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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Dictatorial Presidency Has No Defense.

I'm so sick of hearing Clinton did it too. After every revelation of abuse of power by this administration, we get presidential defenders trotting out some example that Bill Clinton somehow did the same thing. Well, you know what, I don't care. Just because Bill Clinton jumped off a cliff doesn't mean that George Bush should. And quite frankly, I would think you Republicans would know this, just because Clinton did something, doesn't mean that it's legal.

First appearing in the rendition argument, the Bush defenders are now trotting out parallels to the NSA spying programs (Drudge has up some unbacked "flashes" to that effect) with the underlying logic that somehow this makes a blantant breach of the law OK.

By your logic, because Tom Delay is crooked, Duke Cunningham is crooked, Bob Ney is crooked, and apparently Bill Frist is crooked, that means the Dems get four crooked politicians. Well, the Dems appear to have Jefferson in LA. so that means they get two more Congressmen and a Senator. Is that how this stuff works now?

This isn't a party issue, you idiots, this is a legal issue. It's a massive constitutional issue. This is about preventing a president from claiming unilateral dictatorial powers. This is about the very essence and health of our constitutional democracy.

Under the powers currently claimed by this administration, within the same authorization they are using for the NSA taps, the president, solely at his discretion, has the power to designate any individual an enemy combatant, detain that person, freeze or seize that person's assets, transfer them anywhere in the world, dance the fine line of torture, and detain them so long as the president deigns. All with no access to judicial remedy.

This claim of an omnipotent presidency in a time of "war" is a very dangerous precedent to allow. If this is allowed to stand, we, in effect, have a dictatorship. A dictatorship who has committed a war of unprovoked aggression, who makes repeated threats about military action against other nations, who possesses and is developing a WMD arsenal which could destroy the world several times over, who has used WMD in the past, and has made threats to use them in the future. A dictatorship who disappears its citizens without any legal recourse, and tortures individuals deemed a threat by its leader.

Didn't we just go to all the trouble of starting a war to remove one of those?

I don't care if Clinton did it too. No president should be claiming that he is the sole arbiter of our grand nation. No president should be able to claim that the Bill of Rights no longer applies to the citizens of this country. That runs against the great philosophical thread that has been passed forward through the generations in our country. There are no greater mandates on our democracy than the rights enshrined in those first ten amendments. They are truly the freedoms that we are supposedly fighting to protect.

If Clinton did it, fine, prosecute him as well. This is a nation of laws and not men. And, if men are allowed unlimited power, as history shows us in every example, it will not end well, and it will certainly mark the end of the great democratic experiment that is America.

So, Mr. Republican, if you truly are as conservative as you claim to be about the nature and scope of our government, step in and stop this.

Stop worrying about trying to save your party, and start worrying about how to save your country.

And, to my Bush apologist, pro-torture, pro-rendition, Texas Senator Cornyn, who said this today, None of your civil liberties matter much after you’re dead,

I would respond, "Give me Liberty or Give me Death, Motherfucker." Do you value America's freedoms so cheaply, Senator Cornyn?

I don't. I know how much blood has been spilt for our freedom and I treasure it. I'm not willing to give up that hard won liberty simply because some goddamned crackpot is out there trying to kill me.

By giving up our rights so easily, sir, it is you who is dishonoring the sacrifice that literally millions of American soldiers have willingly made over the last two centuries to guarantee our freedoms. And for putting such a low price on their lives, sir, you should be ashamed.

Enough.

5 Comments:

  • I couldn't agree with you more. Where does the buck ever stop with these guys? Bill Clinton?

    By Blogger left-over, at 10:13 PM  

  • Your right, I'm soooo sick of them trotting out Monica Lewinsky,and other Clinton mistakes. The time is now, and this President is killing people, and trashing the Constitution. Time for so called conservitives, to stand up for the country.

    By Blogger Left of Center, at 12:31 AM  

  • The modern Republican Party has shown an increasing un-conservative disdain for the rule of law. Their methodology has been to game the system -- voting, lobbying, etc. -- to establish a permanent Republican majority so that they might substitute a rule of man -- their man.

    By Blogger Motherlode, at 6:28 AM  

  • there is a great post at DailyKos titled "debunking the clinton/carter myth" that provides some great ammo.

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2005/12/21/8157/6595

    By Blogger somadude, at 4:40 PM  

  • Okay not exactly the same, but I just wanted to be able to say it once.

    Good post. I concede. :-)

    By Blogger Kvatch, at 10:22 AM  

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