12/21/2005

Talking Points Memo: William Kristol and Gary Schmitt Lie like a Bush to justify spying on US

[greap post by Josh Micah debunking Kristol's lies -- law]

the factor here is not the president's unique ability to judge these matters; the issue is time and urgency. Certainly, at the first practicable moment the president has to take the matter before the appropriate members of Congress, explain himself, request that the relevant laws be revised and open himself up to the possibility of real accountability for his actions.And yet it seems pretty clear that this is not what the president did. The White House gave briefings to four or six members of Congress and then prevented them from discussing the matter either with colleagues or with staff. That makes the consultation pretty close to meaningless. Kristol and Schmitt conclude by writing ...    This is not an argument for an unfettered executive prerogative. Under our system of separated powers, Congress has the right and the ability to judge whether President Bush has in fact used his executive discretion soundly, and to hold him responsible if he hasn't. But to engage in demagogic rhetoric about "imperial" presidents and "monarchic" pretensions, with no evidence that the president has abused his discretion, is foolish and irresponsible.But this makes no sense.... There may be some situations Congress can't have foreseen in advance; but Kristol and Schmitt are talking about a situation the president has prevented the Congress from considering even after the fact. That's the end of constitutional government. No individual is absolute in a democratic republic. But this principle allows the president to make himself just that.

Read more at www.talkingpointsmemo.c...

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