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White House Occupiers Use Presidency to Defeat Constitution

Ruth's picture

Last night on PBS' Frontline "The Dark Side", the Halloween season was Ushered in with a special on Cheney that definitely Spooked anyone interested in maintaining constitutional government. In the course of the program, it bothered me that the inheritance Cheney is supposed to have received from his years seeing Nixon go down, then Ford, then Bush I - was reputed to be a conviction that the Presidency must be restored.

The concept of a presidency that makes it into monolithic power unchecked by other branches with equal validity is not of natural birth. This country benefitted from remarkably intellectual and disinterested forefathers whose concept of citizenship was the origin of a government 'of the people, by the people and for the people', a phrase that is far from meaningless jargon. The basic construction makes the government responsible, and responsive, to its basic unit, the voter.

The secrecy, machinations, the appeals to rank prejudice and to welfare for the rich, the lies, that were used to achieve the "victory" that substituted a fraud for a public servant are not what our founders established. The concept that an educated class would make the sacrifice of their time in order to give a working government to his peers was a bit elitist, admittedly idealistic, but one that seemed the natural antithesis to a tyrant at the time.

That the country has been reduced to a debtor nation by the cabal in the White House is a violation of all our constitutional principles. That a unilateral opportunistic war was declared without an act of congress is a violation of our constitution and of rational government. That our public programs are stripped while private businesses are granted unexamined contracts with the public's money that has been stolen from its own programs is criminal, pure and simple. The wellpaid cronies that function instead of qualified administrators in the executive branch are a denial of the powers of the public.

In my not so humble opinion, a presidency reduced to power without principle is not the result of the kind of 'resolution' the PBS program postulated. Rather, it it appears more a revenge on the constitution that denied victory to its enemies, Cheney and his cohorts, when justice prevailed.

The reversal of that victory that this president's pals have worked toward is a victory over justice. That the Justice Department has been rendered dysfunctional is hardly a coincidence. The present rightwing Supreme Court's bias against the public, toward corporations, is another reversal of the earlier, constitutional, victory over the criminals now in power.

The Trust - what the presidency was meant to be - has been destroyed in every sense of the word. Public polls showing 24% approval of Cretin-1 are just one indication that the lies have failed, the public rejects them.

There is no choice in the way to beat back this defeat. The party that made criminal action and criminal intent its means has to be plowed under, and we need to do everything we can to make that happen. The president of vice, and his minions, have shown they will always be a threat, and we have to treat them as a threat, to democracy and to the functioning of this country.

The president's papers will have to be pried loose to use as evidence. Prosecution is called for.

(This post also at )

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Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

Yes, but the key question is what is to be done to make prosecution more likely. Pardons and similar evasions have followed increasingly corrupt and unconstitutional acts by our Republican administrations for decades. We now see the Bush Administration focusing on covering their tracks and securing pardons or immunity to continue the pattern. Our Democratically controlled Senate just agreed to immunize the telecoms to cut off investigation of what appears to be grossly illegal and corrupt practices between NSA and those companies (the Sessions request shows some of what they were up to). Left to their own devices, those with the power and money to control our government will tilt the scales of justice to see to it that prosecution doesn't happen this time either.

Individual actions aren't very effective. Contributions to and volunteering in Democratic presidential campaigns frankly doesn't have much impact - in part because my family's preferences run to Edwards and Obama. Since our political system runs on "pay to play" rules, and the sums illuminated in various recent corruption trials are so small relative to the payouts, it seems to me the there is an opportunity here. A bundler who could aggregate contributions and demand of front runners and the various congressional election committees a pledge to pursue prosecutions of corrupt and unconstitutional acts regardless of seniority or party might be effective. Is there such an entity?

shystee's picture
Submitted by shystee on

at the end of last night's documentary.

"Gonzales is out, Rove is out and Cheney is ready to fight the next battle tomorrow," says author Ron Suskind toward the end of the program. "Victory goes not to the swift nor to the strong but to he who endureth until the end. That is a principle that guides this ship of state."

Anyone who thinks Cheney is going to go out with a whimper is fooling themselves.

PS: You can watch the whole show online at the PBS site. I call Frontline "can't pee TV" because I can't tear myself away from the screen for the duration.

Salmo: there is such an entity. Reported here earlier this month.