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Bush Threatens Constitutional Showdown

Posted on Mar 20, 2007

The president gave Congress an ultimatum Tuesday regarding testimony in the U.S. attorney scandal: His aides will talk in private and off the record or not at all. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy balked at the proposal, setting up a possible constitutional showdown over executive privilege. Bush continued to dismiss the scandal, even as the Senate voted to require confirmation of U.S. attorneys.

AP via Yahoo!:

WASHINGTON—President Bush warned Democrats Tuesday to accept his offer to have top aides testify about the firings of federal prosecutors only privately and not under oath, or risk a constitutional showdown from which he would not back down.

Democrats’ response to his proposal was swift and firm. “Testimony should be on the record and under oath. That’s the formula for true accountability,” said Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Bush, in a late-afternoon statement at the White House, said, “We will not go along with a partisan fishing expedition aimed at honorable public servants. ... I proposed a reasonable way to avoid an impasse.”

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By richard, March 21, 2007 at 2:50 am Link to this comment
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to the hague quickly….

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By Joe R., March 21, 2007 at 2:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The fact that any President can give pardons or claim executive privilage for people who comit crimes in their administration, is the very reason our government is corrupt.  Get rid of these stupid “Get out of Jail Free” cards and you would not have half the trouble with these crooks.  IMPEACH BUSH AND CHENEY NOW!

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By Michele, March 20, 2007 at 10:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Republicans put in motion to Impeach Clinton for lying about having sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky.(Which personally was nobody’s business, except for a select few).

This Administration has lied and lied and lied!!!
About BIG, BIG issues, OVER and OVER, and are still active at present time. It’s one or even two things after another, for 6 LONG years.

WHY??? Aren’t the Democrats taking the same action against this Administration(including President Bush), WHY????

Somebody please answer this question for me, because I DON"T GET IT! So if someone out there does…PLEASE inform me.

Oh yeah, I emailed the President yesterday. I asked him to define “FREEDOM” for me. THINK HE’LL ANSWER ME BACK??? Or will I get one of those annoying smirks and a brush off?? Uhh…if any, I’m gonna vote on the second guess.


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By AJR, March 20, 2007 at 10:18 pm Link to this comment
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There are only two kinds of people in this world - those who lie and those who don’t.  Those who will testify under oath and those who will not testify under oath.  Hey Bush, Gonzales, Rove, Miers, Fielding, etc. - Which one are you?

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By VJS, March 20, 2007 at 9:46 pm Link to this comment
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What perplexes me the most is the unmitigated gall of this President..that causes him to think he is above the law of the land and does not have to obey the oath he swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America.  Where does he think his authority comes from…his Kingly Lineage ?
  I do believe that we have a government with three separate branches of Power, and that each of the three branches of government has it’s own clearly marked lines of responsibility.  This Constitution has stood us in good stead since September 17, 1787 and is still the envy of the world.  No president will be allowed to destroy it.  No foreign power, either. 
    This man seems to think that he is either a Dictator or a King and has to answer to no one.  It is past time for him to be brought back to the Real World.  He has been living too long in his surreal world and it is the duty of Congress to assert it’s role of Checks and Balances. The welfare of our Nation is at stake. The buck stops here.
    Senator Leahy is just the man to do that. We are all behind the Senator to stand firm and not back up an inch. It is past time to hold this President to the standards that he swore to uphold when he Took office.

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By A republican, March 20, 2007 at 9:43 pm Link to this comment
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George W. Bush is the absolute WORST president this country has ever had, he makes Carter look like a genius and Reagan look like a God.

Impeach Now, save our beloved country.

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By yoshimi, March 20, 2007 at 9:19 pm Link to this comment
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WRITE YOUR REPRESENTATIVES! Let them know how they want to represent you. They need to hear from us.


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By Bukko in Australia, March 20, 2007 at 8:56 pm Link to this comment
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So Chimpy McFlightSuit is ready to stage a Constitutional crisis over this: protecting a sneaky thug like KKKarl Rove from having to put his hand on a Bible before he testifies about a mealy-mouthed torture weasel like Alberto Gonzales. What a pathetic excuse to go the the mat about!

