Losing Our Votes and Our Government

The Bush administration has taken down one governor, Alabama’s Don Siegelman, on false charges. Is it any surprise that when presented with unsavory behavior on the part of ex New York governor Eliot Spitzer, they’d go after him? Let’s be clear on this. The Bush administration, who has been embroiled in a scandal over undue influence over (and in some cases outright firing of) state attorney generals. The same administration which has aggressively perverted the courts from the lowest circuit all the way up to the Supreme Court with its pro-business, pro-Republican, pro-Christianist agenda.

An Executive administration that has grabbed unprecedented amounts of power from the Legislative branch and subverted the Judicial branch is using its power to take out political opponents and override our vote.

The Spitzer case is unfortunately illuminating (Majikthise):

So, the so-called Public Integrity Section of Bush’s Justice Department is trying to exploit an obscure bit of bank law to destroy Spitzer.
This isn’t an isolated incident. The Republicans are using the criminal justice system to pick off rising Democratic stars, one by one.

This isn’t just politics as usual. It’s no longer about getting the Republicans’ enemies out of office, or costing the Democrats the next election. It’s about making sure the targets are so thoroughly discredited that they never return to public life. It’s about ruining their lives, if at all possible.
Don Siegelman, was a rising Democratic star in Alabama. He was a rare commodity, a Democrat who could win elections in a deep red state. Some people saw a presidential bid in his future. Now, Siegelman is languishing in a federal prison camp, thanks to Karl Rove and the some cooperative US Attorneys. (For more details, see Scott Horton’s Siegelman Chronicles.)
Now, the Bush Justice Department is trying finish off Eliot Spitzer, another high profile Democrat who once harbored presidential ambitions.

The Feds are going to any lengths to find a crime with which to charge the governor, all for the purpose of forcing him out of office(Majikthise):

Am I the only one who is appalled that the Justice Department forced Eliot Spitzer out of office?

Sources: Lawyers for Spitzer negotiate possible plea deal

5:32 PM EDT, March 11, 2008

Lawyers for Gov. Eliot Spitzer are negotiating a possible plea deal with federal prosectuors stemming from his alleged involvement with a prostitution ring, sources said.

Several sources said that the one serious bargaining chip that Spitzer has to possibly avoid being charged with a serious felony, such as money laundering or avoiding federal currency rules, is to work out a deal in which he would give up the governorship. In return, prosecutors would assure him that he only would have to plead at most to a misdemeanor or even less and be in effect guaranteed that he would not have to go to prison. [Newsday]

If the foregoing is true, you could describe the same scenario another way: Federal law enforcement approached the sitting governor of New York and threatened to charge him with felonies unless he resigned his office.

This is how the Bush administration will spend its last year in office, and how the McCain administration will spend the next 8. The purpose of separating the Legislative, Judicial and Executive branches was to prevent the concentration of power in the hands of a few. The Bush administration and the Republican leadership has violated the Constitution in the most treasonous was possible. They have used their power to obtain a stranglehold on our political process, and rendered our ability to elect our own government void.

Call your Representatives and Senators. Ask them one question: “Will you act?”.

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J Edgar Hoover and Giuliani

Via NewsCat, this set off some alarms:

Over the holidays there was a little noticed story published about recently declassified papers showing that in July 1950, only a few days after the beginning of the Korean War, J. Edgar Hoover wanted President Truman to round up and detain 12,000 American citizens.

Who was he targeting?  Does anyone want to be it was suspected communists?  Think of how close we came in recent history to the mass arrest of American citizens on the basis of political beliefs.

Now, couple that with two particular notes about Rudy Giuliani:

If elected Giuliani would extend the already power mad style of the Bush administration to new levels. Glenn Greenwald has the scoop:

Over the weekend, it was revealed by National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru that Rudy Giuliani believes that, as President, he would have the power to imprison American citizens without any sort of review of any kind, and Giuliani stated he hoped to exercise that power only “infrequently”

NYTimes:

Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do.

Some say history repeats itself.  Combine a Giuliani Presidency with that history and the rising tide in eliminationist rhetoric, and we have an instant recipe for an oppressive tyranny on a massively tragic scale.  This time there would be no President to turn down J Edgar Giuliani’s request.  Giuliani would be the President.  A President who’s view of executive power extends ever further than George W Bush.

Bush: There is More Than One Branch of Government

Apparently Bush can do whatever he wants, damn Congress and damn process!

During the accountability-free zone whilst Congress was on spring break, he shoved swift-boat veterans for truthiness Sam Fox through as ambassador to Belgium.

Fortunately (hat tip kos) Chris Dodd fires back (emphasis mine):

“It is outrageous that the President has sought to stealthily appoint Sam Fox to the position of ambassador to Belgium when the President formally requested that the Fox nomination be withdrawn from the Senate because it was facing certain defeat in the Foreign Relations Committee last week. I seriously question the legality of the President’s use of the recess appointment authority in this instance. I intend to seek an opinion on the legality of this appointment from the General Accountability Office and invite other Senators to join with me in that request. This is underhanded and an abuse of Executive authority — sadly this behavior has become the hallmark of this administration.

It is good to finally have Democrats fighting back on this.

President Bush’s all powerful executive authority needs a serious constitutional check.