Thursday, January 05, 2006

Civics 101 and the Rule of Law

While I tend to lean Libertarian, I am by no means an ACLU-enamored civil libertarian absolutist (though I do believe that the existence of the ACLU and their ilk are good and necessary to help question, prod, and generally harrass the other side of the extremist tendencies in our culture).

On this whole question of domestic (civilian, even) spying, eavesdropping, wiretapping, letter reading, window peeping: I am not necessarily saying that it is wrong, evil, and should never be done.

I am saying, however, that it must be done within (to quote Bob Barr and all our other illustrious impeachment-niks of the 1990s) THE RULE OF LAW. Ah, what lovely words. Didn't the GOP used to believe in them? (Actually, to Barr's credit at least, he's stayed consistent on this. Bully for him.)

Allow me to quote from my sixth grade social studies textbook: "The Congress, or Legislative Branch, has the authority for writing laws. While the President has the opporunity to either sign or veto all proposed legislation, it is the Congress's responsibility to write the laws of the land."

There you have. Even a sixth grader can understand that. Nowhere is it written that the President may pick and choose which laws to follow or ignore. Except maybe in his own diary.

If this administration doesn't like the FISA law or thinks it's out of date or too slow or cumbersome to meet the needs of our current era, then he needs to work with the Congress (which, news flash, his party controls) on new legislation to fix that.

It's that simple. Anything else, like, oh, ignoring laws currently on the books is called, well, breaking the law.

This lesson is now over.


Blogger Mason said...

Well said Jack!!

8:51 PM  

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