"Lincoln claimed and exercised similar emergency powers, but he too was sensitive to Congress' prerogatives and constitutional propriety. He invoked the emergency power to exercise powers reserved for Congress. But he did so only until Congress could meet in session and, at Lincoln's invitation, either ratify or reject his actions.
"Addington had no such instincts. To the contrary, long before 9/11 he and his boss had set out to reverse what they saw as Congress' illegitimate decades-long intrusions on 'unitary' executive power. . . . This underlying commitment to expanding presidential power distinguishes the Bush Administration from the Lincoln and Roosevelt administrations. . . . Vice President Cheney and David Addington -- and through their influence, President Bush and Alberto Gonzales --. . . shared a commitment to expanding presidential power that they had long been anxious to implement."
Goldsmith concludes that Bush's "accomplishments will likely always be dimmed by our knowledge of his administration's strange and unattractive views of presidential power. The American people know better today than during the Civil War and World War II that Lincoln and Roosevelt, in [Arthur] Schlesinger's words, regarded 'executive aggrandizement as but a means to a great end, the survival of liberty and law, of government by, for, and of the people,' and that 'they used emergency power, on the whole, with discrimination and restraint. . . .' We are unlikely to come to think of President Bush in this way, for he has not embraced Lincoln's and Roosevelt's tenets of democratic leadership in crisis."