23 June 2008

the constitution? the rule of law? how quaint!

Criticism of the Bush-Cheney administration has tended to focus on, at least according to the major news outlets, the war in Iraq and the economy. Bush's poor environmental and human rights policies have had a bit of light shone on them. There are numerous other issues that have gone almost completely unexamined. Key among them, it seems to me, is that all of this administration's policies flow from a fundamental disdain for constitutional safeguards and respect for the rule of law.

As an American, I find it fascinating that our former president was actually impeached for an offense that comes nowhere close to the constitutional level. In our entire history, only one other president has been subjected to this legal process. During Reconstruction, Andrew Johnson was impeached, but not convicted. Clinton was impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice for lying about his affair with Monica Lewinsky. That's setting the bar for impeachment incredibly low!

If that's all it takes to impeach an American president, then Bush and Cheney surely deserve it many times over! Nowhere is this disregard for obeying the law more evident than in the illegal surveillance that's been carried out. This is an issue that big media has been almost determined not to cover. This is a piece that outlines why this is so foundational to the way our president has conducted business. (Our writer is a bit colorful in his descriptions.)

I must admit, when Ronald Reagan was in the White House, I thought no president could be more condescending of the constitution. Compared to Bush, Reagan seems to have been almost a civil libertarian.

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