The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom. - Wm. Blake

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Still here

Sorry for the radio silence, folks. No real reason, except real life busyness combined with a touch of underinpsiration.

But I will say one thing: the debate - both in public and on blogs - about censure and impeachment has been largely off track. I won't deny that impeachment is probably tactically unproductive at this point (when we have nothing approaching a majority to make it happen) or after the elections (when, even if we get majorities, Bush will be viewed as the lamest of ducks). Blogospheric consensus is unanimous that the Denate badly mishandled the censure issue, and I agree with that. But those discussions have weighed too heavily on the politics of the situation.

Look, the purpose of politics is governance - we want our guys to win because we think they'll do a better job. And there's no point in being in politics if you won't try to better governance. And right now, we need better governance. As Digby and Glenn Greenwald in particular have pointed out, what Bush has been saying and doing since the NSA illegalities have become known is to explicitly put himself above all laws and restraints.

the Bush Justice department has asserted their right to ignore any law that congress makes, and which a former president signed, under a theory of executive power so sweeping that it essentially declares that this nation is a constitutional, elected monarchy
There are numerous noteworthy items, but the most significant, by far, is that the DoJ made clear to Congress that even if Congress passes some sort of newly amended FISA of the type which Sen. DeWine introduced, and even if the President "agrees" to it and signs it into law, the President still has the power to violate that law if he wants to. Put another way, the Administration is telling the Congress -- again -- that they can go and pass all the laws they want which purport to liberalize or restrict the President's powers, and it does not matter, because the President has and intends to preserve the power to do whatever he wants regardless of what those laws provide.
Bush and his administration are saying it loud and clear. They mean it. It is desperately important to the Republic that we do something about it. If you think this is too much, too shrill, I ask you: Do they mean it? They keep saying it, occasionally couching their words, but they are saying it, from the NSA to torture to the Patriot Act and a hundred tiny programs. So either they're lying, or they mean it. I think that, for once, the evidence weighs heavily against the idea that they're lying about this. So then they mean it. And if Democratic Senators won't move to stop it - if we citizens don't demand that they stop it - then the Constitution lies in tatters. And God - or whoever - help us all.