given to her. Leadership? Ethics? Not so much.
    Perhaps her talent is in broadcasting. Give her something to read and she'll do it convincingly.
    Did the White House really believe they could sell this to the American people?

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    June 5, 2014 7:01 a.m.

    Well, at least now I know how all the liberals and Democrats felt when Nixon was believing that if the President does it, it is legal. Only problem is, back then there was Woodward and Bernstein and the Washington Post to be the watchdog on government power. Who is watching out for us with this administration? All I see in the press these days is FOX News, who get blacklisted by the establishment when they try, and a bunch of journalism school cheerleaders for Obama and the Democrats.

  • Lone Eagle Aurora, CO
    June 5, 2014 6:42 a.m.

    Seems to me that the swap that the "Rogue President" engaged in (he really doesn't know the circumstances, but approved it anyway?) is akin to aiding and abetting the enemy with those 5 high-value terrorist leaders being released. Perhaps the pretender in chief never watched "Saving Private Ryan" wherein the released German captive came back to kill many more US soldiers at the bridge scene. That was fiction, this is real life. Does anyone really believe that those 5 high-value terrorists will not return to be involved in an even higher death count for US servicemen/women or civilians?

    The Taliban was aided and abetted by this swap. And the "Rogue President" will never be brought to account.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    June 5, 2014 6:36 a.m.

    "I believe that President Reagan gave 1500 missiles to Iran in exchange for seven American nationals, all in secret. Am I correct?"

    Cmon Marxist. You know that was completely different. Somehow it had to be. Reagan would not do anything wrong.

    Im gonna plug my ears now and say La La La La La.

  • LOU Montana Pueblo, CO
    June 5, 2014 5:41 a.m.

    Between 2007 and 2009, President George W. Bush released 520 detainees from the facility at Guantanamo Bay – at least that’s how many are officially recorded. One of those detainees was Abu Sufian bin Qumu, who is a suspect in the Benghazi embassy attack.

  • ibulleti Layton, UT
    June 5, 2014 1:06 a.m.

    @ Marxist,
    It doesn't excuse what Pres. Obama has done. It is also worth mentioning that the law requiring Pres. Obama to notify congress did not exist when Reagan was president. I might also mention that the "1500" number is rather lower than the truth.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    June 4, 2014 11:28 p.m.

    Mr. Will hits the nail on the head. When you consider:

    Fast and Furious, Benghazi, "this is my last election, I will have more flexibility...", The VA scandal, and the blatant disregard for the law this President has demonstrated on countless occasions; one must wonder what it takes to get removed from office.

  • Californian#1@94131 San Francisco, CA
    June 4, 2014 10:50 p.m.

    Almost every recent POTUS has "gone rogue" in some manner. They believe that the principle of "divine right of kings" applies to them.

    Power corrupts. No one gets within a million miles of the White House without being corrupted already. And absolute power, which POTUSes seem to assume unto themselves despite the Constitution, corrupts absolutely.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    June 4, 2014 10:21 p.m.

    I believe that President Reagan gave 1500 missiles to Iran in exchange for seven American nationals, all in secret. Am I correct?

  • gee-en Salt Lake City, UT
    June 4, 2014 8:33 p.m.

    Love George Will! What a gifted writer! He is 1000% correct on these writings.

  • Vegas POV Las Vegas, NV
    June 4, 2014 8:06 p.m.

    I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.

    It appears to me that the best of some people's ability is not as great as the ability of others.

  • Chessermesser West Valley City, UT
    June 4, 2014 7:10 p.m.

    This has got to be the worst president ever. Nixon's Watergate begins to pale to Obama's list of blatant law breaking.

  • Informed Voter South Jordan, UT
    June 4, 2014 6:55 p.m.

    Eventhough many will write comments excusing Obama, he cannot blame this on Bush (although he might find a way). The fact is plain that George Will is totally correct on all his points in this article.