Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Will on Wire Tapping

Check out Mr. Will's take on the Bush spying hoopteewoo here.
Particularly in time of war or the threat of it, government needs concentrated decisiveness -- a capacity for swift and nimble action that legislatures normally cannot manage. But the inescapable corollary of this need is the danger of arbitrary power.
Modern American conservatism grew in reaction against the New Deal's creation of the regulatory state, and the enlargement of the executive branch power that such a state entails. The intellectual vigor of conservatism was quickened by reaction against the Great Society and the aggrandizement of the modern presidency by Lyndon Johnson, whose aspiration was to complete the project begun by Franklin Roosevelt.
Because of what Alexander Hamilton praised as "energy in the executive,'' which often drives the growth of government, for years many conservatives were advocates of congressional supremacy. There were, they said, reasons why the Founders, having waged a revolutionary war against overbearing executive power, gave the legislative branch pride of place in Article I of the Constitution.
At least George is not rushing to defend the "legality" of the President's actions. The knee-jerk, blind loyalty - on both sides of the aisle - sickens me. I think Bush supporters and bashers should take a step back and suck in some air. Look at the law - statutory and constitutional. Think about the context and applicable scenario to which it was applied. And, finally, ask yourself what you would be thinking right now if a guy from the other party was occupying the White House. This action may, in fact, be technically legal. Or, rather, not illegal. But, more than anything, I fear the precedent and the Orwellian nightmare it entails.