Tuesday, June 24, 2008

June 22, 2008

     I always have fun learning about new Bushisms.  Garry Trudeau has several in Sunday's "Doonesbury."  I think my favorite is, "What I'm telling you is there's too many junk lawsuits suing too many doctors," but there are others.


     My real favorite isn't a grammatical blooper at all.  It's when he said several years ago, "I'm the decider."  That's just dead wrong and betrays Mr. Bush's perhaps willful misreading of the Constitution, a document for which he seems to have little use.  The men who wrote the Constitution, of course, didn't want a decider in the government.  They'd had one--also a George, as it happens, King George III.  They fought and won a war to get rid of him, and when they set up a government to replace him, they made sure there was no decider.  That power was divided among three branches of government. 


    So the Congress can pass a law, but the president can veto that law, but the Congress can override the veto by a two-thirds majority, but the Supreme Court can declare the law unconstitutional, but...and so on.  Divided, limited power.


     This failed president seems to believe that in wartime the president is all-powerful.  He can order torture which most of us, including the only tortured Member of Congress, John McCain, think is unconstitutional.  He can order anyone he doesn't like--enemy combatants is the usual phrase--held forever without being charged with anything, without being told what evidence, if any, the government has of whatever they're supposed to have done, without a trial or a lawyer or any of that legal stuff.


     This failed president thinks he can search your house or read your mail or tap your phone without a court order, even though Congress set up a special court which pretty routinely grants such requests.  And so on.  And so on. The defense is always that we're at war.  But losing the Constitution might be even worse than losing a war.


     I like the Constitution and think it has served this country amazingly well.  I don't know how many or what kid of debates John McCain and Barack Obama will have, but I hope one question they get asked is, "Do you believe in the Constitution and as president, would you try to obey it?" 

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