Thursday, June 05, 2008

Who Will DeThrone the President?

The most important, and critical, reason for impeachment of Bush and Cheney was to defend the Constitution against their excesses, their abuses and restore America's system of checks and balances. America will not long sustain a government "of the people, by the people and for the people" unless balance is restored which requires, in essence, removing powers wrongfully usurped by the executive and restoring to Congress its rightful powers.

There is a solid case for impeachment of the president and vice-president for "high crimes and misdemeanours" but, so far, it's been reduced to a plaything for constitutional scholars. Unfortunately, the American public has poorly understood the nature of the case and what's at stake if nothing is done. House and senate Republicans would have fought it out of fear of the damage it could cause their party in future elections. Democratic congressional leaders Reid and Pelosi likewise showed little stomach for a fight which surely must rank right up there as one of the most serious derelictions of duty by senior American congressional leaders since Bush was first appointed president.

Without impeachment, America's next best hope is for the incoming president to do the right thing and disavow the abuses of the Bush regime. Right now the prospects of that aren't great.

Republican nominee John McCain (yes, I know, he's the "presumptive" nominee) has already indicated that he'll retain the full powers of a "wartime president", basically embracing the abusive precedents set by George w. Bush and his henchman Cheney. Now McCain is quick to claim that no American president is above the law but he also maintains that the constitutional powers of a wartime president override laws such as the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure.

It sure sounds as though John McCain will be happy accepting the basketful of purloined powers filched by the Cheney administration these past eight years. More one-man rule.

Maybe Congress needs to address this forcefully. One way might require any president seeking to circumvent the Constitution and Bill of Rights to make a public declaration of a State of Emergency capped at, say, four to six months after which that president would be required to make a fresh declaration of a State of Emergency. Let the people clearly know and force the president to regularly remind them that he's placed every one of them and their constitutionally-guaranteed freedoms in suspension and then let them judge whether they're content with that.

I think that would put an end to this nonsense in short order. With congressional elections every two years, the American people would be able to respond forcefully to hand an abuser his hat at the polls and punish the president and his party by stripping them of their seats. In essence, it would be a popular call or endorsement for impeachment.

America has allowed its president and viceroy to get too comfortable atop their thrones these past few years. It's time that was put to an end.

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