Don't We Have a Constitution, Not a King?

Don’t We Have a Constitution, Not a King?

The National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive, signed on May 9, 2007, would place all governmental power in the hands of the President and effectively abolish the checks and balances in the Constitution.

If a “catastrophic emergency” – which could include a terrorist attack or a natural disaster – occurs, Bush’s new directive says: “The President shall lead the activities of the Federal Government for ensuring constitutional government.”

“The President shall lead the activities of the Federal Government for ensuring constitutional government.”

This seems sort of like trying to save someone’s life by sawing off his head.

And he hasn’t been impeached why?

If the ACLU ain’t worried, I sure the heck ain’t.

The thing that scares me most about things like this is you have to assume that they understand that any laws they pass giving the executive branch overreaching powers that would cause the Founders to spin in their graves will also apply to the next guy in office… whose politics might(?) be very different from their own… which almost leads you to believe they somehow expect to retain power even after the next election… And by this, I don’t mean Bush specifically (I don’t think he is going to crown himself for life or whatever), but rather the loosely nit neo-con cabal, with some other puppet as their head next time … and really, the fact that they are making decisions like this that make no sense unless they maintain power gives me nightmares.

Also, just the fact that it is shitting all over the careful checks and balances the nation was built upon sucks, of course.

So, did nobody read the tpmmuckraker link before flying off the handle?

I love these kind of contingency plan things. If the shit hits the fan hard enough that the sitting president has to point to a directive to get the military and citizenry to take orders… I think it’s game over.

It depends a lot on the precise circumstances of the attack and how many people you remove from the various chains of command. On the whole our government is actually fairly robust. To wipe out the executive branch to the point that COOP becomes unlikely you’ll need to dispose of the first five or six people on the list (depending on how competent you think the AG is to assume the presidency) AND deprive him or her of enough of the cabinet officials that they don’t have the advice they need.

That in turn means taking out not just the cabinet secretaries but their most senior subordinates who could fill their slots. I’m not entirely sure how hard that would be because I don’t know what the travel patterns of the various under secretaries for this and that are, or whether they stay in the DC area most of the time. The classic fictional scenario for decapitating the US government is some sort of massive attack (suicide-by-airliner, nuke, etc) on the State of the Union, but IRL I’m not sure how well that would work. It’s too obvious a target and as a reult there’s a very robust set of contingency plans and pretty good security.

And in the end, even if someone DID manage to single-handedly decapitate the US by rendering the federal government ineffective, I suspect that day to day operations in the US as a whole wouldn’t suffer too much. The advantage of a federal republic is that you have all those state governments able to run things on the local level pretty well. It might make it harder for us to fend off a concerted military attack, but just destroying the federal government of the US wouldn’t be “game over” for the US as a nation, IMO.

Are you another “Cheney for Prez” constituent?

Besides the Dems have shown how die-hard to principle they’re going to be with their new found (slim) majority.

Damn it! Stop trying to ruin my image of a society descended into chaos, a military divided, mothers abandoning their children and fathers stealing candy from babies. Layed to waste, Washington DC is dotted with few buildings spared ruin. Fire and smoke rising into the sky. A lone man stands on what’s left of the steps of Capitol Hill waiving his piece a paper. “I am the President,” he repeatedly yells. Unfortunately no one hears him over the violence.

So you’re figuring he’s standing about here?

You can borrow my copies of “The Postman”, “The Stand”, and “The Road” if it’ll make you feel better? I’d offer my copy of “War Day”, but the government (sort of) survives in its scenario.

Yeah, that looks about right.

You can borrow my copies of “The Postman”, “The Stand”, and “The Road” if it’ll make you feel better? I’d offer my copy of “War Day”, but the government (sort of) survives in its scenario.

That’s ok, I’ll wait for Fallout 3. :)

OK, Impeachment X 2 then Shift. ;)

Wouldn’t Pelosi be the next president then? I have no idea how she would be as a president. Unless there’s some other selection process for impeachment?


Honestly, I think the main reason impeachment isn’t a possibility is because this administration has committed so many crimes no one in the federal government could safely say j’accuse without finding themselves in the position of having to explain why they never spoke up previously. It’s totally redefined the meaning of wrongdoing and culpability - take things to such an extreme that no one dares question you.

Thankfully, the legal system doesn’t work the way you describe.

How would she be worse than what we have now? In fact we could begin to withdraw from Iraq, restore some integrity to the justice department, and begin to clean out many corrupt appointed officials.

Beyond that she would obviously be in a stewardship position that would limit her abilities until the next elected president took office.

I, for one, welcome our new Executive Branch Overlords.