Tuesday, December 20, 2005

King George, Meet Queen Hillary

Here are some questions to ask your Republican friends when they try to defend the increasingly shamless dictatorial practices of King George:

If it's okay for the president to disregard the Constitution, break the laws, evade Congressional oversight, and lie to the public during wartime, then how do you define "wartime"? When exactly is the GWOT (against an undefined enemy that includes billions of people around the world) supposedly going to end? If there is no clear definition of our current "war," then are you suggesting that we give the president quasi-dictatorial powers indefinitely?

Do you expect Republicans to win every future election for the rest of our nation's history? If not, will you be happy to turn over the same powers you've given George (the power to spy on American citizens without a warrant, for example) to a Democratic president?

You say you trust George not to abuse his powers for political purposes. Do you feel the same about Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama? If not, why do you want to create legal and political precedents that will give future presidents of every party those powers?

George and his cronies defend their dictatorial practices (warrantless spying, detentions without trial, renditions for torture) by saying that "only those with known terrorist links" are subject to such treatment. Do you really believe that every person with military or law-enforcement powers in the US government is now infallible and therefore incapable of mistakenly arresting or otherwise interfering with an innocent person? Do you also believe that everyone in the Bush administration is so pure at heart that he or she is incapable of misusing absolute, unaccountable power? On what basis do you hold this belief? And will you feel the same way about the government ten years or fifty years from today?

Please, stop and think. Once we agree to trash the Constitution the way George is demanding, it's trashed for good--no use trying to duck behind it for cover when someone you didn't vote for has the power. I wouldn't want to give Queen Hillary or King Barack arbitrary power. For the exact same reason you shouldn't want to give it to King George.

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