Befitting a nation that prides itself on its entrepreneurial creativity, the United States is preparing the way for a uniquely American innovation in governance: a democratically elected dictator. And neither politicians, nor judges, nor journalists, are rising to oppose the coming tyranny.
This ominous prophecy of political thralldom is not a product of party or partisanship. Personalities are irrelevant. The threat hovers over the office of the presidency as it has been defined by the current occupant.
George Bush, aided by puppet master, Dick Cheney, has blazed a trail of executive power that is unprecedented. Together they have reshaped the presidency into a virtual monarchy. The founding fathers strove mightily to craft an executive that was accountable and vulnerable to the counterbalancing of coequal branches of government. They would certainly not approve of the measures that Bush has employed to demolish their long enduring work.
By consolidating power in the White House, BushCo is advancing an interpretation of American government that is openly hostile to the Constitution. This is more than a theoretical exercise. The principles advocated by all the President’s men and women have already been put into practice and their issue reads like a draft for Articles of Impeachment. As the founding fathers might say…
“Let Facts Be Submitted To A Candid World.”
- Falsifying evidence of weapons of mass destruction to justify an unlawful war of aggression.
- Directing the exposure of a covert CIA agent in time of war.
- Using presidential signing statements to circumvent laws passed by Congress.
- Illegal wiretapping and surveillance conducted against American citizens.
- Extraordinary rendition and torture of detainees in violation of the Geneva Conventions.
- Illegal suspension of the right of habeas corpus.
- Destruction of executive branch records whose preservation is required by law.
- Unlawfully terminating U.S. attorneys for political purposes.
- Employing executive privilege for the purpose of obstructing justice.
- Suborning perjury by administration officials.
- Threatening to prosecute journalists under the Espionage Act for reporting government wrongdoing.
- Dereliction of duty and failure to faithfully execute the office of President and to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.
This administration behaves as if there are no other branches of government, and no public opinion either. They espouse a philosophy that views the President as a “unitary executive.” In this view the President is not subject to Congressional oversight; laws are complied with on a voluntary basis; every act or document produced by the executive branch is regarded as privileged and secret; and the courts function as rubber stamps for the de facto despot.
This behavior is contrary to the values of a free, democratic society. Left unchecked it will lower the bar of governance and serve as a precedent for future administrations. The one sure way to vacate that precedent is to vacate the president – that is, to impeach Bush and/or Cheney. Many people may consider that to be a fanciful pipe dream. Congressional leaders have all but rejected the notion. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said that impeachment is “off the table.” Harry Reid, majority leader in the Senate, says that even a censure would be a waste of time.
|Do you favor or oppose the US House of Representatives beginning impeachment proceedings against President George W. Bush?
The American people, however, have a completely different take on the matter, as reported in a new poll by the American Research Group. When asked if they favor or oppose the US House of Representatives beginning impeachment proceedings against President George W. Bush, 45% are in favor, 46% oppose. Those numbers include wide majorities of Democrats and Independents. The results are even worse for Cheney for whom there is an outright majority in favor of impeachment (54%/40%). In either case, there is clearly a sufficient measure of dissatisfaction to warrant the commencement of committee hearings to ascertain whether credible grounds for impeachment exist. Not to do so would be a dereliction of duty and failure of representative government.
The foregoing notwithstanding, Congress may well neglect their duty, ignore the public will, and decline to initiate hearings. Should that occur, the injury to the Constitution would still be an open and festering wound. While remedies like censure would be better than nothing, there is another path that ought to be explored which, as yet, has not been discussed in broad-based media.