Saturday, January 06, 2007

Charles Fried Is Having A Very Selective Hissy Fit

And he’s not the only one.
Posted by olvlzl

My junior senator, the self-term limited Susan Collins*, is upset that George W. Bush has included a signing statement in a bill she authored that not only directly contradicts the bill, itself, but gives him powers associated with the executives of police states. To my senator all I can say is, he’s the president of your party, not mine. You have supported his irregular selection and his entirely incompetent and clearly corrupt rule. Your protestations this late in time, as you prepare to break your promise to the moderate voters of Maine, that you will retire, are hollow.

Signing statements are a clear and obvious danger to representative democracy, giving the president the ability to not only make new law but to negate the law even as he is signing it. Antonin Scalia has included a signing statement in one of his opinions and has opened the door to them being as dangerous as they sound. Along with Cheney's attempts to construct an imperial presidency that would have made Nixon blush, a powerful branch of the Republican legal establishment clearly wants to make Republican presidents absolute rulers.

The same day I read about Bush using a minor postal reform bill as a naked power grab, I also read Charles Fried, professor of Harvard Law School, solicitor general in the Reagan administration and patron of Samuel Alito, tut-tutting the just inaugurated Governor Deval Patrick for violating the spirit of the Massachusetts constitution. The Fried ire was aroused by Patrick’s opposition to putting gay marriage to the voters. Fried, as I’ve mentioned before, is the god-father of Bush’s theory of signing statements. He and Alito did a significant part of the legal hack work that has been the excuse used by the Bush regime to bypass the minor inconveniences of the United States Constitution and the Separation of Powers.

Apparently the great will of the voters, sufficient to deprive Americans of their most basic civil rights, wasn’t enough to arouse Fried and his fellow Republican legal eagles in the small matter of the election of a president and the overturning by their will by putsch in Florida and, four years later, Ohio. I have heard not a single one of them contradict William Rehnquist’s assertion in Bush v. Gore that there is no right for an American citizen to vote. The high and mighty don’t yet realize that Bush v. Gore was a watershed, it is the ruling that separates the oligarches from the democrats. No one who is not an enemey of government by, of and for the People will ever get over it.

Fried does assure us that if the civil rights of lesbians and gay men are put to a vote that he will cast his sacred ballot against overturning gay marriage. I’d seem quite the ingrate if I didn’t admit, that’s mighty white of him, isn’t it?

To have this particular establishment bilge pump slamming this particular newly elected governor for thinking that the civil rights of citizens should not be subject to the popular whim is laughable. It’s insulting. That the Boston Globe op-ed page, now owned by the New York Times corp, thinks that Fried is someone worth listening to in this matter** doesn’t do anything to raise it’s credibility. Since it is the Globe’s own Charlie Savage, a real reporter, who has done the most important journalism about the abomination of the Bush signing statements, giving it’s op-ed over to a genteel con man like Fried for clearly partisan purposes, cutting the legs out from under a Democratic governor on his first day, is a disgrace to journalism.

* She promised that if she was elected as senator that she would serve no more than two terms. I don’t like term limits but she promised that to the voters as a condition of them choosing her and she should be held to that promise. Yes, I know there is another politician who made the same rash promise, but he lives in another state. His promise was made to his constituents and they are the best ones to address it.

** He seems to be joining fellow right-wing hacks Jeff Jacoby and Cathy Young as yet another in-house, op-ed, conservative. He’s redundant in that position.
You can guess what I think of Harvard University as a fame plucker.

Update: Yes, I caught it. Rule number one, a man who is his own editor has a blogger for a client. And it doesn't help when he was wearing his old glasses.