Chris's Rants

Sunday, April 30, 2006

I'm the Decider

It is a magnificent day here in New England. However, after reading this this article in the Boston Globe, I feel like it's raining fascism (emphasis mine):
Throughout the past two decades, for example, each president -- including the current one -- has objected to provisions requiring him to get permission from a congressional committee before taking action. The Supreme Court made clear in 1983 that only the full Congress can direct the executive branch to do things, but lawmakers have continued writing laws giving congressional committees such a role.

Still, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Clinton used the presidential veto instead of the signing statement if they had a serious problem with a bill, giving Congress a chance to override their decisions.

But the current President Bush has abandoned the veto entirely, as well as any semblance of the political caution that Alito counseled back in 1986. In just five years, Bush has challenged more than 750 new laws, by far a record for any president, while becoming the first president since Thomas Jefferson to stay so long in office without issuing a veto.

''What we haven't seen until this administration is the sheer number of objections that are being raised on every bill passed through the White House,' said Kelley, who has studied presidential signing statements through history. ''That is what is staggering. The numbers are well out of the norm from any previous administration.'
I hadn't really connected the dots until reading this article. Bush hasn't vetoed any legislation because he thinks that he can just ignore it as he pleases, and has been telling us so for 5 frickin' years. He's basically been saying to the congress and to the American public, "screw you, I'm the Decider, and I'll decide what the laws are". He hasn't vetoed any legislation because he has decided that he will have the last word (his signing statements) and not the congress, the elected representatives of we the people.
Bruce Fein, a deputy attorney general in the Reagan administration, said the American system of government relies upon the leaders of each branch ''to exercise some self-restraint." But Bush has declared himself the sole judge of his own powers, he said, and then ruled for himself every time.

"This is an attempt by the president to have the final word on his own constitutional powers, which eliminates the checks and balances that keep the country a democracy," Fein said. "There is no way for an independent judiciary to check his assertions of power, and Congress isn't doing it, either. So this is moving us toward an unlimited executive power."
I think that they call that a dictator.


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