Monday, 25 August 2008

"Our President is now our Emperor"

US journalist Glenn Greenwald: A virtually omnipotent President is just an assumed fact of American political life, and the reason that there is such a fixation on the personality and "character" traits of the presidential candidates is because Our President is now, in essence, our Emperor, empowered unilaterally to do everything from attacking other countries to acting outside of and above the law. As Penn's analysis illustrates, our political establishment isn't bothered by that at all, but instead, just tacitly accepts it as the natural and desired state of things.

Since Pelosi and Reid took over Congress, the Congress has funded the Iraq war without even a symbolic condition. It has rejected every proposal to limit war spending. It has enacted one right-wing proposal after the next, from warrantless surveillance and telecom immunity to declaring parts of the Iranian Government a "terrorist organization." It passed a housing bill and "stimulus" package approved by the administration. It has done nothing to reverse the radical executive power theories and has done much to institutionalize them. If there is one predominant trait of the Congress over the past several years, it has been a willingness to grant every item on the the President's wish list regardless of whether Democrats or Republicans are in control.

I can hear Australian republicans say: "Well, that's not, what we want in Australia." But what kind of republic do they want? The politicians' republic was rejected in 1999. Will they offer an Emperor's republic next time?

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