January 31, 2009
[efoods]In his new book, former Bush administration attorney and infamous torture memo collaborator John Yoo favorably argues that President Barack Obama is wielding executive powers in the same manner as his White House predecessor.
Titled “Crisis and Command,” Yoo’s 500-plus-page work looks at the evolution of presidential powers from Washington to Bush, but with an afterword added for the current White House occupant. Few people have theorized as much about the limits of the powers granted to the presidency under the constitution (though, in Yoo’s case, much of that theorizing went into figuring out how to stretch or defy those limits). And, in his writing, the current U.C. Berkeley law professor insists that Obama has — due to the challenges of elected office — shunned the anti-Bush posture he struck as a presidential candidate.
“President Obama has come to have more in common with the ends of the Bush administration’s terrorism policies than did Candidate Obama,” Yoo writes. “It should be clear, further, that this would not be possible were it not for a broad view of presidential power.”