Public Nuisance

Random commentary and senseless acts of blogging.

The first Republican president once said, "While the people retain their virtue and their vigilance, no administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can seriously injure the government in the short space of four years." If Mr. Lincoln could see what's happened in these last three-and-a-half years, he might hedge a little on that statement.
-Ronald Reagan

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Friday, August 09, 2002
 
Some may say it's incompetence, but for me the major theme of the Bush administration has been arrogance. A new article (via Tapped) shows how the White House has been refusing to cooperate with Congress, ignoring Republicans as much as Democrats.

A few days ago, there was the decision to simply ignore a court order to turn over documents regarding detainee Yaser Hamdi. Not long before that was the threat to arrest anybody who dared attempt the lese majeste of serving a lawsuit on Cheney. When Congress wanted to investigate the FBI's decisions before 9/11, the FBI decided to investigate Congress and ask members to take polygraph exams. And while Bush denies that he has made a final decision on war with Iraq, he clearly feels that it's his decision and the Congress has no say at all in determining whether the country goes to war.

The general attitude is that the executive branch is tasked with running the country, and the legislative and judicial branches seemingly tasked mainly with staying out of its way. The most extreme and disturbing position has been the continuing attempt to block any judicial review of detention of enemy combatants. The Bush position is that the government can simply pick up any person without restriction and hold them indefinitely on the assertion that they are enemy combatants. Pro-Bush libertarians in the Blogosphere have at least had the sense to oppose this position, but it remains to be seen whether they will also have the sense to stop supporting a man whose actions show a consistent disdain for freedom.

The position that the President makes unilateral decisions on war and peace at least has respectability in being the position of most recent presidents. For a genuine strict constructionist, that would hardly outweigh the obvious contradiction with the text of the Constitution, but I have seen no evidence that for Bush strict construction means anything other than 'precedents don`t count unless I want them to'.



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