Friday, August 10, 2007

A Democratic Ron Paul?

I read this article in Newsweek magazine today and found it to be a good one. To hear George Will tell it Democratic candidate Chris Dodd might actually be a good choice, well at least as far as protecting the Constitution is concerned.

An excerpt:
"Contrary to the Supreme Court's rejection of President Truman's 1952 claim of an inherent power as commander in chief to seize steel mills to prevent a wartime strike (Justice Jackson concurring: "No penance would ever expiate the sin against free government of holding that a president can escape control of executive power by law through assuming his military role"), this administration claims not merely inherent but exclusive presidential powers to:
  • Treat all of America as a battlefield on which even American citizens can be declared "enemy combatants," seized and held indefinitely, and intelligence can be collected by any means the president orders.
  • Disregard—or interpret into nullities—provisions of the Geneva Conventions, the Convention Against Torture or U.S. law that inhibit the president from acting as "sole organ" of the nation regarding national security.

""There is," Dodd says, "a hollowness to this campaign." If, however, Dodd distills his anger into a message about how a swollen presidency threatens the constitutional balance between the two political branches of government, that message might resonate. Certainly prosecuting the case against presidential aggrandizement would give the son of the Nuremberg prosecutor a distinctive theme. It also would give him a seriousness largely lacking in a campaign that is indeed hollow because its pervasive subtext—loathing of this president—is more visceral than intellectual.

"With his support measured in little amounts, Dodd has little to lose and a large role to gain. It would be the role of a constitutionalist candidate who promises that, as president, he would prune from his office much of the grandiosity it has acquired from audacious recent assertions of uncircumscribed powers."

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