22 July 2007

royal presidency...

I've previously remarked about the U.S. Founding Fathers' fear of establishment of a monarchy after their battle with King George III. King George W has been edging, rather quickly as of late, towards what they feared.

From an article in Truthdig.com entitled "King George W.: James Madison’s Nightmare" by Robert Scheer -

George W. Bush is the imperial president that James Madison and other founders of this great republic warned us about. He lied the nation into precisely the “foreign entanglements” that George Washington feared would destroy the experiment in representative government, and he has championed a spurious notion of security over individual liberty, thus eschewing the alarms of Thomas Jefferson as to the deprivation of the inalienable rights of free citizens. But most important, he has used the sledgehammer of war to obliterate the separation of powers that James Madison enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.

As an example, just this week King George W announced "...that the Justice Department simply doesn't have the power to pursue contempt charges once the president has claimed executive privilege." [Salon.com "Super Privilege," July 20, 2007] In other words, "I'm untouchable; there no longer is separation of powers; oversight is a outgrown myth."

Bush has fed directly into the fear of the military-industrial complex that Dwight Eisenhower warned of in his farewell address. As Sheer points out in his Truthdig article, "The collapse of the Soviet Union deprived the military profiteers and their handsomely rewarded cheerleaders in the government of a raison d’ĂȘtre for the massive war economy supposedly created in response to it." Obviously, 9/11 came along with perfect timing. If you look at the upper right-hand corner of this blog, you'll see the never ending counter that shows the U.S. has spent over $445 Billion since 2002 on Iraq!

There has always been a conspiracy argument floating around that FDR allowed World War II to happen to help the economy. There can't be too much of a stretch in making a similar argument, since there have been reports that Bush & Co. failed to notice all of the foreboding of 9/11, to debate that the complex maneuvered to have all these notices ignored and ramp up their flagging business.

Finally, Sheer points out Madison's exhortation to the importance of avoiding a constant state of war:
In his “Political Observations,” written years before he served as fourth president of the United States, Madison went on to underscore the dangers of an imperial presidency bloated by war fever. “In war,” Madison wrote in 1795, at a time when the young republic still faced its share of dangerous enemies, “the discretionary power of the Executive is extended ... and all the means of seducing the minds are added to those of subduing the force, of the people.”

Constitutional crisis? The intricate ramifications of what is going down between the Judicial and Executive branches so far are being understated by the caution being taken by the Republicans, the Democrats, the Media and others. All signs point to a long-term legal battle. King George W is not going to back down and Congress doesn't have the capability at this point to pull together. It's all coming down to November 2008. Can we wait that long?

The unknown component in this unfolding drama is the Roberts' Supreme Court. That may be the ultimate consternation Congressional members have. SCOTUS has taken a turn to the right but has also put Bush on notice with a couple of its last rulings on Gitmo.

should we be any more afraid?

just asking...

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