Dictators and Tyrants
December 18, 2005
My president claims that his illegal wiretaps are essential to protecting the lives of Americans. But he is responsible for protecting my liberty (remember Patrick Henry), and that is what he is relentless chipping away. I don't know if we have faced, as a nation, as an experiment in democracy and self-government, such a critical moment as we face now that W has thrown down the gauntlet. His pugnacious radio address yesterday made it very clear -- he believes that he is authorized to take any action that he feels is necessary in his war on terror. He is not subject to legislative or judicial review.
He says the program is reviewed every 45 days -- by him, his attorney general, and his lawyer. Good grief.
The rumbling in congress is encouraging. But the president's partisans are coming on strong as well. The next few weeks will tell -- are we so craven as a nation that we will turn our back on the dreams of Franklin and Washington and Jefferson and Adams in search of some elusive illusion of security? Tyrants and dictators always arise with the consent of those they govern. We get the government that we deserve.
Breathtaking. Not the act, the admission. Here is a President who claims he is above the law. Here is a President who speaks of democracy and patriotism and then denigrates the letter and spirit of our founding document. It was reported last week that President Bush called the constitution “a God damned piece of paper.”
I have said it before, I will say it again. This is the presidency, these are the times, that our founding fathers feared. The Constitution was designed not to protect us from Stalin, Hitler, or Osama. It was designed to protect us from the likes of George Bush. The test has finally come, not since the Civil War has the Republic been so tested. Where will the Republic turn now? Who will stand to defend it against a President who seeks to undo it?
Bill Clinton was impeached for lying to a Grand Jury. Here is a President who openly defies the Constitution; who distains the very principles of the Republic. Here is a man who has broken his oath of office to protect the Constitution. Where are the calls for impeachment? George Bush has broken the law and defied the will of congress. He has appeared on national television and radio and openly admitted his act of defiance and promised to break the law again.
America has no choice, Congress has no choice, it must act to reassert its power. If it does not, the precedent will have been set. The core principle of the Republic, separation of powers, will have been breached. This sadly is the moment I feared and for all too long dreaded. My fear, the moment will pass. The challenge will go unmet. How ironic that it seems the champion of the moment is no other then Senator John Sununu, the son of the first President Bush’s Chief-of-staff. How will it all play out now?
Posted by: MarkD | December 18, 2005 at 04:24 PM
I think the challenge is being met, finally, in the filibustering of the Patriot Act in the Senate. Not only has John Sununu stepped up; strong conservative Larry Craig of Idaho has also been courageous.
Both conservatives and liberals have something to fear in George W. Bush. He's gone beyond ideology in his quest for absolute power, and ever greater numbers of people are beginning to recoil.
Posted by: Marcus | December 19, 2005 at 02:33 PM