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By seashelle88, March 20, 2007 at 8:28 pm Link to this comment
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By TAO Walker, March 20, 2007 at 8:21 pm Link to this comment
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This so-called “threat” sure smells like it’s one of the “Oh, please!  Don’t throw me in the briar patch!” ploys Brer Rabbit used to fool Brer Fox with.  As “constitutional crises” go,  one limited to the essentially make-believe issue of “executive privilege” no doubt looks real good to an administration so obviously (to those of us who are awake, anyhow) liable to impeachment and prosecution (and in theory, at least, possible death penalties) for treason, war crimes, crimes against humanity, grand larceny, perjury, gross negligence, chronic mopery, and general fecklessness…..just to name a few that come readily to mind.

It looks to this Indian like Congress is about to get snookered…..again.  It also fits right in with what frequent commentor on this site Jackie T. Gabel calls the “limited hangout” strategy being deployed to try and avert the genuinely life-as-we-know-it-threatening “constitutional crisis” that has loomed over “ground zero” ever since the “twin towers” and building 7 were imploded, “....all on that day.” 

Using-up already dwindling congressional “capital” in a food-fight with the presidential unitarians, over something that isn’t even mentioned in the Constitution anyway, may temporarily satisfy the Dems’ appetite for revenge (after six years of abject, mostly self-inflicted humiliation), give the mediocracy something with seemingly more legitimacy (but maybe even less actual substance, if that’s possible) than dropped-dead celebrities and “extreme weather” to fulminate about, and provide a beleaguered administration and its subject/citizenry with a much-needed distraction from the real shit-storm surely now well over the event horizon.

Once people are “....down on their knees….” praying they “....don’t get fooled again,” it’s probably already way too late.  By then not only their gods but their senses have long since deserted them.

Better stand up, Americans, and face the natural consequences of your national disaster, without all the self-dramatizing histrionics you’ve gotten so addicted-to in four short centuries here on Turtle Island.  Because, “Son this ain’t a dream no more.  It’s the real thing!”  (‘Senor’ Bob Dylan)


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By margot, March 20, 2007 at 7:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What is the proposed “constitutional showdown” exactly? Yahoo seems to have it in the headline and first paragraph of that story, however all Bush is saying is that he won’t let them go under oath, not anything about more horrible constitution alterations. I’m scared about the constitutional showdown threat.
Do you know if we are in store for Patriot Act, Part II?

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By DennisD, March 20, 2007 at 6:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Anytime someone wants to shine a light on the workings of this corrupt administration Bu$h hides under the cover of “executive privilege”. Yeh, this is a free and open democracy. What a farce. Just call it what it is - more Bu$hit.

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By manny, March 20, 2007 at 5:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What Mr. Bush will put this country through because of distorted thinking. What are they hiding ? Is this matter of national defense ?
Clearly, this man wants a war with Congress. Now,
If Congress fails to act then other Presidents will follow his lead in the future. If this President is not stopped then when will Congress stop him. I fear for my country. We are dealing with a gangster mentality.

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By Quy Tran, March 20, 2007 at 5:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How could Bush mention about constitution ? This has been severely rapped by his administration and his own servants and Gonzales is the sole ones !

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By Dale, March 20, 2007 at 4:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I certainly hope this will be the first “spinebuilding” of the democratically controlled houses of congress.

“Bring it on!”

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By Don Knutsen, March 20, 2007 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The question seems to be: Do we allow the patholgical liars in the White House continue with buisness as usual. These criminals aren’t capable of telling the truth unless forced to. We certainly can’t expect them to be truthfull if there are no reprocussions from lying as would be the case in bu$h’s ultimatum. Bu$h wasn’t even willing to be interviewed by the 9-11 commission without Cheney there to kick him under the table when neccesary. We have had six years of endless lying and criminal activity that would almost be unbelievable if it were a low budget movie script. Will our Congress FINALLY exercise its obligation to check this out of control administration ? I’m not holding my breath.

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By Bert, March 20, 2007 at 3:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well THIS one has ‘pissing contest’ written all over it, public accountability vs. executive privilege, the Senate floor turns O.K. Corral!
This’ll be fun! LOL

And, if it was the only problem, by itself it wouldn’t be so bad, but there’s a long list of stuff, and this is one more straw on the camel’s back etc.

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By DM, March 20, 2007 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bill Clinton agreed to a closed circuit video link up in order to give his answers to questions regarding the Lewinsky affair ... look where that landed him?

Bush has clearly learned from this example (he “gets” partisan politics if not economics or international diplomacy).

I hope the Legislature follows through all the way on this (as opposed to the shameful backdown on torture by McCain et al) ... it could be a new dawn for the U.S. government and the country.

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By P. D. Carswell, March 20, 2007 at 3:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Heh heh - bring it on, Bush.

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