Monday, January 09, 2006

Presidential Historians Suggest Bush Has Tough Road Ahead Convincing Congress, American People That Domestic Spying Program Was Not Abuse Of Power

During the Civil War President Abraham Lincoln suspended habeas corpus. During World War I, President Woodrow Wilson pushed anti sedition laws. In World War II Franklin Roosevelt interned thousands of Japanese Americans.

Now President Bush says, "We're at war and as the commander in chief I've got to use the resources at my disposal."

But is the National Security Agency a resource at his disposal for monitoring the phone conversations of suspected terrorists, even if one end of the call is here in this country?

That's the question Charles Osgood asked this morning on his daily syndicated radio segment, The Osgood File. He spoke with presidential historians James Thurber and Julian Zelizer, as well as long-time political strategist David Gergen, a pro with Democrat and Republican administrations and by default an amateur historian of recent presidential activity.

Their conclusion? President Bush may have to do a lot of campaigning -- both among Congress and the American people -- to convince people that his decision was not an example of exceeding his constitutional powers. Some observers have suggested Bush's personally authorizing the warrant-less domesitc surveillance was an impeachable offense.

With Lincoln, Wilson and Roosevelt, "there was a pushback by the American public through the press but also by Congress and that is likely to happen this time," said Thurber.

Added Zelizer: "Every time we go to war the tension between the president and congress flares. We have hit a point where Congress is very much trying to reassert itself and much less willing to give the president excessive power."

As an aid to Presidents Republican and Democrat David Gergen has seen the effects of such issues on administrations past. "It could be a real obstacle for President Bush in terms of trying to recover as president," he said. "He may be on the defensive much longer than he would like."

12 Comments:

Anonymous Gen. Patton said...

Domestic spying is warranted, neccessary and vital to keep this country safe from terrorists. If your not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about....

4:46 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

It may be warranted, but since Presdient Bush never got the necessary warrants, any information obtained is inadmissible in court.

In other words, Bush's going-it-alone, ends-justify-the-means style has gaping holes in logic.

5:58 PM  
Anonymous William769 said...

Only Congress has the power to declare war. When was the decleration of war issued? Did I miss it?

5:58 PM  
Anonymous Starkers said...

You missed it. When Congress voted to allow force against Iraq. There is not provision in the Constitution about the wording used to declare war.

5:59 PM  
Anonymous punpirate said...

Umm...
... that's the sort of sophistry that the Bushies have been trying to use. The Constitution is quite specific--it says only Congress may declare war. At the risk of seeming repetitive, that is a declarative statement. It needs no further explication.

Beyond that, the Congressional Research Service has been asked to research the matter, and has produced a couple of recent reports on the extent of Bush's powers in regard to the 2001 authorization to use force (which was not a declaration of war), and on the differing natures of AUMFs and declarations of war:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RS22357.pdf

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RL31133.pdf

Makes for some very interesting reading.

Cheers.

5:59 PM  
Anonymous rodeodance said...

we can only hope and pray and make loud noices -that Congress will
assert itself!!!!!

Added Zelizer: "Every time we go to war the tension between the president and congress flares. We have hit a point where Congress is very much trying to reassert itself and much less willing to give the president excessive power."

6:00 PM  
Anonymous gkhouston said...

nah, it's an easy road...
just follow the "EXIT" signs...

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Jackpine Radical said...

The prior instances cited--Civil War, WWI, WWII-- were all WARS, declared by Congress.

By no stretch of the imagination is the current mess a war in the Constitutionaly defined sense.

6:01 PM  
Anonymous Democrats_win said...

Especially hard when surrounded by YES men.

6:01 PM  
Anonymous Ksec said...

Thats an understatement. That entire party is imploding before our eyes. Ive never seen so many charges, indictments, corruption.

No matter what they do Ill bang the drum about this culture of corruption this party is all about. The Rethugs killed themselves. All we have to do is capitalize on it. Easy. Just end every sentence with the word corruption or indictments.

6:02 PM  
Anonymous ash said...

Well, of course anyone (named Patton, of all monikers) who resorts to the easy cliche about "nothing to worry about" is also going to spell "you're" wrong.

7:25 PM  
Anonymous cliss said...

I certainly hope so. I hope Bush never recovers. He should be floundering, lurching from one disaster to the next.

All of his own making. Thx for posting.

2:38 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Listed on BlogShares