Saturday, February 18, 2006

Fact, Fiction or Practice

So here it is Saturday morning, and I am reading articles on and read the following: "...How did we wind up with a President that refers to the Constitution that he swore to protect and defend as “just a goddamned piece of paper” ..." in an article by Steve Osborn "What Happened to my Country"
Coffee spews out of my mouth...what did our President say??? and I search the web, for how did I miss this statement (was I that deep into grading?)...nothing on the NYT website...nothing but comments in blogs, forums and the like..this from Capitol Hill Blue was the only one that gave some information:

Bush on the Constitution: 'It's just a goddamned piece of paper'By DOUG THOMPSONDec 9, 2005, 07:53
. . .Last month, Republican Congressional leaders filed into the Oval Office to meet with President George W. Bush and talk about renewing the controversial USA Patriot Act.
Several provisions of the act, passed in the shell shocked period immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, caused enough anger that liberal groups like the American Civil Liberties Union had joined forces with prominent conservatives like Phyllis Schlafly and Bob Barr to oppose renewal.
GOP leaders told Bush that his hardcore push to renew the more onerous provisions of the act could further alienate conservatives still mad at the President from his botched attempt to nominate White House Counsel Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.
“I don’t give a goddamn,” Bush retorted. “I’m the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way.”
“Mr. President,” one aide in the meeting said. “There is a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution.”
“Stop throwing the Constitution in my face,” Bush screamed back. “It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!”
I’ve talked to three people present for the meeting that day and they all confirm that the President of the United States called the Constitution “a goddamned piece of paper.” . . .

If Bush said this, then I believe he is no longer fit for office. The Constitution is what makes the USA the first and foremost modern liberal democracy.

But even if he did not say this, his actions belie his disregard for liberal democracy and the Constitution: The secrecy (democracies need to be transparent) , the lies (democracies need to be accountable), the spying on Americans, the disregard for International Treaties (Geneva Conventions, Kyoto Protocal, etc.), redefining terms (such as "torture" or the concept that American military bases are considered American territory, for instance), the usurping of power, the disregard for Americans ( Katrina), ... The rubric that in times of National Security the Constitutional rights of Americans may be abridged has standards.

We need to reclaim our democracy.

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