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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Null and Void: Thoughts on the domestic spying situation

Five years ago when the Bush administration was sworn in, I remember hearing so much about how "the adults had taken over" after the disastrous Clinton term. There was supposed to be a lot more responsibility and accountability. These were the people who were going to bring integrity back to the White House, we were told.

What we got instead has been the worst destruction of the concept of the rule of law that has ever happened in the entire history of the republic.

It's like this: there is either a government that comes by consent of the will of the people, or there is government existing for its own sake. Under one we still have a contract in effect that was sealed with the blood of patriots. Under the other, that contract is null and void, and there no longer exists any reason why any conscientious American should be beholden to this government at all.

The Bush cabal is exactly like the Clintons before them, if not to a far worse degree. The whole purpose of their being in office is the seizure of power and consolidating the hold on what power they have already. At the core of their being THEY REALLY DO NOT BELIEVE that the American people have the ability to govern themselves. To the Bush camp, the American people instead are a citizenry that must constantly "be fooled" and lied to. They honestly believe that they are anointed to be our masters, and whatever sycophants have attached themselves to the Bush junta are in it only because they like to feel a sense of that same power, however far removed they are from their idol. If the object of their adoration is attacked, they see it as an attack on themselves and lash out accordingly... doesn't that same something about how hollow and petty they really are? They don't even bring real ideas to the table, just their hatred and fear and loathing of those who have the strength of will to think on their own.

"Oh Chris you're being ridiculous! Every President since Jimmy Carter has had the power to spy without warrants!" Maybe so... but did they have authority from the Constitution to use that power? Did any of these Presidents stop to ask themselves if what they were doing was the right thing to do? And if it is not, then wouldn't the real mark of leadership and integrity be to put a stop to this kind of spying without being provoked to do so?

Bush can't be President forever. But his abuses of power will remain far longer afterward. Sooner or later, someone else is going to hold the office of President... and they are going to point right back at the precedent Bush is setting when they do begin using unwarranted domestic spying for political and vindictive purpose. I would give it no more than two or three more presidential election cycles, before we start to see this blatant kind of misuse.

The George W. Bush years will go down in history, I believe, as being the point at which it will be realized in the future that it could longer be said that we were a nation of law, but instead became a nation of men. If President Bush insists that he does not have to abide by the Constitution of the United States, then there is no longer any compelling moral reason why any of us should abide by it either.

So it is that George W. Bush has proven to be a far greater threat to the constitutional rule of law than Bill Clinton ever was.


Chris Knight said...

Jeff, how can this NOT be destructive to constitutional rule of law? Is it possible at all to defend this spying and still be morally bound to the precepts of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence?

I'd really like an answer on this, please.

Chris Knight said...

You have a lot more faith in the current system than I do then. Our representatives no longer represent us, not really. You only matter to them if you've a contribution to make, or are part of some significant special-interest group. So far as this issue goes, if there is an investigation it will go no where. Let's be realistic: there's no way a Republican-held Congress is going to impeach one of its own. There's no way a Democrat-held Congress would have gone after Bill Clinton either.

With very few exceptions (Ron Paul comes to mind) there is no adherence to principles anymore in Washington. Only political expediency. And as embarassing or even criminal as this act was, it's not going to be pursued any further than the press and maybe a "show" investigation without any real teeth.

But I hope you're right on this one: that there will be prosecution.

Chris Knight said...

I'm cynical about the world we live in now. If we can rebuild and start anew, I will have a lot more optimism for that. I still believe that America can be what the Founders intended for it to be. But we have to wash out all this crap like political partisanship and meaningless ideologies first. That and return to the original intent of the Constitution. Securing our national sovereignty would be on the list too: how can anyone call themselves "conservative" and support Bush when he's allowed for such a disastrous border policy?

In what we *could* have, if we chose it, I have all the optimism in the world. But regarding the way things are now, I've no faith whatsoever.

Brandon said...

It's always nice to see real conservatives hold on to their principles and not defend Bush unfailingly simply because he's the leader of the Republican party. Especially when doing so guarantees one to be branded a "liberal in disguise" by the right-wing noise machine.

I'm not conservative, but I respect people who put their ideals above factions.

Anonymous said...

"domestic spying situation"

From what I have heard, calling it "domestic spying" is a bit of a misnomer. It's a limited initiative that tracks only incoming calls to the United States.

Chris Knight said...

True. But what exactly is in place to *keep* it excluding in-country calls as the norm? I wouldn't put it past a future president to use this for political advantage somehow (Lord help us if Hillary ever gets elected).