Back, after an extended hiatus that mainly consisted of perfecting diaper changes on the Wee Pedant. Seriously. When she turns sixteen and we have an argument and I tell her she's full of shit, I will know what I am talking about.
So I am back. And as it turns out, I'm not the only only one back. Yes! Fafblog has returned! Let the rejoicing commence.
Brief pause while I let the joyous news sink in.
Now I can commence the rant that's been building for many a week. Let's start with something the Lovely And Talented Mrs. Pedant is fond of saying, "Those Founding Fathers were geniuses."
No. No they weren't. Do you know how I know? George W. Bush. And not the way you're thinking. I am sure that they knew that second rate (and third rate) men would occupy office. Hell, half of them THOUGHT the other half were second rate men.
No. It is this: George Bush in his abuse of Executive Authority has in NO WAY clearly violated the Constitution. Sure, his (or Dick Cheney's) interpretation of "Commander In Chief" powers is, shall we say, generous...but his seeming conviction that he was elected God-Emperor of the US is not inconsistent with what Alexander Hamilton was pushing for back in 1787. He hasn't tried to eliminate the Congress...just completely and utterly ignore it. And there's nothing in the Constitution that requires him to pay any attention to Congress.
"But what about 'Checks and Balances'?" I hear you say. Let's look at the "checks" to unfettered Executive power. The Supreme Court? Yeah, maybe, except that we'll probably have colonies on Mars before that collection of egos first hears and then rules on any cases of Executive abuse. If they decide to punt it back to a Circuit Court first because the original ruling was missing a dotted "i" we could be looking at Alpha Centauri before there's a ruling. The Executive branch can do something tomorrow, the Judicial branch takes forever. The court is not capable of being a check on the Executive because the repair takes too long.
Congress. Yeah. Congress wields the "Power Of The Purse". And that, my friends, is ALL Congress wields. Subpoena? Not if the Justice Department doesn't want to enforce it, as they have refused to do on a Contempt Of Congress cite on Karl Rove. Testimony? Oversight? Not likely. (See above, Rove, Karl, Asshole, One Each)
Let's take a hypothetical, say, highly unpopular not to mention strategically disastrous war in Southwest Asia. Congress can stop that war ONLY BY CUTTING OFF ALL MONEY TO THE MILITARY ENTIRELY. Make no mistake. The Executive allocates money within the Defense Department. If Congress were to "defund" Iraq tomorrow, the ONLY thing that would happen is say, all military dependant dental care would get canceled or something like that. Unless Congress cuts off ALL money to the military the Deciderator can just shuffle funds from something else in the DoD and drive on his merry way in Iraq, like some modern Caesar hellbent on over-extending the Legions.
The "Check" Congress wields is FAR too blunt an instrument to stop a President like Idiot Boy, willing to basically say "Fuck You" to every consensual limit on his power.
George Bush has shown us a festering gaping SORE in the basic structure of our Government. Namely, that the Executive Branch has all the available moves.
I have some thoughts on this, but would like to hear comments first.