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February 12, 2008


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Kimball Corson

I would argue Bush has not seriously or legally damaged the presidency much per se, although I think he has injured much else in this country that will take years to clean up and straighten out.

His arguments for the extensions of his presidential authority have not been very persuasive or much adopted by most, largely amounting to references to reactionary or religious moral authority to ignore the law. Most of us do not approve. Bush, more often that not, has simply muscled this way thru to do what he has wanted under the protection of the earlier Republican majority, with the idea that political loyalty matters above all, even honor, so that "legal nicities" could be ignored. He emasculated the traditional checks and balances by this means and by stuffing the Court.

A rubber stamping Court of biased decision makers is a major threat to our democracy for that reason. That problem is not going away soon and Bush's damage to the law may yet be delivered by this Court in other areas and in the future, but presidential authority questions are now less likely as Bush packs his bags. The Congressional Republican majority that also protected him has suffered a sound defeat at the polls so that check worked.

The law has not mattered much to Bush, but that does not mean it is not there. There has simply been no one to enforce it against him because of his approach outlined here. But the law on presidential authority itself has not been much changed, although bad practical precedents have been established by his violations of it. The operation of our social order has however been substantially affected, one e.g., the practice of much science in America from stem cell research to global warming.

Joan A. Conway

Just listening to Bush today sounds a lot like scratching a nail against a blackboard. I see more damage than you unfortunately, because his rule of force seems so reasonable against terrorists.

When most of the states have a winner take all approach to the primaries for one party, it is a disadvantage to the other party to have to slice up the pie against your opponent, while keeping an eye on the other party's landslide.

It's fighting fire with gasoline!

It inflames and destroys a party's unity over its methodology (one approach is progressive and the other is regressive).

At least I think so!

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