If you’re an executive, there’s something to be said for relying on your team to do their jobs and guide your business.
If you’re the chief executive in service to the nation, it becomes even more crucial.
Trump is an absolute newbie to the workings of politics, outside of his contributions to campaigns and political organizations.
To lead a nation, however, it takes more than just writing a check. A man who has never even sat on a school board or ran for city council is now the President of the United States, so there are going to be some mistakes made.
John Yoo is a former Justice Department attorney, who served under George W. Bush’s administration. He’s also known for writing the “Torture Memos,” legal memorandums on enhanced interrogation techniques.
In today’s New York Times, Yoo has an op-ed, explaining the troublesome nature of President Trump’s immediate rush to use executive orders, to get things done.
“He should understand the Constitution’s grant of executive power,” Yoo wrote, referencing Alexander Hamilton, who co-wrote the Federalist Papers, a series of essays on the Constitution.
“He should share Hamilton’s vision of an energetic president leading the executive branch in a unified direction, rather than viewing the government as the enemy. He should realize that the Constitution channels the president toward protecting the nation from foreign threats, while cooperating with Congress on matters at home.”
Yoo said Trump, as commander in chief, does not have the constitutional authority to order the construction of a border wall, nor does he have the power to terminate trade deals negotiated by Congress, like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
“Had Mr. Trump taken advantage of the resources of the executive branch as a whole, not just a few White House advisers, he would not have rushed out an ill-conceived policy made vulnerable to judicial challenge,” he wrote.
Yoo also noted that Trump’s executive order on the travel ban fell within the law, technically, but his earlier statements that it would be a “Muslim ban” were in violation of the Constitution’s protection of the freedom of religion, as spelled out in the First Amendment.
It’s an interesting take, and one I feel we’re going to get to see play out in real time, over the course of Trump’s term.
Let’s hope at 70-years old, he’s not an old dog that is incapable of learning new tricks, because we can’t afford for him to mess this up.