Monday, May 01, 2006

May Day

Will be renamed The Mission Accomplished Day. You know, the day when military operations in Iraq ended. The Memory Hole (an Orwellian term denoting a hole in the wall through which bits of history will be sent when they no longer match the desired reality) must not be allowed to work in this case, and renaming the day that way would keep it in our memory a little longer.

The Mission was not Accomplished in Iraq. But Bush is fairly close to accomplishing a totally different mission: that of kicking off the other legs of our political system in favor of absolute presidential powers:

President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution.

Among the laws Bush said he can ignore are military rules and regulations, affirmative-action provisions, requirements that Congress be told about immigration services problems, ''whistle-blower" protections for nuclear regulatory officials, and safeguards against political interference in federally funded research.

Legal scholars say the scope and aggression of Bush's assertions that he can bypass laws represent a concerted effort to expand his power at the expense of Congress, upsetting the balance between the branches of government. The Constitution is clear in assigning to Congress the power to write the laws and to the president a duty ''to take care that the laws be faithfully executed." Bush, however, has repeatedly declared that he does not need to ''execute" a law he believes is unconstitutional.

I like the idea in some ways. It would be fun to decide not to obey those parts of any contracts I sign that I don't really want to obey. But I have no such excuse as perpetual war and being a commander-of-chief to do that.