No. of Recommendations: 3
Bush has stated that he wants to further codify the power he already believes he has. If he has the power legally, then codifying it is redundant. Such an exercise in redundancy is a waste of taxpayer money. George W. “the thrifty” Bush wants to waste his political capital and taxpayer capital.

Why doesn't this bother our Republican friends?

Because Republicans understand that this power -- once actually granted -- will be the power to legally spy on political enemies, and that translates into the power to retain absolute Republican dominance in perpetuity.

If it is entirely within the legal discretion of the executive branch to decide whom it may secretly surveille, then it may secretly -- and legally -- surveille the opposition party. It needn't even make the claim that the opposition party is a "danger to national security," for there will be no one to whom it must justify its decisions. No one will be able to ask, "Why are you wiretapping Howard Dean, Russ Feingold, Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, and the entire Democratic leadership?" No one outside of the executive branch will know that this is being done. And even if it is leaked, Congress will have provided them with the power to make the claim that the law permits them -- and only them -- to decide what is in the national interest with respect to national security issues.

It is possible, of course, that 50% of the electorate might be a bit annoyed to discover that their party leadership is being routinely wiretapped by the party in power. Might they not merely exercise their right to vote that party out of power? Perhaps. If other implications of the theory of the "unitary executive" aren't evoked to prevent it.

Several come to mind.

The theory of the "unitary executive," under which the President has full authority to decide, under the guise of "national security," to take any action he deems "necessary" is a bald-faced assertion of the right to institute one-party rule, for ever and ever, amen.

Why WOULDN'T the Republicans be salivating over the prospect? Very few, it would seem, are as concerned about the Constitution and the freedom of the American people from de-facto dictatorship as they are about the prospect of permanent power, unlimited opportunity for enhancing personal wealth and elimination of the need ever again to run for office.

This theory of the "unitary executive" -- which they hope will be codified in law before the 2006 mid-terms -- is the Republican party's wet dream. They've been working towards this since the end of the Second World War. You think there are more than a handful willing to derail the agenda and render useless the hard work of all those Republicans who came before, whose dedication to one-party rule has resulted in this singular opportunity?


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