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« "Lost": talk about harsh DUI penalties. . . . | Main | Moussaoui: Oops, I'd like a do-over, please »

May 05, 2006



In considering Patrick Henry's warning, don't forget that this was before the 22nd amendment limited the president to two terms in office. In the early days of the republic, many people were concerned about the possibility of a president assuming the powers of a monarch.

A few people were likewise worried about the (unelected) judiciary assuming powers it was not intended to have. In today's world that may be the greater problem. Perhaps this president is only trying to re-assert his rightful powers....

David Cox

I believe the 22nd Amendment is irrelevant to the discussion. While it is a formal check, the fear seems to be one based on the lack of respect for formal checks by a commander-in-chief. If I may make an off-handed cultural reference to prove my point, then let us remember the movie "Gladiator". The senate feared a powerful general entering Rome with his army, because every time that had happened in the past, the general became the new caesar. The fear is not the possibility of a tyrant in office, rather the fear is the immediate overthrow of the democracy. Our democratic system, though not perfect, has too strong of a history for any administration to come in and change the form of government. The American people simply would not allow it. Patrick Henry's quote while informative, I believe is now moot, because the fear that he was addressing does not currently lie with the American people.

Therefore, even though I disagree with many of the President's policies, I do believe the President should have a more expansive power to send our troops to war. But the real check on this power should be the people. Now how do we get the American people intelligently informed on such important issues so that when the elections do come, they can vote according to these important issues - thereby sending a clear mandate to our elected officials - and not other trivial or merely rhetoric filled issues? That's the $64,000 question.



Do you think with the kind of military might that our armed forces (thankfully) possess that the people are a realistic check on tyranny? Certainly, no citizen led rebellion of violence could succeed against a tyrannical regime given that we are restricted to rather weak semi-automatic weapons. (And that's assuming that a tyrannical regime didn't start by confiscated (ahem), I mean, licensing even lawful weapons.

Like Don, I'm not all that concerned with GWB's assertion of CIC power, especially given that he possesses a congressional resolution akin to a declaration of war. The best way to prevent tyranny is to limit the power and money of the federal government. After all, who wants to be king of the postal roads and coining money? Would it matter if there were such a king?



Joseph Bessette has a good review (not available online) of Yoo's book in the latest issue of the Claremont Review of Books.

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