Can the people save themselves from BUSH?


INSIGHTS by David Landon Wiley
San Diego Peace Guy

The ancient Greeks would have completely understood the situation the American people find themselves in. A common theme in Greek mythology is that of a hero or king suffering from hubris. Hubris is defined on Wiktionary as "Excessive pride, presumption or arrogance". Usually, the king The Greeks imagined a goddess, Nemesis, as having the job of delivering divine retribution against hubris. One can always hope.

The disfunction of the Bush White House is at its highest point. The unrestrained hubris of this president, in going against the advice of the most knowledgable people in the world about Iraq and the situation there, and against the collective will of the American people is unfortunately, nothing new for him. The events unfolding before us this month are only the most dramatic example of a continuing pattern of blind arrogance and incompetence.

Bush's continuing refusal to even engage in negotiations with "enemies", his insistence on an us-vs-them view of any difference of opinion, his Oedipal competition with his father, and his inability to admit personal mistakes are all evidence of his crippling disfunction.

During Bush's speech on January 10th, he made a telling statement: "Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me." This statement has been vaunted as an admission by Bush that he made mistakes. I don't accept that. He did not admit to a mistake personally, he just accepted responsiblity for mistakes. He sounds as if he feels that he is nobly taking responsibility, as President, for the mistakes he feels were made by others. I don't think that Bush is capable of admitting that he personally made a mistake.

A tormented and timid Congress

The main danger here, is that the Congress will not act to stop him. There is a growing sentiment in the House and Senate that the President has exhausted the authority granted him by the resolution of 2002, and must seek approval from Congress for funding for additional deployment. Senator Ted Kennedy(D-MA) recently said "The Congress should step in, the Congress should have a debate on this, and the Congress should have a vote on this authorization" (MSNBC, Hardball 01-09-07)

The issue is complicated, but can be simplified into two opposing viewpoints. First, there is a debate on whether Congress has the authority to withhold funding at all.

Some hold that since Congress originally authorized the war, Bush as Commander-in-Chief, constitutionally has the inherent authority to prosecute it as he sees fit. Joe Biden(D-DE) in the Senate, feels this way even though he is at least publicly opposed to the idea of an escalation. Steny Hoyer(D-MD), the House Majority Leader, has made similar statments.

Others hold, that by the War Powers Act of 1973, the Congress has the authority to withold authorization for additional troops. Senator Kennedy, Senator Harry Reid(D-NV), and Speaker Nancy Pelosi(D-CA) have made statements supporting this view. The Vice-President opined as recently as December 2005 that the War Powers Act may be unconstitutional. Senator Kennedy said on January 9th that "The Congress should step in, the Congress should have a debate on this, and the Congress should have a vote on this authorization."

Apart from the authorization issue, even on the right there is growing opposition to the escalation of the war. Gordon Smith(R-OR), Norm Coleman (R-MN), Chuck Hagel (R-NE), and Susan Collins (R-ME) for example, have made sta

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