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The Imperial Presidency and the disintegration of our democracy

On March 28, 2008, This American Life with Ira Glass, one of my favorite radio shows, broadcast a 55 minute show entitled "The Audacity of Government." This is a radio show which every American should listen to in the home of the free and the land of the brave, to understand better how the Bush Administration and the Republican's idea about government are turning our country from a democracy into a fascistic dictatorship. I know these are strong words, incendiary, and yet under the surface, in ways our corporate media have ignored, Americans are slowly loosing their freedoms because of the undermining of our constitution with a philosophy of an Imperial Presidency which is above the law.

The Bush administration says it can torture, detain, render, surveil on its citizens and people from other nations because we are at war with unknown entities and people who are described as "terrorists". The administration signs laws passed by congress but attaches "signing statements" which state that the administration does not intend to follow these laws or enforce these laws. In other words the President and the executive branch are above the law, not bound by it, and will do as they see fit. Does this sound like a democracy or a dictatorship?

Our congress does nothing saying that impeachment is off the table while the current President and executives engage in high crimes and misdemeanors. The reason that the democats in congress have chosen not to pursue these matters is because they want these dictatorial powers for themselves when they take over the White House.

It is interesting and disturbing how the Bush doctrine of an Imperial Presidency has had so little discussion and debate. The reason is that the Corporate Media stands to gain by an Imperial Presidency which is above the law as they attempt to manipulate domestic and foreign policies which they believe are good for their businesses even if not for the good of the country.

In the Audacity of Hope radio show, three cases are examined: one in which the Federal government, once again as with the Geneva Conventions, decides that it will not abide by an International Treaty. This treaty deals with how to manage the U.S./Canadian border which has been in existence for over 100 years. In another case, the Immigration service decides to deport an immigrant married to a U.S. citizen with a 1 year old child by him because of the arbitrary reason that the marriage did not last 2 years because he died suddenly of a heart attack. The lawyer who has been working on this case pro bono now has over 100 such cases, and says for the life of him he can't understand what the U.S.' interests are in deporting these people. In the third segment, Ira interviews Charles Savage, the author of a book dealing with the Imperial Presidency.

I wonder where all three Presidential Candidates stand on the philosophy of the power and authority of the executive branch? Is it indeed above the law and can make up the rules as it goes along as the Bushies have done?

Our democracy is at stake and it is slowly disintegrating because of the grab for power by the President.

To listen to this show go to the This American Life web site by clicking here.

Short video on signing statements. Lasts about 2 minutes


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