Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Which Branch Abuses Power in John McCain's World?

John McCain spoke at Wake Forest today, addressing the timely topic of separation of powers, starting off with a look at the executive branch:

All the powers of the American presidency must serve the Constitution, and thereby protect the people and their liberties. For the chief executive or any other constitutional officer, the duties and boundaries of the Constitution are not just a set of helpful suggestions. They are not just guidelines, to be observed when it's convenient and loosely interpreted when it isn't. The clear powers defined by our Constitution, and the clear limits of power, lose nothing of their relevance with time, because the dangers they guard against are found in every time.

...And though you wouldn't always know it from watching the day-to-day affairs of modern Washington, the framers knew exactly what they were doing, and the system of checks and balances rarely disappoints.

There is one great exception in our day, however, and that is ...

Drum roll ... Yes! he's going to do it! He's going to call out President Bush on his violations of the Constitution! At last! I mean, he started this off talking about the executive branch, right?


There is one great exception in our day, however, and that is the common and systematic abuse of our federal courts by the people we entrust with judicial power.


For decades now, some federal judges have taken it upon themselves to pronounce and rule on matters that were never intended to be heard in courts or decided by judges....[long high-falutin' screed about the interfering judiciary]

No serious discussion about the suspension of habeas corpus. Or torture. Or violation of the Geneva conventions. Or illegal wiretapping. Just the tired old rhetoric about activist judges that we've come to expect from tired old Republican candidates with every election. Does he really think this is going to gain traction this cycle? With Iraq, the economy, health insurance hanging over the heads of voters?


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