Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Bush, One Tuesday Morning

Today, George W. Bush signed H.R. 4986 into law but added one of this famous signing statements, which Digby was kind enough to quote. Here's the signing statement as written by the so-called president (er, by one of his handlers with the ability to form complete sentences):

Provisions of the Act, including sections 841, 846, 1079, and 1222, purport to impose requirements that could inhibit the President's ability to carry out his constitutional obligations to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, to protect national security, to supervise the executive branch, and to execute his authority as Commander in Chief. The executive branch shall construe such provisions in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President.
In other words, Bush has no intention of carrying out sections 841, 847, 1079, and 1222 of the multi-section bill. Zeroing in on section 1222:
SEC. 1222. LIMITATION ON AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS FOR CERTAIN PURPOSES RELATING TO IRAQ.

No funds appropriated pursuant to an authorization of appropriations in this Act may be obligated or expended for a purpose as follows:

(1) To establish any military installation or base for the purpose of providing for the permanent stationing of United States Armed Forces in Iraq.

(2) To exercise United States control of the oil resources of Iraq.
So, what our judicially-installed president has done this Tuesday morning is to announce his desire and intention to establish a permanent US military presence in Iraq and to control Iraq's oil.

Now, it might be objected that such grand plans fall outside the powers of the president, if only because George W. Bush will be replaced with a different president in less than a year. But that begs the question of whether Bush considers himself subject to the Consitution in the first place, which is an open question. Issuing piecemeal vetoes of legislation by means of signing statements is, itself, of highly dubious constitutionality -- there is certainly no warrant to be found for it in the executive powers listed in the Constitution -- a fact that is all the more galling when the very same Bush forced these words out of his own mouth just last night:
we must trust in the wisdom of our Founders and empower judges who understand that the Constitution means what it says. I have submitted judicial nominees who will rule by the letter of the law, not the whim of the gavel.
The whim of the gavel -- bad. The whim of a semi-literate drunk with accomplished parents and lots of money -- good.

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