Monday, January 15, 2007

Rogue Executives

Digby has an epiphany:
I have come to realize that conservatism's single most identifiable characteristic is its fear (of progress, the other --- everything.) And nothing scared conservatives more than the great progressive Martin Luther King, who faced them down peacefully with grim determination and awesome courage. Why, if African Americans could overcome, then what was to stop anybody from believing that "liberty and justice for all" applied to them too. Thanks, Reverend King for making it so.
Digby has his own take on GWB's 60 Minutes interview:
President Bush, facing opposition from both parties over his plan to send more troops to Iraq, said he has the authority to act no matter what Congress wants.

"I fully understand they could try to stop me from doing it. But I've made my decision. And we're going forward," Bush told CBS'"60 Minutes" in an interview to air Sunday night.

Vice President Dick Cheney asserted that lawmakers' criticism will not influence Bush's plans and he dismissed any effort to "run a war by committee."

"The president is the commander in chief. He's the one who has to make these tough decisions," Cheney said.
I have long said that the Republicans are undemocratic, but now they're just coming right out and saying it: democracy is all well and good until the people and their representatives object to what the president is doing at which point the people and their representatives become a superfluous "committee." They have interpreted the words "commander in chief" to mean that the constitution gives the president dictatorial powers during "wartime" (which the president defines.)

These are two dangerous and selfish men who aren't running for office and so have no political constraints. Not even a 30% approval rating or 12% support for this decision has made them think twice. They are completely confident that history will vindicate them.

They are what impeachment was designed for, I'm afraid, although I doubt there's time to build a case, what with the endless executive privilege claims and stonewalling. (I don't rule it out, naturally --- let a thousand oversight hearings bloom and follow the evidence where it leads.) But whether they are ultimately impeached or not, it's clear that they are rogue executives who are impervious to the normal limits that inhibit decent men and political animals. This can't just be swept under the rug.

Bush made it clear a long time ago when he said to a citizen on a rope line: "Who cares what you think?" And when he quipped "A dictatorship would be a lot easier, as long as I'm the dictator," he wasn't really joking.

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