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Thursday, May 03, 2007

The man who would be king

After viewing the Jon Stewart - Bill Moyers discussion yesterday, I was left pondering Stewart's argument about the President: that his underlings take the fall when the President steps on the law. Today I came across several interesting tidbits on the administration's assertion that Bush is above the law.

One writer at Dailykos notes that Bush's decision to veto the war legislation differs from his previous use of a signing statement to essentially ignore certain portions of the law. Previously, Bush has asserted the power of the executive by simply ignoring directives of Congress or laws that he feels impede his role as Commander-in-Chief. In this,

Another post from a Kossack says that the academic underpinning to Bush's extralegal manuevers is essentially this: by being President, Bush is above the law. He quotes extensively from blogger Glenn Greenwald, who digs through the academic-speak to the point:

In that article, Mansfied claimed, among other things, that our "enemies, being extra-legal, need to be faced with extra-legal force"; that the "Office of President" is "larger than the law"; that "the rule of law is not enough to run a government"; that "ordinary power needs to be supplemented or corrected by the extraordinary power of a prince, using wise discretion"; that "with one person in charge we can have both secrecy and responsibility"; and most of all:

Much present-day thinking puts civil liberties and the rule of law to the fore and forgets to consider emergencies when liberties are dangerous and law does not apply.

"Law does not apply" -- that is Mansfield's belief, and the belief of the Bush movement. (emphasis from dKos)

And how do Americans respond to such actions? We could start by listing our grievances regarding President Bush:
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good...He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records...He has obstructed the Administration of Justice...He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people...He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
The last time we had these grievances, we took this action:
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
Or we could help Congress re-assert the rule of law.

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