Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Power Play

The Power-Madness of King George - Is Bush turning America into an elective dictatorship? By Jacob Weisberg

I'm not saying that Jacob Weisberg is overreacting to the recent document from Alberto Gonzales and the Department of Justice that asserts that the present and never-ending war on terror "'places the president at the zenith of his powers,' giving him 'all that he possesses in his own right plus all that Congress can delegate.'" Far from it; Weisberg is right to assert that the wiretapping and the torture and the permanent detention without a warrant or a hearing or a stated reason constitute activity that is downright un-American.

But he misses the larger, and ultimately American, human interest story here: Alberto Gonzales isn't merely the handmaiden of a power-mad president obsessed with wiping out a bully who once sucker-punched him. He's that handmaiden on a quest for a promotion, and there's nothing more American than being willing to do and say anything to get a better job, right? This whole Constitutionally-challenged document can be seen as Gonzales' bet that John Paul Stevens just can't cling to the armrests of his chair at the Supreme Court for another three years, and will either die or retire before Bush leaves office, opening up a seat for Gonzales to warm for a few decades.

Maybe he's been tapping the phones at the Supreme Court?

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