Tuesday, December 20, 2005

"Vital Presidential Power"

From tmorange
Sent Tuesday, December 20, 2005 1:22 pm
To letters@washpost.com
Subject "Vital Presidential Power"

Dear Editors,

"[T]he issue... [is] whether the executive branch is going to uphold the law or subvert it." William Kristol wrote these words with David Brooks in the run-up to the 2000 election (in a September 25 Weekly Standard article entitled "The High Road to High Office") -- words that now ring ever more true given last week's revelation of this President's four-year old authorization of the NSA to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens
without court-approved warrants.

Today, Kristol writes with Gary Schmitt that "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" ("Vital Presidential Power," December 20, 2005, page A31). This is a specious argument: Congress does not have the ability to judge a program that is kept secret from it and the rest of the country.

Kristol and Schmitt continue, "Bush seems to have behaved as one would expect and want a president to behave," aping Bush's own language from a press conference yesterday ("I am doing what you expect me to do"). Wrong again: I expect a president to obey the law. And to be impeached if he does not.

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