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Monday, December 19, 2005

They Didn't Impeach Lincoln 

Jonathan Alter follows me in advancing the possible comparison between Bush the Younger and Lincoln the Emancipator who ignored his own Cabinet. But Alter doesn't buy it:

President Bush came out swinging on Snoopgate—he made it seem as if those who didn’t agree with him wanted to leave us vulnerable to Al Qaeda—but it will not work. We’re seeing clearly now that Bush thought 9/11 gave him license to act like a dictator, or in his own mind, no doubt, like Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War....

Bush was desperate to keep the [New York] Times from running this important story—which the paper had already inexplicably held for a year—because he knew that it would reveal him as a law-breaker. He insists he had “legal authority derived from the Constitution and congressional resolution authorizing force.” But the Constitution explicitly requires the president to obey the law. And the post 9/11 congressional resolution authorizing “all necessary force” in fighting terrorism was made in clear reference to military intervention. It did not scrap the Constitution and allow the president to do whatever he pleased in any area in the name of fighting terrorism.

What is especially perplexing about this story is that the 1978 law set up a special court to approve eavesdropping in hours, even minutes, if necessary. In fact, the law allows the government to eavesdrop on its own, then retroactively justify it to the court, essentially obtaining a warrant after the fact. Since 1979, the FISA court has approved tens of thousands of eavesdropping requests and rejected only four. There was no indication the existing system was slow—as the president seemed to claim in his press conference—or in any way required extra-constitutional action....

When I mused in the past (I forget where) that anyone who wants to impeach and convict Bush is going to end up with Cheney, I didn't realize that there was a solution for that too, as Dick Bell notes:

There is only one way to end the lies: impeach George Bush. And if Dick Cheney does not resign quickly, impeach him too.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

The more I read about the goings-on of this administration, the more I realize that Bush isn’t the liar I have claimed him to be. He’s too stupid to pull it off. The real liars are Cheney and Rumself. Bush is just their puppet.
Not quite sure about Bush's stupidity.

Remember how everyone thought that Reagan was a know-nothing? (Heaven 17's song "We Don't Need That Fascist Groove Thang" included the line "Generals tell him what to do.") In retrospect, it was discovered that Reagan was capable of original thought and, although not detail-oriented, pretty much ran the show.

Years from now we may discover that Bush isn't the Cheney robot.
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