Saturday, October 04, 2008

Cheney Redux 2 - scarier than the original! - Updated

We know about the difference between cosmetic and structural damage. When someone hits my door with theirs in a parking lot and it leaves a superficial ding, that's really cosmetic. I don't like it but my car door is still sound. If someone clips my car and door is crumpled and won't open: that's structural. Same thing with houses. Cosmetic damage is usually highly visible and irritating. Structural damage may well be hidden and undermining the integrity of your home. You might not be aware of it until something collapses. Substructures are especially important. You want a solid foundation of great integrity, capable of supporting all the rest.

This is why, in national politics, I am more concerned with actions and attitudes that undermine the Constitution, erode checks and balances, and flout the law in general. That is structural damage that threatens our form of government.

The Cheney-Bush maladministration had done a lot of undermining of our basic governmental structure. They have ignored and violated laws repeatedly. They have sought at every turn to redefine basic concepts, reducing them to meaninglessness or twisting them into something new that will serve their power-hungry purposes.

Dick Cheney (unease be upon him) has resented encroachment on his vision of executive authority ever since Congress acted against the abuses of the Nixon administration. He has worked steadily to restore power to the executive branch and to increase it with no evident end in sight, to the detriment of the legislative and judicial branches of government and of us all. Given free rein, and he damn near has been given free rein, he would accrue all power to the White House with absolutely no checks and balances whatsoever.

He personifies the structural damage the United States has been suffering as we are destroyed from within.

Need I mention his central roles in lying the United States into invading and occupying Iraq, establishing the lawless detention center of Gitmo, the implementation of torture, and treasonous outing of a CIA operative? His crimes against the Constitution, the US Code, and humanity stink to high heaven.

The New York Times editorial chimes in at this point:
It is hard to tell from Ms. Palin’s remarks whether she understands how profoundly Dick Cheney has reshaped the vice presidency — as part of a larger drive to free the executive branch from all checks and balances. Nor did she seem to understand how much damage that has done to American democracy.


The Constitution does not state or imply any flexibility in the office of vice president. It gives the vice president no legislative responsibilities other than casting a tie-breaking vote in the Senate when needed and no executive powers at all. The vice president’s constitutional role is to be ready to serve if the president dies or becomes incapacitated.

Any president deserves a vice president who will be a sound adviser and trustworthy supporter. But the American people also deserve and need a vice president who understands and respects the balance of power — and the limits of his or her own power. That is fundamental to our democracy.

So far, Ms. Palin has it exactly, frighteningly wrong.
Read it all here.

It seems that Sarah Palin shares Cheney's vision of a powerful vice-presidential office. That scares the shit out of me. She is not merely ignorant, she is unbelievably dangerous (and power-hungry and abusive, if stories from Alaska are to be credited). She represents additional structural damage to our nation. We cannot afford it. The Constitution is on the verge of crumbling as it it unless the people, the courts, and Congress stand up for it.

We need people who believe in restoration of balance in our government, not augmenting its worst destructive aspects.

h/t to davidkc's post "Wow, who spiked the grey lady's Metamucil?"

Here are Rachel Maddow and Jonathan Turley disucssing the issue.

h/t to rainyskip at Daily Kos
--the BB

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