Thursday, October 18, 2007

Cheney's Law: Worth watching.

The hallmark of the Bush years has been the creation of an Imperial Presidency, one unlimited by Constitutional restraints, empowered to do what he damn well pleased to do. The documentary Cheney's Law shows that Vice President Chency walked into the White House a believer in expanded presidential powers, far beyond those listed by the Constitution. Every power granted was interpreted as widely as possible. And the Moron in Chief was told he could do whatever he wanted under his powers as commander in chief -- it was basically the creation of a war-time dictator without the inconvenience of even having a declaration of war.

What we have seen is a rerun of the Reichstag fire. In that incident a semi-deranged Dutch Communist broke into the German Reichstag and set it ablaze. (For the definitive story of this incident read The Reichstag Fire by Fritz Tobias.) The fire caught the Nazis unaware, in spite of Communist claims to the contrary. But Hitler was ever one to use unexpected opportunities to grab what he wanted. Using the fire as the excuse he pushed through parliament the Enabling Act which gave the government the power to legislate without parliamentary approval. It was his version of the misnamed and treasonous Patriot Act.

The sad reality is that Hitler was more willing to respect the form of the rule of law (though not the spirit) than the Cheney-Bush White House. His Enabling Act was passed by the Reichstag. The powers claimed by the White House under Cheney's doctrines were seized without such approval. A key claim made by these advocates of Imperial Presidential power is that Bush may take these powers even if the Congress or the Supreme Court oppose them. Hence, Bush has basically said he has the right to ignore the Constitution -- an idea that would strike the Founding Fathers as not only absurd but treasonous. Under Hitler two-third of the Reichstag supported the Enabling Act. Under Bush the U.S. Congress passes laws and Bush signs statements indicating which sections he intends to ignore.

Hitler claimed there was a crisis and asked the Reichstag for the powers to deal with it -- powers which he never willingly surrendered. The Cheney presidency (that is not a typo) acts very differently. It says that when the president claims there is a crisis he automatically has such dictatorial powers regardless of the consent of the legislature. They claim an automatic right to ignore the Constitution, separation of powers, federalist principles, and the Bill of Rights. In essence Cheney-Bush are arguing that when the president says we are at war, without a declaration of war from Congress, against a vague and non-specific enemy, that the president then has the power to do almost anything he damn well pleases. It is an attempt to establish a dictatorship in the United States. And again I state: if the Democrats had any guts they wouldn't hint at impeachment, they would hold a treason trial with Bush and Cheney as defendants. I recommend you watch this documentary from PBS on Cheney's Law. It is available for on-line viewing here.

P.S.: The analogy to the Reichstag fire is a strong one. As Tobias proves the National Socialists did not plan the fire nor did they start it. They used it as the excuse to grab power. Nothing in my comparison indicates that the Bush administration planned the 9/11 attacks. I consider the claims of 9/11 "Truthers" to be paranoid delusions, baseless and indicative of an irrational mind. Just like the Nazis the Cheney regime used attacks conducted by others as the pretense to grab powers already desired. P.P.S.: To the lunatic fringe, please don't clutter the comments section with 9/11 conspiracy garbage, that is a request from the owner of this blog. If you wish to comment on the topic of this post go ahead. If you wish to push 9/11 "Truth" go babble someplace else.

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