Third Party & Independents Archives

The Quietly Deceitful Un-enlightened Despot

As if we needed further proof that Bush, and Rasputin’s specter George Cheney are moving the Presidency closer and closer to that which we formed the country to vanquish, comes word that the Bush has taken to interpreting the Constitution, a duty heretofore left that other (Co-Equal) branch of government, the judiciary.

Boston Globe reporter Charlie Savage has reported that our august President who would be King, "has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution."

The White House in rebuttal stated that the President is doing anything former Presidents have not done, never-mind that the practice is illegal! To use the White House’s line of reasoning, if former President’s had snorted lines of cocaine in the Oval Office, Bush should be allowed to do it too. It is clear that the Bush Administration has an overly broad understanding of its own power as defined by the Constitution. And the Administration--Cheney in particular--feel as though the Office of the Presidency lost too much power as a result of the ensuing public backlash and reforms passed by Congress in the wake of Watergate.

The Constitution of the United States in its three main articles makes it quite clear that Congress has the power to craft the laws of the land, and that the President has a duty "to take care that the laws be faithfully executed."

"Bush, however, has repeatedly declared that he does not need to '"execute" a law he believes is unconstitutional." Ignorance of the law for the common citizen has never been defense against not obeying the law, and the last time I checked We The People do not have the luxury of ignoring laws we believe to be unconstitutional. We the People can not form such judgments on our own, but must present our cases before a court of law. Where then, if the President works for the American people, and ours is still a government of, for, and by the people, does the President derive the power to ignore any law duly enacted by Congressed and sign by his own hand? Most certainly this power to circumvent the law is neither implied, nor implicit in the Constitution I read.

The globe article went on the state:

Phillip Cooper, a Portland State University law professor who has studied the executive power claims Bush made during his first term, said Bush and his legal team have spent the past five years quietly working to concentrate ever more governmental power into the White House.

'There is no question that this administration has been involved in a very carefully thought-out, systematic process of expanding presidential power at the expense of the other branches of government," Cooper said. ''This is really big, very expansive, and very significant.'

Is this now a justifiable case for Impeachment? I say it is, the President has to be stopped for he in his unenlightened stupor is being manipulated into systematically destroying our Republic. The President in our system of government is not supposed to be all powerful. Just as Congress and the Courts cannot assign power to themselves not spelled out in the Constitution, neither can the President, alleged wartime or not.

It is quite clear that Bush, with his limited knowledge of constitutional doctrine and jurisprudence, governmental affairs, and the proper functioning of our Republican system, is being led down a dark and dangerous path by Cheney and like minded folk. And in the process he (Bush) is circumventing the other two branches of government and severely eroding the system of check-and-balances the Founding Fathers built into the our Republican form of governance. And it is equally as clear that Congress and the Federal Courts cannot, and should not, let this blatant illegal power grab stand.

From the Boston Globe article:

Bush is the first president in modern history who has never vetoed a bill, giving Congress no chance to override his judgments. Instead, he has signed every bill that reached his desk, often inviting the legislation's sponsors to signing ceremonies at which he lavishes praise upon their work.

Then, after the media and the lawmakers have left the White House, Bush quietly files ''signing statements" -- official documents in which a president lays out his legal interpretation of a bill for the federal bureaucracy to follow when implementing the new law. The statements are recorded in the federal register.

In his signing statements, Bush has repeatedly asserted that the Constitution gives him the right to ignore numerous sections of the bills -- sometimes including provisions that were the subject of negotiations with Congress in order to get lawmakers to pass the bill. He has appended such statements to more than one of every 10 bills he has signed.

'He agrees to a compromise with members of Congress, and all of them are there for a public bill-signing ceremony, but then he takes back those compromises -- and more often than not, without the Congress or the press or the public knowing what has happened,' said Christopher Kelley, a Miami University of Ohio political science professor who studies executive power.

