A middle-aged man dreaming of the day when he can stop begging for scraps and write for a living.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Just a Piece of Paper

On December 5, 2005 Doug Thompson reported on CapitolHillBlue that he talked to three people who confirmed Bush ranting and allegedly saying, "Stop throwing the Constitution in my face. It's just a goddamned piece of paper!" Doug Thompson does not have the most impressive credentials as a journalist as he's been known to post things and then retract them because it turns out he couldn't actually verifying what he was reporting. As a general rule, it's best to verify your facts before you report them.

Most conservatives seem to think the matter satisfactorily debunked. All I can find in my web search is that while most everyone has an opinion on the matter, no one can give a definite up or down confirmation. The White House certainly isn't talking about it, and neither are the Republicans who were reputed to be in the meeting. Myself, I'm inclined to believe it.

I'm biased when it comes to our Glorious Leader, and I've never by shy about my criticism. But when you look at the man's track record, I find it very easy to believe he'd make such a statement about the Constitution -- the very document he has sworn to uphold and protect. He has gone out of his way to bully Congress into passing legislation that is in direct violation to the Constitution not just once, not twice, but multiple times. He's passed numerous Executive Orders that outline instances in which he can justify suspending the Constitution. He's based his entire administration on the principle of the "unitary executive," making the President a monarch in all but name which is directly counter to not only Constitutional principles but the very clear and extensively documented plans of the Founding Fathers.

Anyone with an even passing familiarity with the Constitution knows that George W. Bush has become one of its greatest threats. At every turn his administration has operated in secrecy, and he has continually reassured us that they're working in our nation's best interests and that we just have to trust them. The problem is that our government was built explicitly around the idea that we are not to trust people with power, and that we have a system of checks and balances precisely because we don't trust anyone with power. Thanks to the machinations of our Glorious Leader and the people who created him, that system is now broken. We have a court that's been stacked in favor of the principle of a "unitary executive" and a legislation that's been so bullied that it's behaving like a battered wife.

The Constitution is a piece of paper that laid out for the first time exactly how a government is limited with regard to the rights of the governed. It was a revolutionary document when it was first inked, but what has made it more than just a piece of paper was the fact that it was actually enforced. The Constitution of the Soviet Union outlined even greater freedoms for the people, but it was never enforced. It was never anything more than a piece of paper. As we continue to allow our Glorious Leader to undermine the Bill of Rights we ensure that our Constitution gradually becomes, as Thompson alleges Bush to have said, "just a piece of paper."

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