Under Obama, the power to act outside the normal operations of law became more and more entrenched in the executive branch. In particular, his use of executive orders and flimsy justifications for going to war against Libya and ISIS helped set us up for the extreme executive authority Trump now exercises. We recognize these powers more clearly now because they are used by a man who is so brazen about his authority to wield them.
I’ve been making this case for over a decade now. We’ve seen a constant power grab by more and more Presidents, really since LBJ. Anyone interested in the larger theory needs to research “Unitary Executive.”
The problem now is that there’s no solution at the ballot box. When Republicans win, they exert some authoritarian control over social behavior, but are libertarians when it comes to matters of the economy, taxation. and social programs. When Democrats win, they exert authoritarian control over economic matters, using regulations and taxation to control business and the populace, but are libertarian on social matters.
Enough to drive you crazy, all that.