Is this the kind of underhanded deceitful nonsense we want from our President? Is this kind of below the covers governance reminiscent of the worst dictatorships, really the form of Executive Branch we want going forward? Isn’t the President supposed to be the highest ranking law enforcement official in the nation? If so what kind of example is he setting by such deceitfulness? If Clinton taught a generation of children the blowjobs were no big deal, certainly Bush is teaching them that flaunting laws one does not agree with is acceptable behavior; I ask you my fellow Americans, which behavior is more detrimental the well being of Republic?

And I ask again, is the Impeachment of this President out of order? Isn’t this the kind of misconduct the Impeachment process is supposed to correct? Isn’t Impeachment the ultimate check on Presidential power? We all know the Republican led Congress will once again abdicate its responsibility to the American people, to the country and constitution that they swore to uphold, so it falls to the people to see that this Un-enlightened Despot (they) elected King is throw down from on high.

Have you had enough yet?

Posted by V. Edward Martin at May 10, 2006 1:42 PM
Comments
Comment #146986

I took it that the President has the responsibility to enforce the laws and that if the law is not enforceable he has the duty to point that out when signing the law.

Is that what you’re talking about?

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 10, 2006 5:21 PM
Comment #146990

Signing statements are a bane to democracy. I have been against them all along. I first learned of them during the hearings on Roberts.

While presidents in the past have used them, president Bush has used more to date than all past presidents together.

Weary Willie:

Read it again. If that were the case shouldn’t he veto it?

Posted by: womanmarine at May 10, 2006 5:52 PM
Comment #146994

Yes, he should, if it is a bad law. If it has merit but unenforceable then it should be noted. Many laws passed today are for specific instances and are knee jerk responses to the “squeeky wheel”

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 10, 2006 5:57 PM
Comment #147002

For Instance:
A lady found a snake in her flower bed and called the cops. The snake was a pet of the lady’s neighbor. Her neighbor raised them for sale to petstores.

The lady went to the city government and said “Something must be done! My child is deaf and wouldn’t be able to hear a snake if it was sneaking up on her!” The mayor started waving her hands in the air as well and what resulted is “The Exotic Animal Ordinance” which prohibits not only snakes, but dolphins, bears, garaffes, ect. as well.

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 10, 2006 6:22 PM
Comment #147004

Nice job for a lawyer, writing laws for the politicians who are supposed to be writing them.
And when the lawyers are the ones writing the laws who is there to defend the constitution?

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 10, 2006 6:25 PM
Comment #147021

Signing statements are legislation from the oval office. Clearly unconstitutional as the Constitution posits legislation in the Congress, NOT the White House or Courts.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 10, 2006 7:11 PM
Comment #147030

posit
To place firmly in position.

The constitution also posits enforcement in the realm (bad word) of the President. If he can’t enforce it, the law becomes moot.

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 10, 2006 7:33 PM
Comment #147034

That sounds like separation of powers, doesn’t it?

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 10, 2006 8:07 PM
Comment #147039

I don’t think money has any room in that type of situation so we have to repeal the sixteenth ammendment.

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 10, 2006 8:26 PM
Comment #147040

Weary Willie, shhh!!!, we don’t talk about that in the land of the Bushes. Makes you sound unpatriotic!

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 10, 2006 8:27 PM
Comment #147042

That is hilarious and somber.

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 10, 2006 8:29 PM
Comment #147057

Why, if this ability to ignore portions of laws is legal, moral, ethical and in tune with the Constitution, would this signing statement be done in secret? If W is so proud and sure he is doing the right thing why would he hide it. Why would the Republicans, those fine upholders of the letter of the Constitution, not be up in arms about this. Why would current leadership in the Congress and the Senate, as pathetic as they are,not be fighting this erosion of their power?

Posted by: j2t2 at May 10, 2006 9:10 PM
Comment #147059

I think it’s because it’s portrayed differently in the media. There is no denying one media area is dominated the same way one utility is dominate in an area.

That media survives by listening to it’s base. Washington D.C. hears what it wants to hear.

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 10, 2006 9:17 PM
Comment #147063

And the rest of us are powerless and have no voice. Is this what the contract with America was all about? I guess I should have read it a little closer.

