President Bush admitted to authorizing illegal wiretaps to spy on citizens of the United States. He admitted committing a crime. He admitted to violating the Constitution that he swore before God and country to defend and uphold. Bush will try to rationalize his actions by claiming that it makes the War on Terror easier to wage. But making his job easier is irrelevant. He is the President of the United States, a tax paying citizen of the Republic. He is charged with leading our great country to even further greatness. But he is obligated to do so within the laws that our legislative branch has given to him and us. He does not have an option to do otherwise. Just as you or I do not have the option to do otherwise. Telling the judge at your sentencing that you were right to break the law because it made what you were attempting to accomplish easier to accomplish gets you a one way ticket to jail. The president cannot decide, on a whim, that his objectives now trump the collective wisdom of our lawmakers, from the very 1st Congress to this the 109th Congress. We all remember what Bush said back in December, 2000:
"If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator[.]"I don't think we're in any danger of Bush crowning himself emperor, but I think the quote above does betray a certain disdain for the relatively slow pace of our modern government. Again, not many people would say something like "being a dictator would make it easier." Not a whole lot of people would even think it. Longing for the ease of dictatorship with respect to government in the USA is sort of like wishing that you could sprout wings and fly when you're stuck in traffic: obvious, irrelevant, and squarely outside the realm of reality. It's the kind of thing you'd expect to hear from a high-school sophomore. Painfully ignorant of the both consequences of total control and the advantages of our present republic.
This is not a liberal vs. conservative issue. If the most liberal president in the universe approved ILLEGAL DOMESTIC WIRETAPS, like Bush has, he would get this exact same treatment from me. I would demand an investigation and I would further demand that the results of such an investigation be acted upon. Let us not forget that the US grew into the most powerful nation in history precisely because of our great Constitution. Some of you may say this current episode is nothing, that this is a mountain from a molehill, but I must passionately disagree. Freedom is not destroyed all at once, but is chipped away at until it is unrecognizable. A patriot of freedom, a true son or daughter of America does not countenance ANY assault, regardless of apparent importance, on our Constitution. To use the president's language, you are either for freedom or against it. To allow the destruction of liberty to occur because it lacks a certain shock value is to despise liberty. The president is not a king.