Reader donations, many as small as just $1, have kept In These Times publishing for 45 years. Once you've finished reading, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to support this work.
Glenn Greenwald reports on the expressly stated affinity of leading Republican presidential candidates for dictatorial powers. Two of the three leading Republican candidates for President either embrace or are open to embracing the idea that the President can imprison Americans without any review, based solely on the unchecked decree of the President. And, of course, that is nothing new, since the current Republican President not only believes he has that power but has exercised it against U.S. citizens and legal residents in the U.S. -- including those arrested not on the "battlefield," but on American soil.What kind of American isn't just instinctively repulsed by the notion that the President has the power to imprison Americans with no charges? And what does it say about the current state of our political culture that one of the two political parties has all but adopted as a plank in its platform a view of presidential powers and the federal government that is -- literally -- the exact opposite of what this country is? The Bush Doctrine of "I'm The King Dammit!," endorsed and supported by the majority Republican 109th Congress, incorporates the following principles (among others):
Fuck Articles I and II of the Constitution (The Vice President is a fourth branch of government, with accountability to no one! And the Congress ain't got no powers of oversight! Or war powers. And if we want to spend money not authorized by Congress, they can go fuck themselves!) Fuck Article III of the Constitution (The President, not the courts, decides what's legal and constitutional; his signing statements say so!) Fuck Habeas Corpus. Fuck the First Amendment (There is no right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances where we give our public speeches!). Fuck the Fourth Amendment (We don't need no stinkin' warrants!). Fuck the Fifth Amendment (We can deprive any damn one we want of life, liberty, or property, without any fucking due process of law). Fuck the Sixth Amendment (We don't need no stinkin' speedy trials and we don't need to inform the guilty accused what the charges are against them. Kangaroo Courts R Us!) Fuck the Eighth Amendment (No punishment is "cruel and unusual" enough to suit us). Fuck the Fourteenth Amendment (We can damn well abridge the privileges or immunities of any damn citizen of the United States we want, we can deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws as we please, and fuck Due Process!) Fuck the Fifteenth Amendment (Of course we can inhibit anyone we want from voting). Fuck the Twenty Fourth Amendment (Voter ID requires a necessary poll tax expense to prevent Democrat criminals from getting into the voting booth!).