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Why can't the Beltway Dems say to Bush what HIGH SCHOOL Presidential scholars say?


[Maybe , just maybe the Constitutional crisis shoe just dropped. If so, I'll stipulate some of the snark on the Beltway Dems...]

Hillary? Obama? Speak up! I can't h-e-e-e-e-a-r you!

Via Froomkin, CNN's John Roberts talks to the High School Presidential Scholars who petitioned Bush for the redress of grievances:

"ROBERTS So whose idea was this? Speak up.

"LEAH ANTHONY LIBRESCO, PRESIDENTIAL SCHOLAR: Well, I think what happened was we were all talking about the opportunity to meet the president, someone who answers to us, the American people. And we didn't know what we should do or what we should say, but everyone wanted to seize the opportunity. And when we talked, we really wanted to talk about the issue of torture, because human rights and human dignity is a nonpartisan issue, [Oh?] and it was something we all really felt strongly, and we wanted to take the opportunity to be heard."

"ROBERTS: So, Colin, what happened when you gave the president the letter?

"COLIN MCSWIGGEN, PRESIDENTIAL SCHOLAR: Well, the one who originally handed the letter to the president was, of course, Mari. She -- we were lined up for a photo-op, and he came right before the photo and started speaking to us.

Heh. Bush thought he was at a photo op, and it turns out he was meeting the general public. Which of course He avoids doing, because look what happens.

"He -- we had a very casual discussion. He said it's important to treat others as you wish to be treated. And he said that we really need to think about the choices that we make in our lives.

"And as he lined up to take the photo with us, Mari handed him the note and said, 'Mr. President, some of us have made a choice, and we want you to have this.' . . . After the photo he asked if he should read the note. And Mari said, 'Well, that's up to you.'

Always pleasant to se smart High Schoolers sandbagging the Leader of the Free World...

"But he read it right there, and had a very casual discussion with him about it. Right there in front of the White House lawn. . . . And his response was, 'We agree. Americans do not use torture.'"

Parse that one for a moment....

Oye was apparently not satisfied with the response: "[W]e brought up some very specific points in the letter about the treatment of detainees, even those designated as enemy combatants. And we strongly believe that all of these detainees should be treated according to the principles of the Geneva Convention. So this was a very specific point.

"We asked him to remove -- I asked him to remove the signing statement attached to the anti-torture bill [the MCA] which would have allowed presidential power to make exemptions to the ban on torture."

Hillary? Obama? What's your feeling on all this?

Do you think the Presidential Scholars make good points?

And you, Hillary? What's your position on signing statements? Do you view them as an unconstitutional aggrandizement of executive authority? Or do you feel they're bad when Bush does them, but good when you do?

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