Posted by: j2t2 at May 10, 2006 9:21 PM
Comment #147065

Im emailing Lou Dobbs on this one. It takes a while but he gets the point across.

Posted by: j2t2 at May 10, 2006 9:23 PM
Comment #147067

Why? You ask, Why?
Where have you been? We’ve been asking why for some time now.
Washington D.C. is out of touch with the rest of this nation. There isn’t one of you here can deny that.

Why do you give them your money?

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 10, 2006 9:26 PM
Comment #147073

Ive been working and then Ive been working some more. This administration was suppose to be the solution not the problem. Less Government, more Freedom, wasnt that what the contract with America was all about. I guess they just didnt mean us average working people. “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss” comes to mind. Only more arrogant. Whats the difference between the Bush Administration in league with a Republican controlled house and senate, and Facism?

Posted by: j2t2 at May 10, 2006 9:39 PM
Comment #147075

This administration cannot be the solution to the problem. The problem is the administration. Or so it is said by the media.

It’s all good when a democrat is president and it’s all bad when a repub in in.

It’s so obvious it reeks of politics, yet when they are caught the procedures change because they don’t want it to appear “Political”. What a bunch of mung.
What is that? What is “mung”?
It’s something that looks and acts like snot but it smells like shit.

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 10, 2006 9:55 PM
Comment #147078

I have to say this is a new one on me. Grounds for impeachment? twisting a bill to serve this man’s own ends, absolutely. Why have I not heard a freakin’ word of this in the televised MSM? Why is this not as big an issue as the ports deal or the wiretapping? This sets such a horrible modality for future presidents it needs to be stopped dead in its tracks.

This is the purest example of presidential corruption all it needs is a good press stink to go with it. People might not care being that it is a bit complex to explain to the viewing public but none the less it is grounds for impeachment, as if everything else isn’t.

Posted by: Novenge at May 10, 2006 10:04 PM
Comment #147079

What media? The one that lives in fear of W and his ilk? I think the difference now is the medis is corporate controlled. All the crap about left wing media is so 1980’s, and not accurate anymore.

Posted by: j2t2 at May 10, 2006 10:08 PM
Comment #147082

J2t2,

Send it to Lou, he could really give it the media binge it needs to get it across. I sent him some info on blackbox voting in Florida two years back and it went on air. This issue is big and needs it some stinkage or “mung” to run tandem to it.

If we could get some examples of it and how it is applied and keep the examples coming—that would be a spicy meatball right there. Bit by bit examples of where and when it is applied by GW with research—NICE! Lou can make it the scandal it needs to be.

Posted by: Novenge at May 10, 2006 10:17 PM
Comment #147098

If headlines read 750 laws disobeyed by Bush, it’s enough to topple him finally. SEVEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY that is enough, I’m sure of it, impeachment has arrived. And then watch the neocons scramble to protect his ass as the ship goes down.

Thought: Would it be better to wait until after November though? Or would whoredom speak for itself and the stink be on all of them in congress for allowing it? Would it be the toppling blow for the neocons? I say go with it now J2T2.

That’s seven months before the elections but it could start some impeachment talk as the dems will go into warmode atleast superficially. Bush stinks last about a month and a half to two months—so I question whether it’s better to play Texas Hold’em with it then move. But it could create such mistrust of Bush that it inevitably lasts over until November. 750 is a huge number and will not go away that easily at all—that kinda’ “mung” don’t was off.

J2T2—your call.

Posted by: Novenge at May 10, 2006 10:44 PM
Comment #147102

Sorry six months.

Posted by: Novenge at May 10, 2006 10:53 PM
Comment #147104

The problem in the Signing Statements for the media is that it is hard to explain in two sentences. The MSM prefers short stories rather than novels in order to fit the 30-minute programs they have.

Its like Joe McCarthy in the 1950s. The MSM knew what was happening but did not know how to portray it in a way understandable to the public. It took Edward R. Murrow to invent a new kind of reporting to bring McCarthy down. More importantly, his network had to devote massive airtime for it to happen.

