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A Faerie's Farthing

Flitting through the internets looking for sparkly bits. All content mine and not to be reproduced without permission.

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Monday, January 02, 2006

More Conservatives Get Their Grip On

More Conservatives Get Their Grip On

It has long been rumored (and fervently hoped in some circles), that, eventually, one of shrubCo's antics would fall so far beyond the pale as to break through the Kool-Aid haze. I think Operation: Big Brother has finally done it. The idea of impeachment, once relegated to "the fringe," is now openly discussed. "Separation of Powers" is suddenly a topic of great interest and the Constitution is actually being quoted. None of which is good for shrubya - from Congress, to the courts to commentary, he's taking hit after hit over his administration's blatant power grabs and manipulations.

So far, at least three (R) Senators have stepped up in favor of investigations, including Olympia Snowe and Richard Lugar. Chuck Hagel also had some choice words on the matter:

"Every president, that we know of, has complied with the law (FISA)," Hagel said. "No president is above the law. We are a nation of laws and no president, majority leader, or chief justice of the Supreme Court can unilaterally or arbitrarily avoid a law or dismiss a law. If the vice president holds a different point of view, then he holds a different point of view."

..."I take an oath of office to the Constitution," he said. "I don't take an oath of office to the vice president, a president or a political party."

Lindsey Graham also dropped some gems in his December 18th appearance on Face the Nation:

GRAHAM: If he has the authority to go around the FISA court, which is a court to accommodate the law of the war of terror, the FISA Act was-created a court set up by the chief justice of the United States to allow a rapid response to requests for surveillance activity in the war on terror. I don't know of any legal basis to go around that. There may be some, but I'm not aware of it. And here's the concern I have. We can't become an outcome-based democracy. Even in a time of war, you have to follow the process, because that's what a democracy is all about: a process.

...I reject the idea that any president can sit down with a handful of congressmen and deal the courts out if the law requires the court to be involved. It is about the process. It's not about the politics. It is about winning the war, adhering to the values that we are fighting for and you can't set those values aside in the name of expediency.

Interestingly, the notion that shrubCo plays fast and loose with policy for the sake of expedience is also a facet of this smackdown from the very conservative 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. Maybe Luttig's just being testy over not being nominated to the Supreme Court, but he put some pretty scathing remarks in the court's opinion of the Padilla case.

[The Bush Administration’s] actions have left not only the impression that Padilla may have been held for these years, even if justifiably, by mistake [but also] they have left the impression that the government may even have come to the belief that the principle in reliance upon which it has detained Padilla for this time…can, in the end, yield to expediency with little or no cost to its conduct of the war against terror

...And these impressions have been left, we fear, at what may ultimately prove to be substantial cost to the government’s credibility before the courts.

Even William Safire, a former White House speech writer, has said they've gone too far. It's amazing what having one's phone tapped will do to ones' perspective.

SAFIRE: And so they tapped my phone, and for six months, every home phone call I got was tapped. I didn't like that...it told me how easy it was to just take somebody who is not really suspected of anything for any good reason and listen to every conversation in his home--you know, my wife talking to her doctor, my--everything.

...So there's always this struggle in a war between liberty and security...During wartime, we have this excess of security and afterwards we apologize. And that's why I offended a lot of my conservative and hard-line friends right after September 11th when they started putting these captured combatants in jail, and said the president can't seize dictatorial power. And a lot of my friends looked at me like I was going batty. But now we see this argument over excessive security, and I'm with the critics on that.

Nope...things are not going well for the boy who would be king who would be emperor.

wing tip to Americablog!


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