The primary reason so many progressives have called for the impeachment of Junior Bush/Cheney is because of their wide-ranging and multiple abuses of executive power. That's really the crux of the issue.
Cheney picked himself to be Bush Junior's Vice President, and even before the inauguration in 2001, the Dick was making plans, in secrecy naturally, to usurp unConstitutional powers to the executive branch. Powers that the Framers, being a bit touchy about abusive Kings, strictly prohibited and guarded against in the construction of our organizing document.
One of the frontrunners in the early Republican primaries this year is Willard Mitt Romney, ex-governor of Massachusetts. I have found by listening to and reading Mitt Romney's words that he will simply say anything, or change his mind virtually in mid-sentence, in order to garner votes. I've continually called him the "plastic man" because I believe he self-molds around whatever political position is convenient at the moment. He's like a box of Clingwrap.
Anyway.....how does Willard regard presidential powers? Will Romney, if elected president, carry on the Junior/Cheney unAmerican and unConstitutional practices of continual abuse of presidential power?
Here's Mitt Romney's written responses to a few executive powers questions.....
1. Does the president have inherent powers under the Constitution to conduct surveillance for national security purposes without judicial warrants, regardless of federal statutes?
Intelligence and surveillance have proven to be some of the most effective national security tools we have to protect our nation. Our most basic civil liberty is the right to be kept alive and the President should not hesitate to use every legal tool at his disposal to keep America safe.
First, notice that Romney doesn't answer the question. Instead he uses the "every legal tool at his disposal" sidestep. Willard doesn't tell us what those "tools" are, but his use of the word "tool" in answering seems to echo the neo-conservative use of the word "tool". Junior, Cheney and the neo-con brood call laws that the president violates "tools". It's the strangest thing. Wiretapping Americans without warrants has been repeatedly referred to over the last 7 years as a valuable "tool".
Second, and this is the most revealing part,....."our most basic civil liberty is the right to be kept alive....". One of the leading candidates in the Republican Party's campaign for the presidency is plainly telling Americans that "our most basic civil liberty" is the one where the President of the United States keeps us all alive. That sentence is not only sounds ridiculous, but it also conjures up thoughts of an American King benevolently protecting his underlings. It's just so......18th century.
This answer is simply a reworking of the neo-con, fear factor boys' favorite saying, "if you are dead, you don't have any rights". Willard Romney's answer, as well as the neo-con hillbilly version of Willard's answer, are diversionary in purpose. The Constitution guarantees Americans "inalienable" rights, AND, the Constitution describes the president's and the Congress' role in keeping America safe from hostile enemies. It's not either/or.....it's both at the same time.
But NOTHING in the Constitution grants ANY president unaccountable lawbreaking powers.
7. If Congress defines a specific interrogation technique as prohibited under all circumstances, does the president's authority as commander in chief ever permit him to instruct his subordinates to employ that technique despite the statute?
A President should decline to reveal the method and duration of interrogation techniques to be used against high value terrorists who are likely to have counter-interrogation training. This discretion should extend to declining to provide an opinion as to whether Congress may validly limit his power as to the use of a particular technique, especially given Congress’s current plans to try to do exactly that.
I personally believe that this Romney answer is the most egregious. By implication here, Willard doesn't believe Congress has any role, whatsoever, in limiting a president's savage, brutal and inhumane treatment of prisoners. Keeping in mind that Romney is the guy who said, "I'd double Guantanomo", his answer consists of an endorsement of total secrecy within the executive branch regarding torture, ala the Dick. Romney tells us here that he will be a president who stonewalls any Congressional inquiries into torture and torture tactics. Mitt Romney's presidential powers, if elected, would, "extend to declining to provide an opinion" about torture to Congress. John Yoo, Alberto Gonzales or the Dick, himself, would say exactly the same thing.
10. Is there any executive power the Bush administration has claimed or exercised that you think is unconstitutional? Anything you think is simply a bad idea?
The Bush Administration has kept the American people safe since 9/11. The Administration’s strong view on executive power may well have contributed to that fact.Link
Apparently, there isn't one power that Bush Junior has abused as president. Mitt doesn't mention one Junior/Dick claim of power that is unConstitutional or even "a bad idea".
Instead, he implies that Junior/Cheney's "strong view on executive power may have" kept us all safe. How those "strong view(s) on executive power", have kept us safe is not explained. Why those "strong view(s) on executive power" didn't keep us safe on September 11th, 2001, is not explained. How those "strong view(s) on executive power" have contributed to keeping us safe in light of an increase in Islamic extremists who now want to hurt America....an increase CAUSED, at least somewhat, by those very same "strong views"......is not explained by Willard Mitt Romney.
Josh Marshall over at TalkingPointsMemo.com believes that when the dust settles, Romney will be the GOP's presidential candidate. I'm not sure about that, but given the motley crew in the GOP primary, I suppose it is possible.
If you enjoyed the Bush Junior/Cheney rogue regime that specialized in the abuse of the Constitution and presidential powers, if you enjoyed 8 years of lawlessness, torture and secrecy coming out of the executive branch.....then Willard Mitt Romney is your man.
He promises to "double" what we've just been through.....and as King....he promises also to guard "our most basic civil liberty".....to be "kept alive". Not the right to "life", as in "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness"....but "kept alive". Our "most basic civil liberty" which includes every citizen of this United States....to hear Mitt Romney....includes with it a president, who, unilaterally, lawlessly and unaccountably, does the "keeping".
Can you even imagine? King Willard.
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