Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Conservatives Freaking Out Over Presidential Power

Looks like the conservatives have finally figured out that all of that power that George W Bush has grabbed could be a problem if the presidency get into the wrong hands. The Boston Globe is reporting that The American Freedom Agenda (a right wing activist group) wants presidential candidates to sign a pledge stating: "I hereby pledge that if elected President of the United States I will undertake the following to restore the Constitution's checks and balances : to honor fundamental protections against injustice, and to eschew usurpations of legislative or judicial power," the pledge reads. "These are keystones of national security and individual freedom."

Other points in the pledge include renouncing the use of presidential signing statements to claim a right to disobey laws; ending threats to prosecute journalists who write about classified matters; and promising to use regular courts rather than military commissions to try terrorism suspects.

As of today only Ron Paul has signed.

Frankly, I hope they are successful. But I think it stinks that they only start this up when it looks like their side is going down in '08.



I just got done listening to a local public radio show with some local political commentators who are stating many local Republican state legislators are calling Kyl and McCain traitors because of their support to the immigration bill. This party is imploding IMO. The libertarian(note lower case) thinkers have left. The Evangelicals who are putting the environment and poverty first have left. The Wall Street Republicans are wavering. Moderates can't see eye-to-eye with the extremists. I personally think the Reps are handing the Dems the White House and the Congress in 08 and beyond. This scares the shit out of me, but of course it did when everything was Republican too.

csm said...

I know your stance of libertarian or girdlock - and it ain't a bad one, IMHO. That said, I find the Dems less scary than the Reps (at least the most recent batch of Reps). Dems may tax and spend (although hell, that is better than spending without taxing), but Dems have yet to roll back freedom on the scale that GWB and crew did from 2001-2006.

csm said...

Ooops, gridlock, not girdlock (sounds like something a cross dresser would experience on trying on a girdle for the first time).

bev said...

Believe me, one doesn't have to be a cross-dresser to have gird-lock.

I don't think anyone should sign any of these statements.
Sorry, but to me it will a lot more fun to watch it dawn on Loyal Bushies that (potentially) Hillary Clinton will have the same tools they gladly put in GWB's hands.

And if that's evil, blame csm -- he was the first one to put that vision of sugarplums in my head.

That said, I really do like divided government. I think the American people do to, but it looks like they are going to punish the GOP first.

csm said...

I can understand the joy of payback, but I just don't think the Dems will wield the power the same way GWB has. Now it might be fun to hold the possibility of such using powers over the heads of the BPCWs, but I would hope a Dem would not stoop to such lousy behavior (especially the signing statements).

bev said...

Oh, no... I think using the power would be despicable. But having the power and not using it would be the sweetest revenge.
(Note for the cosmos -- in general, I don't believe revenge is a healthy motive)

csm said...

Yes, I have to admit that I relish the thought of listening to the blatheringly insane right-wingers denouncing the power that could be wielded by the next President Clinton; perhaps most loudly voiced by some of the same folks who granted such powers to the office of the president...

And, by the way Bev, I am still investigating how I can add a list of recent comments to the right hand side of this blog.

Ceroill said...

I don't think any of us are surprised at this development. Politics as usual.

jan said...

Okay, just curious...

This is what Romney the GOP Conservative says that Arab nations need to insure the idea of democracy:

--> A national summit would work to ensure that "threatened Islamic states had public schools, not Wahhabi madrassas; micro-credit and banking; the rule of law; human rights; basic health care; and competitive economic policies," Romney said.

So, a conservative won't say it in America, but what it appears he believes protects democracies are public schools so we don't federally-fund religious schools; fair, liberal and no- or low-cost loans for equal opportunity start-ups; the rule of law (! - think Alberto Gonzales and Monica Goodling); human rights (! - think Dick Cheney's views on waterboarding -- Didn't Romney promise to DOUBLE Gitmo?); BASIC HEALTH CARE; and competitive economic policies (think the Republicans blocking the legislature that would roll back tax CREDITS for the oil companies, who are enjoying their highest profits in history).

I agree with the list.
It sure doesn't mean I'm voting for Romney.
My dad was a Mormon; I know too much. ;)


Mr. Romney may not have heard the phrase, what is good for the goose is good for the gander. I will say the hypocrisy level in Washington has hit levels I have not seen in my entire political life. Times like these are a satirist's dream.

jan said...

bawdy: "Times like these are a satirist's dream."

Hopefully, you have access to Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. It's the only thing that keeps me laughing.
I still smile when I think of, "If this President believes something on Monday, he still believes it on Wednesday... regardless of what happened on Tuesday."
Classic summary of The Decider.

Stewart's take on Tony Snow has been priceless of late.
(We don't have cable, but we watch them online -- so, not always in sync with the schedule of rest of the world, but we get there eventually :)

Ceroill said...

Guys, something else these times reminds me of is one of my favorite old political satirists of the 50's and 60's, Tom Lerher. Back in the days when comedians and satirists would put out albums. His were political humor songs with commentary. His last was in '65. When someone asked him why he never made any after that he answered that to his mind political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

csm said...

A double gitmo sounds like an ice skating move, doesn't it? She completed the salkow but fell attempting the double gitmo...

Ceroill said...

Since I mentioned Tom Lehrer, I thought I'd give the lyrics to one of his songs from his '65 album, along with the intro patter.

Send the Marines

What with President Johnson practicing escalatio on the Vietnamese, and then the Dominican Crisis on top of that, it has been a nervous year, and people have begun to feel like a Christian Scientist with appendicitis. Fortunately, in times of crisis like this, America always has its number one instrument of diplomacy to fall back on. Here's a song about it:

When someone makes a move
Of which we don't approve,
Who is it that always intervenes?
U.N. and O.A.S.,
They have their place, I guess,
But first - send the Marines!

We'll send them all we've got,
John Wayne and Randolph Scott;
Remember those exciting fighting scenes?
To the shores of Tripoli,
But not to Mississippoli,
What do we do? We send the Marines!

For might makes right,
And till they've seen the light,
They've got to be protected,
All their rights respected,
Till somebody we like can be elected.

Members of the corps
All hate the thought of war;
They'd rather kill them off by peaceful means.
Stop calling it aggression,
Ooh, we hate that expression!
We only want the world to know
That we support the status quo.
They love us everywhere we go,
So when in doubt,
Send the Marines!

(OAS was the Organization of American States)