Friday, February 17, 2006

George Will Not

Hopelessly conservative pundit George Will wrote an editorial for the Washington Post titled “No Checks, Many Imbalances.” (2/16/2006, p. A27) In it, he pondered future Congressional authorizations of presidential military powers. If the Bush administration prevails with its doctrine of presidential powers, why would any future President bother to consult Congress? According to the neo-con view of the executive branch of government:

…whenever the nation is at war, the other two branches of government have a radically diminished pertinence to governance, and the president determines what that pertinence shall be.

George Will also questioned the position that the President is the only agent for the nation in foreign affairs:

That non sequitur is refuted by the Constitution’s plain language, which empowers Congress to ratify treaties, declare war, fund and regulate military forces, and make laws "necessary and proper" for the execution of all presidential powers. Those powers do not include deciding that a law — FISA, for example — is somehow exempted from the presidential duty to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” (Emphasis in the original)

And then, Will threw his argument away. Rather than have Congress assert its Constitutional powers, rather than have Congress perform its constitutional responsibility to declare war, rather than have the executive faithfully execute the laws of the land, Congress should revise the laws to accommodate George Bush, Junior:

with language that does not stigmatize what he has been doing, but that implicitly refutes the doctrine that the authorization is superfluous.

Implicitly refutes? Why not explicitly? And what does he mean when he speaks of “language that does not stigmatize” prior felonies? George Will will not get it; he refuses to get it. The checks and balances of our system can only be defended through application, not abdication.


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