Saturday, May 13, 2006

The coming Constitutional crisis

America is about to face a huge constitutional crisis. Though nobody can say for sure how it is going to come down, it is inevitable. Here’s why: The NSA operation to create a database of every telephone call made in America is a huge intrusion on the right of privacy of millions of Americans. As stated in This is serious, the program is illegal.

Sure, Big Mitch was first to publish that opinion, but others are joining in. “This may well be another example where the Bush administration, in secret, decided to bypass the courts and contravene federal law,” said Georgetown University law professor David Cole. Republicans who have a libertarian streak, or who consider themselves pro-law and order, must be concerned.

Then there are those who made rather harsh statements about perjury when they were speaking of Bill Clinton. They cannot let the perjury of Alberto Gonzales go without notice, assuming there is some limit to people’s tolerance for hypocrisy.

The President’s approval rating is at 29%, and he maintains that he can break any law he wants. There is no political reason to not impeach him, and it is perfectly clear that the grounds for impeachment are not only present, but also admitted to by the President. In fact, he defiantly proclaims that he will not quit violating the law.

You may say, “So, the president will be impeached. Why is this a constitutional crisis?”

First of all, in this case, unlike the Clinton case, it is not just one person who must be removed from office. The Vice-president is equally culpable, and equally dangerous. He, too, must go. Meanwhile, numerous members of congress are under investigation, and they may be forced to resign.

Second, Clinton was a person with a personal weakness, which others exploited for political purposes. Nixon, was more avaricious of power, and more corrupt, but he believed in the American system of democracy. In his mind, he was like a pitcher, who generally supported the rules of baseball, but threw spitballs.

I don’t believe that Bush has any respect for the law, and I put nothing past him. He is capable, as far as I can tell, of suspending elections, dissolving congress, declaring martial law, suspending habeas corpus and engaging in political assassinations. Legal scholars have opined that one of the problems with his defense of domestic spying by the NSA is that there is no logical limitation on the power he asserts.

I have written about how Bush has employed terrorists to secure the 2000 election, and that at least one is now working in the White House.

I say this with full awareness that it makes me sound like an extremist nut case, like one of those guys who thinks they are spying on us from outer space. Anyway, Think Progress is reporting that NSA whistleblower, Russell Tice, is going to expose more unlawful activities against the American people. He predicts, “People are going to be shocked.”

Third, there is a fair chance that Congress will be intimidated into not doing anything about the NSA wiretapping, the data-mining, the lies that led us into the war in Iraq, the incompetence with which it was prosecuted, the corruption scandals (too numerous to name), the propaganda/manipulation of the news, the treasonous outing of Valerie Plame, etc., ad nauseum.

If the Congress doesn’t put a stop to the usurpation of power by George Bush the American experiment in government by the people will be a failure. If the American people do not demand it of Congress, what use have we for a constitution? What hope is there for democracy?

“and tell ’em Big Mitch sent ya!"

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