Until the Bill Kristols and John Yoos and other authoritarians of that strain entered the political mainstream, I never heard of prominent Americans who describe the power that they want to vest in our political leaders as “near dictatorial.” Anyone with an even passing belief in American political values would consider the word “dictatorial” — at least rhetorically, if not substantively — to define that which we avoid at all costs, not something which we seek, embrace and celebrate. If there is any political principle that was previously common to Americans regardless of partisan orientation, it was that belief.
He then looks at some of Scalila’s previous SCOTUS decisions:
[The] Founders’ general mistrust of military power permanently at the Executive’s disposal. In the Founders’ view, the “blessings of liberty” were threatened by “those military establishments which must gradually poison its very fountain.” … Many safeguards in the Constitution reflect these concerns. Congress’s authority “[t]o raise and support Armies” was hedged with the proviso that “no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years.” U.S. Const., Art. 1, §8, cl. 12. Except for the actual command of military forces, all authorization for their maintenance and all explicit authorization for their use is placed in the control of Congress under Article I, rather than the President under Article II.