John Yoo, the son of Korean immigrants, begins this exclusive 34-minute video interview with The Daily Caller exhibiting his characteristic sense of humor as he reacts to the “amusing circus” of radical progressives who show up regularly and want him fired from the University of California – Berkeley because his views are supposedly unacceptable.
As for the man with a huge paper mache head in the likeness of Yoo’s head, Yoo wonders, “How much rent does he pay to store my head?”
Working in a very left-wing area, Yoo explains why he doesn’t want liberals to be in charge of running anything.
Apart from being an irritant to the left, John Yoo is Emanuel S. Heller Professor of Law School of Law at Cal Berkeley. He is also a visiting scholar with the American Enterprise Institute. Graduating from Harvard, he attended law school at Yale, clerked at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and the U.S. Supreme Court. He was general counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and has authored seven books and over 90 articles for scholarly journals.
Yoo is an erudite scholar, a popular speaker and an avid columnist. He was a senior legal adviser at the Justice Department in the George W. Bush Administration and became well known for his opinion about presidential powers.
According to Yoo, President Obama is, without precedent, “undermining the rule of law” by picking winners and losers in the enforcement of laws, as opposed to how they were dictated by Congress.
John Yoo invokes Superman’s “Bizarro World,” where things are the opposite of what they are supposed to be, in assessing Obama’s presidency. To Yoo, Obama’s view of the presidency — exhibiting weakness abroad and yet dominance in domestic politics — this is “the reverse of what the framers’ presidency” prescribed.
Asked what would have happened had President Bush done what Obama is doing with executive power, Yoo says there would have been an “uprising within the bureaucracy,” “mass resignations from the agencies,” “congressional impeachment,” and “media witch hunts and investigations,” all while accusing Bush of acting like a king.
Having campaigned as a realist in foreign policy, Yoo says Obama has used statecraft in foreign policy to pull out of wars and withdraw U.S. commitments. This, to Yoo, has caused chaos around the world because no one can rely on the United States and is what a “Rand Paul foreign policy would look like.”
Yoo believes Congress is unfortunately ceding important powers given by the nation’s founders to reign in an out-of-control executive — the power of the purse, impeachment, appointment power, treaty powers.
Critical of the weak congressional legislation on Iran, Yoo says, “I think President Obama actually won on this one and got the Congress to agree to up-end the constitutional system for treaties.” He blames an out-witted Republican Congress for being unwilling to stop Iran.
Citing his second example in this video interview of “Bizarro World,” Yoo explains how Congress “turned upside down the constitutional order,” rather than using the treaty power in the U.S. Constitution that requires 2/3 of the Senate to approve a meaningful agreement with another nation.
Filmed at Hillsdale College’s Kirby Center in Washington, Yoo cited the role of James Madison during the signing of the U.S. Constitution portrayed in a painting behind him. Madison, Yoo said, distinguished how “the sword may be in the hands of the president,” but “the purse is in the hands of the Congress.” The legal scholar calls on Congress to consider using more of its inherent powers to restrain President Obama.
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