Thursday, May 15, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

One of the key issues in this race to me is how the next president views executive power and the relationship of separation of powers and checks and balances in our constitutional order.

David Nafther, blogging at CQ Politic’s Beyond the Dome, notes a recent speech in which John McCain addresses some of these issues: On Executive Power, McCain Says He’s No Bush.

In regards to signing statements (for my views on which go here, here and here):

“I will exercise my veto if I believe legislation passed by Congress is not in the nation’s best interests, but I will not subvert the purpose of legislation I have signed by making statements that indicate I will enforce only the parts of it I like.”

This is consistent with what he has said before, and I hope that should be be elected that he will, in fact, adhere to this position (more likely, if anything, because the Congress will certainly be controlled by the Democrats under such a scenario).

In regards to legislative-executive relations, the following would be remarkable (and the kind of thing that I would be shocked, in truth, if it happened if he is elected):

“I will ask Congress to grant me the privilege of coming before both houses to take questions, and address criticism, much the same as the Prime Minister of Great Britain appears regularly before the House of Commons.”

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6 Responses to “McCain on Executive Power”

  • el
  • pt
    1. MSS Says:

      Yeah, right.

    2. Dr. Steven Taylor Says:

      What? You’re skeptical?

    3. John McCain — 2024 | THE GUN TOTING LIBERAL™ Says:

      [...] Matthew Yglesias; Ace Of Spades HQ (Right); The Carpetbagger Report; Don Surber (Right); PoliBlog [...]

    4. Tim Says:

      Would be unbelievably cool, but I agree that it is improbable. Just imagine when someone asks a question or makes a statement that angers McCain and he launches into a counterargument laced with profanity.

    5. Dr. Steven Taylor Says:


    6. Max Lybbert Says:

      Thinking more about this, I think it’s an attempt to lure Obama into a something of a trap. Obama’s been declaring certain topics “distractions” or out of bounds. By claiming he would submit to a question time, McCain’s saying he’s willing to face criticism directly. He’s hoping people try to contrast that with Obama.

      Obama could make a similar promise, but if he does then McCain will be able to ask about those topics Obama wants to disappear. And if he doesn’t, then McCain will try to take the “straight talker” label for himself.

      But, yeah, ever since I learned about question time in the British Parliament, I’ve been nvious. Then again, the Prime Minister is part of Parliament, and always has a majority of Parliament in his party. Maybe Pelosi or Reid would be willing to submit to question time.

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