Charlie Savage of The Boston Globe brought this point home Sunday when he revealed Bush has chosen to ignore more laws passed by Congress than any President in history, appending more than 750 laws with "signing statements" that say, in effect, that he doesn't give a damn what the law says because he will do whatever he pleases as a "wartime president" and "commander-in-chief."
With every revelation, we learn more and more just what a dangerous despot Bush is, a madman with the power to wage war at will, destroy the Constitution on a whim and invoke is own perception of unchecked Presidential power by ignoring the system of checks and balances that used to be part of our system of government.
Sadly, nobody in Congress or the courts has the balls to stop this American Hitler. He rides roughshod over the laws of the land, safe in the assumption that his arrogance will leave opponents cowering in fear and an apathetic populace willing to wait until 2008 to rid itself of this festering boil on the body politic.
I'm not sure we can wait. With every passing day we see an elected official who acts more like a dictator than a President. Even worse, he is backed by a Congress driven by a lust for power and corrupted by a system where money and politics rules.
"President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution. Among the laws Bush said he can ignore are military rules and regulations, affirmative-action provisions, requirements that Congress be told about immigration services problems, ''whistle-blower" protections for nuclear regulatory officials, and safeguards against political interference in federally funded research."
Bush proved he can successfully ignore the law of the land with his domestic spying program where he ordered the National Security Agency to wiretap phones of Americans.
"Far more than any predecessor, Bush has been aggressive about declaring his right to ignore vast swaths of laws -- many of which he says infringe on power he believes the Constitution assigns to him alone as the head of the executive branch or the commander in chief of the military," Savage writes. "Many legal scholars say they believe that Bush's theory about his own powers goes too far and that he is seizing for himself some of the law-making role of Congress and the Constitution-interpreting role of the courts."
But knowing Bush is going too far and doing something about is where the rub lies. Congress is controlled by the same party of despots who support Bush's dictatorial actions and he has stacked the courts with judges willing to ignore the Constitution to support his seizure of power.
As Savage reports:
Bush is the first president in modern history who has never vetoed a bill, giving Congress no chance to override his judgments. Instead, he has signed every bill that reached his desk, often inviting the legislation's sponsors to signing ceremonies at which he lavishes praise upon their work.
Then, after the media and the lawmakers have left the White House, Bush quietly files ''signing statements" -- official documents in which a president lays out his legal interpretation of a bill for the federal bureaucracy to follow when implementing the new law. The statements are recorded in the federal register.
In his signing statements, Bush has repeatedly asserted that the Constitution gives him the right to ignore numerous sections of the bills -- sometimes including provisions that were the subject of negotiations with Congress in order to get lawmakers to pass the bill. He has appended such statements to more than one of every 10 bills he has signed.- Advertisement -
''He agrees to a compromise with members of Congress, and all of them are there for a public bill-signing ceremony, but then he takes back those compromises -- and more often than not, without the Congress or the press or the public knowing what has happened," said Christopher Kelley, a Miami University of Ohio political science professor who studies executive power.
Political scientist George Harleigh, who served in both the Nixon and Reagan administrations where Presidential power became major issues, says Bush's actions place the country on a dangerous course.
"Presidential authority, once assumed, is seldom relinquished. The Constitution prevailed when Richard Nixon ignored the laws that govern his actions," Harleigh says, "but this President neither obeys nor upholds his oath to support the Constitution. He sees the document as an obstacle to his power and has chosen to ignore it. If no one else is willing to uphold the Constitution then it becomes, as attorney general Alberto Gonzales has written, an 'outdated document' and places this Republic in grave peril."