Thursday, February 16, 2006

What is the Role of Congress?

This is going to be an odd little post; I am going to praise George Will's latest article. It's very sharp, and highlights some of the logical inconsistencies of modern conservatism.

1. After railing on liberals for decades for interpreting the constitution in light of the society we live in, the insist on reading in expanded powers for the Executive in light of, well, the post 9/11 society we live in.

2. If the President's interpretation of the Authorization for Use of Military Force is accepted, no president ever need congress to declare war or authorize military force again (so long as the president can invoke terrorism on the part of our enemies).

3. Why does the President press for the passage of the patriot act when he clearly feels he already has the right to pretty much do whatever he wants to fight terrorism?

Good points, all of them. Will does support the passage of a Patriot Act, on the grounds that it would both define and limit the President's power.
But 53 months later, Congress should make all necessary actions lawful by authorizing the president to take those actions, with suitable supervision. It should do so with language that does not stigmatize what he has been doing, but that implicitly refutes the doctrine that the authorization is superfluous.
Yeah, but can't President Bush just attach a signing statement saying "I will interpret the suggestion that I am not all powerful in light of current conditions, i.e. I am all powerful and screw you congress!"

Still nice that some conservatives are catching on to how much power President Bush has taken unto himself.

No comments: