July 4, 2006

Presidential Lawlessness

On this, our nation’s birthday, it’s important to pause and reflect upon what has made the United States of America – flawed though it is – the greatest nation on the planet. The roots of that greatness lie in the country’s ability to transfer power peacefully and in the checks and balances that make that transfer possible. Those checks and balances, in turn, rest on the rule of law and adherence to the best possible good-faith adherence to the Constitution.

Leaders, being human beings, are not – and cannot be expected to be – perfect. But as citizens of this nation, it is our responsibility to ensure that we pick the best person for the job; the one whose policies make the most sense for the times, and in whom we can have faith that he will adhere to the vision that the founders of the United States had for this country. We are a nation of laws, not a nation of men.

Which brings us to President George Walker Bush, and the responsibility American voters have for him. Due oversight has not been exercised by the governed, and this chief executive has pursued policies and means that will negatively affect the essence of federal leadership for years to come. Other presidents have been occasionally lawless: Lincoln with his suspension of habeus corpus; FDR and his internment of Japanese Americans during World War II; Nixon with Watergate. We have never seen, however, a president who has been lawless in as serial a fashion as the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Fortunately, even some members of Mr. Bush’s own party are aware of the implications of his presidency. As much as Democrats in opposition to George W. Bush, Republicans who truly appreciate that for which the United States stands are our hope for reconciliation and for a resoration of the institutional equilibrium so necessary to the success of the American system.

To read more on this topic, from the perspective of one such Republican, check out “An Interview With Bruce Fein: A Conservative Concerned About Presidential Lawlessness” over at None So Blind. (Mr. Fein served as Deputy Attorney General under Ronald Reagan, and voted for President Bush twice. He’s no left-winger.)

It’s a lenghty piece, but very much worth the effort.

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