In yesterday's New York Times, Bush apologist John Yoo (formerly of Dubya's Attorney General's office and now of some fancy shmancy law school on the West Coast) attempted to defend Dubya's gross post-9/11 power grab. He fails miserably. There's too much wrong there to attack point by point, but the proposition garnering the most press in the blogosphere is this whopper:
A reinvigorated presidency enrages President Bush’s critics, who seem to believe that the Constitution created a system of judicial or congressional supremacy. Perhaps this is to be expected of the generation of legislators that views the presidency through the lens of Vietnam and Watergate. But the founders intended that wrongheaded or obsolete legislation and judicial decisions would be checked by presidential action, just as executive overreaching is to be checked by the courts and Congress.C'mon, pull the other one. Presidents can ignore "wrongheaded" legislation? That's going to come as some shock to the other living presidents (and, I imagine, most rational folks). Of course, this comes from a man who writes:
The changes of the 1970’s occurred largely because we had no serious national security threats to United States soil, but plenty of paranoia in the wake of Richard Nixon’s use of national security agencies to spy on political opponents.Ah, I see, it was the paranoia following Nixon's domestic spying operation that's responsible for the weak Presidency, not the domestic spying itself. Got it!
Glenn Greenwald does a good job of dissecting Yoo's arguments here, with help from the infamous leftwing bloggers who wrote The Federalist Papers.
From the Department of the Irony Challenged, revel in this Yoo quote from the Clinton days:
The second thing is that the Clinton Administration has displayed a fundmental disrespect for the rule of law. Not in the sense that they don't make legal arguments to defend their positions, but the legal arguments are so outrageous, they're so incredible, that they actually show, I think, a disrespect for the idea of law, by showing how utterly manipulable it is.I wonder how Yoo has compartmentalized his memories of that statement during his current Dubya Uber Alles days. One would think his head would explode from cognitive dissonance if they met in his brain.