The Definition of Tyranny

George W. Bush's Presidency has largely been about overturning the conventions that have historically served our government well. One of the many confirmations of the radical nature of the Bush Administration is the fact that my case for impeachment of the President relies entirely on arguments and quotations from conservatives.

Here's another to bolster the case. Winston Churchill, who conservatives can't go more than a day without invoking, blasts the Bush Administration's tyranny from beyond the grave:
The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers, is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist.
George W. Bush is "in the highest degree odious..." You gotta love Churchill.


Founding Fathers on Tyranny

James Madison, easily one of the most conservative of the Founding Fathers, defined Tyranny thusly:
the combination of Executive, Legislative, and Judicial power in one man or office.
This is a definition even talk radio hosts endorse, since to disagree is to repudiate the very foundations of America - that we are a land of checked power and of laws, not men. Well:
  1. Bush is the Executive.
  2. With the use of signing statements Bush legislates, and even more importantly, by asserting his right to break criminal law, casts himself above and immune to the duly enacted laws of the Legislature.
  3. By suspending Habeas Corpus and imprisoning Americans indefinitely on his say-so alone, Bush is the Judiciary.

In America, do we allow our President to say he is above the Law? In America, do we allow our President to ignore the courts? In America, do we allow our President to act as Judge and imprison our fellow citizens?

I've been through elementary school, and I could have sworn the answer to these questions would be "no." But here we are, with a solid majority of the Republican Party believing textbook Tyranny is acceptable.

Impeachment is our only option, or all Presidents from Bush on will have these tyrannical powers, and America will cease to be the land of the free, for you can lose the Republic on the installment plan as surely as you can in a coup d'etat.

Young Female Celebrities

Lindsey Lohan:

That's all I should have to say about that. It's not nearly as funny as the Paris situation, yet.


Angry at Gonzales? You Must be a Republican!

Here's yet another example of Fox News screenshot bias. I report, you decide:

After all, if you slam a Bush royalist like this, you must be a Democrat.

It's time to impeach Gonzales. His testimony is routinely perjurious. If we don't impeach, the precedent is set.

Kristol, just for The Record

I have had people ask why I am so dismissive of William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, who we are subjected to every weekend on Fox News Sunday. "His odious spew is one of the most regular eruptions known to man," over breakfast. That sort of thing.

Although much more material could be produced if you know how to use the Google, a single gem comes to mind. Kos does the work so I don't have to:

Bill Kristol, very respectable member of the chattering class, on NPR's Fresh Air, April 1, 2003:

There's been a certain amount of pop sociology in America ... that the Shia can't get along with the Sunni and the Shia in Iraq just want to establish some kind of Islamic fundamentalist regime. There's almost no evidence of that at all. Iraq's always been very secular.

That is a stupid, stupid man, who we should not pay attention to again. It is his Fox News and neoconservative ilk who created this war. Bush just pulled the trigger.


WWII Polling

A common point made by supporters of the Iraq War is that polls can't be used to drive a war, and that specifically, if the polls had been followed during World War II, we'd all be speaking German right now. Here's Tony Snow with the usual:
The president understands people's impatience — not impatience but how a war can wear on a nation. He understands that. If somebody had taken a poll in the Battle of the Bulge, I dare say people would have said, 'Wow, my goodness, what are we doing here?' But you cannot conduct a war based on polls.
Well, it so happens that they did do polling during World War II.

In World War II, the support of the war stayed solid throughout. In fact, the details of that poll are fascinating, and you can see them if you click on the chart. I'm sure you're all hugely surprised that America would support a war of real consequence, started for the noblest of reasons and during which the entire nation was called to sacrifice! Imagine that!

The Military Loves an Anti-War Message

Here's a shock for the conventional wisdom.

Ron Paul, the crusading Republican maverick of this presidential race and the only Republican running who showed the foresight to have opposed the Iraq War before it began, is doing far better than expected. Despite Rudy Giuliani slamming Paul at the first debate for suggesting that the Terrorists don't simply hate us for our freedoms, Ron Paul is gaining ground. You may have heard that he had more cash on hand recently than the establishment frontrunner, John McCain. We all had a chuckle at that.

The BIG surprise, however, is that in the last quarter the majority of political donations from military personnel in the Republican nomination went to Congressman Paul.

Somehow this doesn't fit into my talk-radio fueled world-view. How odd that they would mislead me. Who would have thought that the military might not like being used for wars of choice, with no national interest at stake, with insufficient resources, no exit strategy, and for ever increasing deployment lengths and ever shortening recoup times at home. Wow. That's a shocker.


NSA Warrantless Program Reaffirmed Illegal

Woo! What timing, ladies and gentlemen!

This morning, Judge Gilman reaffirmed the NSA spying program's illegality. The court did dismiss the lawsuit, because of the standing of the journalists that brought the case (a lawyerly way of avoiding the real issue, I feel). It remains, however, that the only two judges to ever rule on the program's legality have both found the program illegal. Listen, as he matter-of-factly dismisses the childish arguments for the program's legality:
The closest question in this case, in my opinion, is whether the plaintiffs have the standing to sue. Once past that hurdle, however, the rest gets progressively easier. Mootness is not a problem because of the government’s position that it retains the right to opt out of the FISA regime whenever it chooses. Its AUMF and inherent-authority arguments are weak in light of existing precedent and the rules of statutory construction. Finally, when faced with the clear wording of FISA and Title III that these statutes provide the “exclusive means” for the government to engage in electronic surveillance within the United States for foreign intelligence purposes, the conclusion becomes inescapable that the TSP was unlawful. I would therefore affirm the judgment of the district court.
Right as Neal Boortz was telling a lie about the legality of this very program, yet another judge was busy making a fool of him. Ohh, it's so embarrassing for poor Neal.

Updated: this was originally incorrectly attributed to the majority. Apologies

Impeachment Drumbeat

I was on the Neal Boortz show this morning at 9:45ish CST, and I presented the argument outlined below:
Joseph: If defending the Republic and the Rule of Law wasn't reason enough for you to support impeachment, I have a really good tactical reason for you. It may well be that the next President of the United States is Hilary Clinton.

Neal: I think you are probably right, sir.

Joseph: And if conservatives and Republicans don't like the idea of Hilary Clinton being able to eavesdrop on them, ignore law, and imprison them them without charge or trial indefinitely, then we need to band together and decisively repudiate George W. Bush now, through impeachment. Otherwise she will have the same powers, and I don't want that.

Neal: What would be the impeachable offense?

Joseph: The President ordered the commission of repeated felonies by creating the NSA program.

Neal: We don't know that program is illegal.
At this point we devolved in to crosstalk, since he couldn't allow a definitive refutation of his lie to be aired too soon after the telling - that would defeat the point, after all. For those in suspense, in ACLU vs NSA, on January 17, 2006, the NSA program was found unconstitutional.

This illustrates what I feel is the strongest attack on President Bush. The votes for impeachment need to come from Republicans, and scaring them with the thought of Hilary having textbook tyrannical powers might be the only thing that can push them out of their partisan stupor.