Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Cleaning up George’s Mess—Part 1: The Constitution

In the Harper’s Magazine article “Undoing Bush” David Cole discusses the damage George Bush has done to the Constitution of the United States.
“For a short parlor game, challenge your friends to name a constitutional right that Bush has not sought to undermine. After the right to bear arms and the guarantee against the quartering of soldiers, the game will be over. Those who prefer a longer game can reverse the exercise, but be prepared for an extended and dispiriting evening.”
Cole goes on to describe how the Bush administration has eviscerated the First Amendment right of association, trampled on the Fourth Amendment right to privacy, ignored the Fifth Amendment right to due process, and repeatedly attempted to cut the legs out from under the constitutional principle of separation of powers on which so much of our strength is based. As Cole notes,
“Restoring the Constitution will be a monumental task, but doing so is critical to maintaining the character of our democracy.”
The first step back is the next election, in which the public must demand fidelity to our founding principles. When the next administration comes to office they must put the separation of powers back on sound footing, restore due process, and take additional actions to fix the worst excesses of the so-called Patriot Act. It’s a pity we can’t start this process sooner, but we can keep our focus on 2008 and finally saying goodbye to George Bush.

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