Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Arlen Specter: We're deciders, too!

Arlen Specter has discovered a painful truth.

The distinguished gentleman from Pennsylvania spent six years nurturing the anti-democratic inclinations of George W. Bush. Only now does the former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee seem to understand the nature of the monster that he helped to create.

Specter, it seems, is rather alarmed by Bush's contention that congress is irrelevant with respect to matters of war.

A Senate Republican on Tuesday directly challenged President Bush's declaration that "I am the decision-maker" on issues of war.

"I would suggest respectfully to the president that he is not the sole decider," Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said during a hearing on Congress' war powers amid an increasingly harsh debate over Iraq war policy. "The decider is a shared and joint responsibility," Specter said.
Well, you can certainly try telling him that, Arlen.

Then, after he and "Vice" tell you to go have sex with yourself, what do you plan to do? Do you have the guts to vote to cut off funding for the escalation of Bush's war? Because, that is literally all you can do to back up your tough talk. As Cheney made clear recently,

"The Congress has control over the purse strings," he said last week. "They have the right, obviously, if they want, to cut off funding. But in terms of this effort, the president has made his decision."
This was what we were trying to tell you all those years, Arlen: that there is no substitute for the rule of law. When we begged you to put a stop to Bush's warrantless, unlawful wiretapping of American citizens, we were arguing not against President Bush, but for the rule of law. We were asking you to validate the notion that the law is superior to the judgment of George W. Bush. We were begging you not to give credence to the insane suggestion that George W. Bush stands alone above all men in the ability to resist the corrupting influence of absolute power. We knew that no man, least of all George W. Bush could be trusted with such power.

Bush and Cheney have no more respect for the constitutional role of congress than they have for the role of the judiciary. They intend to continue and escalate their war, no matter what the American people and their elected representatives think. There are only two things that you can do to stop them. Number one, cut off funding for it. Number two, support and follow the investigations wherever they may lead, even if they lead to the prosecution of the president and vice president for impeachable offenses.

The Executive branch has declared itself above the law, governed by nothing and accountable to no one. The only solution to this constitutional crisis lies in a confrontation between congress and the White House, in which congress reasserts and regains its proper governing role. It cannot be done by the Democrats alone. They will require the cooperation of their Republican colleagues. Both sides of the aisle must unite to save this Republic.

This confrontation, this painful truth, cannot be avoided any longer.