03 March 2009

Dodged the Constitutional Bullet, for real

If you still don't believe that the policies the Bush administration put in place after 9/11 amounted to abrogation of significant elements of the Constitution, consider this, as reported in Newsweek. It seems that Bush neoNazi lawyers actually wrote memos to justify a considered supension of the First Amendment by Presidential fiat. Could El Presidente Bush por Vida have been far behind? We dodged a bullet in 2001-2006, when our government was actively considering instituting fascism.

If you think that's too strong a term, then ask yourself, what has to happen before you'd call it that? Isn't the seizure of constitutional power without legal authority, rule by decree, and enforcement of political power by implicit military threat, a pretty good definition? We didn't go all the way there, but it's now a historical fact that the Bush legal folks, pushed by the political operatives, were figuring out how to create intentenionally sham legal justifications, very reminiscent of the kinds dictators have used to topple constitutional governments in Third World countries time and time again. It's a testament to the robustness of our political institutions that, even though the will and the willingness to ignore checks and balances was there, they couldn't quite pull it off; or, to give the benefit of the doubt, ultimately stopped short of destroying our system of government out of some last shred of human decency.

Even with a Democrat in the White House, we have a long way to go to fully restore America's constitutional system and, even moreso, to restore its reputation in the world for fairness and rule of law.

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