Fat chance that will happen today. The only network that does that anymore is Fox News and its for attacking Liberals using flimsy evidence.

Posted by: Aldous at May 10, 2006 10:56 PM
Comment #147109

V. Edward

Good post. The consolidation of power in the executive should frighten ALL. Once the precident is set it is very difficult to overcome. The right is ok with turning a blind eye to this now. However, at some point there will be a democrat in office again armed with this authority.
The right has recently been attacking judges for “legislating from the bench”, a good idea when applied evenly across the board, the executive MUST be held to the same standard.
Would they approve of a President H. Clinton gutting abortion legislation the same way?
We need to learn that even if the Pres. is of our own “party” this kind of abuse must be called out and stopped.

Posted by: Ted at May 10, 2006 11:02 PM
Comment #147114

Ted:

Don’t worry. Once the Dems take Congress, we will see just how much of a Decider Bush has been in 6 years.

Posted by: Aldous at May 10, 2006 11:17 PM
Comment #147117

Aldous,
Yes I do hope they hold his feet to the fire.
But I believe the damage has been done. This kind of power is not surrendered without a fight. Now the stage has been set, and the props are left for the next actor to pick up and use. The party out of office will cry foul and the cycle begins anew.

Posted by: Ted at May 10, 2006 11:25 PM
Comment #147119
Signing statements are legislation from the oval office. Clearly unconstitutional

That says it all.

And to be fair, the Bush administration has never made a secret of the fact that it wants to free itself from the checks and balances placed on it by the Constitution.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 10, 2006 11:31 PM
Comment #147123

I just sent the Globe links over to CNN newsroom, I’ll hammer at it see what happens. It may be that it is too hard to explain but the number “750” is eye catching and could gain some gravity there. The name Boston Globe also has some weight to it as well.

I say send it around and see what happens, why not?

Posted by: Novenge at May 10, 2006 11:55 PM
Comment #147124

Its going to take a few decent republicans, in the house and senate, to act with courage and honor to fix this problem. Maybe they will step up to the plate and decide to fight for the return of a balence of power. The dems in the house and senate cant do anything about this, Hell, they couldnt even garner enough interest to censure W just a few short months ago. Are there any decent republicans out there?

Posted by: j2t2 at May 10, 2006 11:56 PM
Comment #147129

Google signing statements
and you get for a start:
this
this
and this

and there’s probably more.

Posted by: womanmarine at May 11, 2006 12:34 AM
Comment #147400

At least this one link is worth consideration as if it should be read or not.

The other two are opinion and the first is how the opinion was found.

I haven’t seen an example of the President’s handwriting on a piece of paper in any of those links. What did his signings say? What did the legislation say? Are we unable to comprehend these details? Is that why only opinion is being touted? Did the “in the know” people do all the reading and understanding of these signings and determine that the President is Gingus Kahn reincarnate?

Nothing to do with specifics. Never mind how the determination was made. It has been made and it is the opinion that is driving the debate.

Opinion doesn’t hold up in court. Most of this opinion doesn’t hold up in public either. It’s noise. When they pull the curtain closed there will be no noise.

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 11, 2006 9:00 PM
Comment #147477

V.L. Martin: excellent post! And no, I have not had enough of this sort of post on WatchBlog: you keep it up!

The Rest Of Yez: I’m surprised at some of you: you really hadn’t heard of this travesty before? Keith Olbermann’s been all over it like a Rash!

No wonder some of you think I’m a LoOnIe: you just haven’t heard all of the Devil’s Details, yet!

Here’s a Starting Point: no matter how Bad you think it has become - it’s far, far worse.

Let me ask you all something: do you think that we have heard everything that would be Bad/Damaging to the Cheney Regency yet? Do you really believe that they have been unable to cover everything up? And, if so - assuming that the very worst is still Awaiting Discovery - what sort of Secret Things might still remain unknown to us, The People?

Betty, my lads, is not quite the Fringe LoOnIe that some have painted her to be. But Truth, crushed to earth, shall rise again…

Posted by: Betty Burke at May 12, 2006 1:01 AM
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