Congress has no choice but to show George W. Bush that he is neither a king nor a god. Even the Romans had the good sense to hire someone to whisper into Caesar's ear: "You are mortal." This naked emperor has grown far too accustomed to having his expansive executive powers go unchecked.
The Democrats in Congress must suspend their cynical political strategizing for 2008 and do their duty to defend and protect the U.S. Constitution. Those who have been studying the Imperial Presidency and the breakdowns of democracy at home and abroad know that runaway executive power is the greatest threat to our system of representative government.
The extreme right, which doesn't give a damn so long as the status quo creates opportunities for it to grab ever more power, might be unconcerned about Bush's iron-fisted rule, but ordinary citizens must demand that Congress assert itself as a co-equal branch with the executive branch. The "unitary executive," if left to run amok, will be institutionalized and be backed up by the courts stacked with Republican hack judges and go unchecked by a supine Congress whose powers will become more symbolic than real.
George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Alberto Gonzales have shown they have no intention of abiding by the law, (note the 1,400 "signing statements" that conveniently gut the intent of Congressional acts relating to everything from Medicare to torture). For this rogue, criminal gang of usurpers who hijacked our country's governing institutions in 2000, and then so politicized all of the federal agencies and bureaus to perpetuate its misrule past 2004 -- the moment of clarity is now approaching.
How many more affronts are we expected to take? The attorney general lying through his teeth to the Congress, Bush "commuting" Scooter Libby's prison sentence, Harriet Miers flipping the bird to the Judiciary Committee, Karl Rove laughing all the way to the next rotten election where he can deploy his stagecraft.
The same people who brought us Terry Schaivo called the Senate's recent attempt to disengage the country from the endless bloodbath in Iraq a "stunt."
If Rahm Emmanuel and the DLC "centrists" do not have the guts to defend the Constitution against this arrogant abuse of power, then the Democratic Party's base must run better candidates in the primaries for the House and Senate in 2008.
Senator Joseph Lieberman learned the power of the grassroots in 2006 when Ned Lamont took him down in the primary election. Old "Joe-Mentum" clawed his way back into illegitimate power by trashing the Democratic Party and miraculously discovering the virtues of becoming an "independent," (and also because Connecticut is such a weird state -- I mean, why is Christopher Shays still in office?)
We should unleash an army of Ned Lamonts to unseat these fat, complacent Democrats who shy away from defending the Constitution against our homegrown little Bonaparte, and water down lobbying laws, and take impeachment "off the table."
The election of 2008 isn't going to mean a whole helluva lot if the presidency remains in its current disfigured form into the post-Bush era.
If the incumbent Democrats continue to place partisan calculations over their Constitutional duties then they should be challenged in their home district primaries and thrown out on their ears. At the very least we should give them a run for their money. I hope Cindy Sheehan challenges Nancy Pelosi in the primary election.
It is past time to charge Bush and Cheney with contempt of Congress. If Alberto Gonzales, the worst attorney general in American history, refuses to prosecute or convene grand juries to enforce the Congress's contempt charges it is time to impeach him now! And then impeach Cheney and then impeach the little dictator himself.