Pundits haven’t yet fully connected the dots in front of them. Yes, presidential use of national emergency powers to spend money on things that Congress chose not to authorize is against the Article 1 of Constitution. Here is the other dot: the choice of president became more consequential as the Office of the President became more powerful. This trend explains why election campaigns have been fought ever more viciously – by politicians and citizens alike.
In any republic, much depends upon the trust of political leaders and the people that election winners will not use their power to entrench themselves at the expense of the losers. In fact, entrenchment has been a feature of many governments around the world. Leaders find an excuse to act outside of normal law – by declaring a state of emergency.
Trust in our system of democracy depends in no small part upon how well it delivers for us. The services we get from the government are part of that. Few of us are happy about shut-downs, inadequate services, waste, and unsustainable debt. That prompts a question: how is the U.S. budget process supposed to work?
Democracy is not dying everywhere, or even in most places. Here is an example from Slovakia. The action started just a few months ago and the people are winning!