May 18, 2006

by Reb Yudel
Why a Democratic Congress can't shy away from investigating the imperial presidency

From Digby's Hullabaloo:

I simply cannot understand why there is even a debate among Democrats, much less a public debate, about whether or not they should openly call for investigations if they win office. I realize that the Republicans are mau-mauing the hell out of them on this --- and the press is hungrily eating it up --- but it still makes no sense to me.

First, on principle, the congress has a constitutional duty to do this. If Democrats want people to know that we stand for something, they need to start with the constitution. It is, regardless of the political challenge, their obligation as citizens and elected officials to provide oversight to any executive, much less an openly lawless one. Sorry, kids. You have no choice. I know it would be nice to pretend all this ugliness never happened, but it did. Precedents have been set, wars have been waged, lives have been lost, billions have been wasted, one of our great cities has been destroyed, our moral standing around the globe is nil and everybody knows it. The congress is mandated to oversee the executive and they have failed to do that for the past five years. If the Democrats continue in that failure, they are also guilty of shirking their constitutional duty. It's that simple.

Second, as a matter of long term political consideration there is the moral hazard of letting the Republicans skate again on what they've done. After three Republican administrations out of the last four were revealed to have ignored the will of the congress and operated imperial presidencies, I think it's pretty clear that they do not believe in a neutral system of checks and balances between the branches; they believe that Republican presidents have unfettered power to do whatever they wish and that Democratic presidents must submit to non-stop harrassment by the congress. This is not a matter of opinion. This is how they have behaved when they have had power, either executive, legislative or both. To let these actions go unexplored, undebated, unchallenged by the congress is to validate this premise. It will happen again --- and why shouldn't it? The Republicans know that the only thing they will suffer from doing this is a temporary loss of power (time for them to catch their breath and count their profits) until things improve and they can go back in and experiment, consolidate and plunder some more. This has been the pattern for the last 40 years. There has been no price to pay. The Republican party is not going to have a "come to Jesus" moment and recognize that they have been on the wrong track lo these many years and they need to clean up their act. This is how they do things and will continue to do things unless the country calls a halt. They cannot do that if they are not informed of the scope and meaning of these actions.


I'm currently engaged in a personal debate as to what to wear to the Oscars, if the novel I'm about to finish writing is picked up to become a major motion picture. I don't want to wear a tux, but I might have to. Any Democrat from the recaptured 2006 Congress got any ideas? Thank you.

Posted by: Yori yanover at May 18, 2006 2:45 PM
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