Saturday, March 24, 2007

To Insanity, And Beyond! -- Is The 'Unitary Executive' Theory 'Quaint'?

In yesterday's column, "New Developments in the U.S. Attorney Controversy: Why Bush Refuses to Allow Karl Rove and Harriet Miers to Testify Before Congress, and What Role New White House Counsel Fred Fielding May Play", John Dean shot more than a few straight arrows, including these:
For both Bush and Cheney, virtually any limit on presidential power is too great. And this conflict, in the end, is all about presidential power.

In a piece last year for The New Republic's July issue, legal journalist Jeffery Rosen summed up George W. Bush's outlook on the presidency: "One of the defining principles of the Bush administration has been a belief in unfettered executive power."

Rosen reported that Bush's perspective is not "mere political opportunism -- a cynical rationale devised after September 11 to allow the president to do whatever he likes in the war on terrorism." Rather, Rosen explained, Bush's actions stem from his embrace of the "unitary executive theory."
Dean gives a brief overview of this "unitary executive" madness -- clearly a smokescreen to cloud the accretion of incredible power in unprincipled hands -- and he provides links to even more detailed articles about it. But essentially he summarizes the unitary executive theory by saying that in the minds of its adherents it
precludes any but the most minimal role for Congress: Its role, they believe, is simply to decide whether to appropriate money; otherwise, it must butt out completely.


Mild and lazy indeed, compared with the fallout from yesterday's passage in the House of a pro-war bill disguised as a timetable for withdrawal, as reported in the Washington Post
"These Democrats believe that the longer they can delay funding for our troops, the more likely they are to force me to accept restrictions on our commanders, an artificial timetable for withdrawal, and their pet spending projects. This is not going to happen," the president said. "The Democrats have sent their message. Now it's time to send their money."
That's my emphasis (here and above), but even without it, the implication couldn't be clearer: the twice-unelected so-called president has moved even beyond the lunatic fringe of the "unitary executive" school of constitutional "thought". Now, rather than tolerating the most minimal role for Congress (i.e. deciding whether to appropriate money), the chimperor simply demands that Congress shut up and appropriate the money.
"The Democrats have sent their message. Now it's time to send their money."
Whose voice is this?

Is it a defiant teenager, interrupting "I raised you better than this..." with: "Cut the crap. Just gimme my allowance"?

Or maybe it's the schoolyard bully: "Shot da fock op an' gimme yer lonch money, ya fockin' creeps!"

I think it may be some of each.

The other kids in the playground have finally got their act together, sort of, but unfortunately just barely enough to say: "We're not gonna let you push us around anymore, starting a year and a half from now."

For this spineless act, with the majority of the country firmly against the war, they are righteously to be called "fockin' creeps", IMVHO.

And they may deserve even less respect than they get from Bush Lightyear, a beyond-unitary nutcase who sneers at them and says: "Cut the crap and gimme the fockin' money!" while he launches the nation -- and indeed the world -- to insanity and beyond.


(Thanks to Bannoy dot com for the "Bush Lightyear" graphic.)