Thursday, January 19, 2006

The rise of King George, and the growing peasant revolt

Growing unease about George W’s determination to put himself royally above the law is surging through the blogosphere and mainstream media. Go to any progressive blog to see the concern, but also take a look at these other stories posted today.

Alternet posted The President Does Not Know Best, written by Elizabeth de la Vega, a recently retired federal prosecutor with more than 20 years of service in Minneapolis and San Jose. De la Vega lays out in detail how George W’s approach is not only illegal, but also unhelpful. She notes:

It appears, then, that President Bush, using his wholly fabricated Unitary Theory of the Executive, has clandestinely managed to marginalize his own agencies and eviscerate many of the information-sharing benefits of his own PATRIOT Act.
The Washington Post reports on yet another Congressional Research Service report that declares that George’s NSA spygate was illegal.

David Broder, a very mainstream, calm and respected columnist, tackled the issue of the imperial presidency by discussing former vice president Al Gore’s recent speech that indicted the president.

Former vice president Al Gore has turned himself into a one-man grand jury, ready to indict the Bush administration for any number of crimes against the Constitution. Whether you agree with Gore's conclusions or not, the speech that the 2000 Democratic nominee for president gave this week in Washington was as comprehensive a rundown of George W. Bush's ventures to the limits of executive
authority as anyone could hope to find.
After discussing how Gore isn’t even close to being an objective observer, having lost the 2000 election to George W., Broder does a good job of endorsing most of Gore's argument. Broder notes (with emphasis added by me:
Gore's final example -- on which he has lots of company among legal scholars -- is the contention that Bush broke the law in ordering the National Security Agency to monitor domestic phone calls without a warrant from the court Congress had created to supervise all such wiretapping. If -- as the Justice Department and the White House insist -- the president can flout that law, then it is hard to imagine what power he cannot assert.
Indeed, it is hard to imagine what law George thinks does apply to him, and if no low limits George, of if any president thinks he is above the law, I shudder to think about what he might do next.

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