From Steven Thomma and William Douglas of McClatchy Newspapers:
President Barack Obama is starting to channel his inner Cheney.
For years, Obama talked about the limits on presidential power. Now, driven either by principle or political expediency, he’s working to build and maintain a powerful presidency that pushes the edge of what it can do, while often telling Congress and the courts to mind their own business.
In the last week alone, he refused a subpoena to share Justice Department emails with Congress, told courts he doesn’t have to justify his claimed power to assassinate suspected terrorists and decided to stop deporting certain illegal immigrants even though Congress has refused to enact a law to do that.
Those moves cap a slow buildup of executive branch power since Obama took office in January 2009. Some actions build on war powers seized by the administration of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. Some assert new domestic authority.
Taken together, they reinforce the strengthening presidential power that Cheney pursued ever since he served as White House chief of staff to Gerald Ford and watched Congress take power away from a presidency weakened by Vietnam and Watergate.