Thanksgiving Thursday -- Checks and Balances Ending the Reign of The You Can't Tell Me What to Do Administration
The Bush Administration has revelled in hearkening back to the inception of the Constitution for the basis of many of its arguments, cloaking themselves in the seemingly noble robes of strict constructionists, but not when it comes to the limits of authority granted to the Executive Branch. One of the most important issues facing the creators of the Constitution, the power of each branch is balanced carefully against the others, so that all can be kept in check. Their hope was to prevent any one branch from usurping democracy by exerting dictatorial control even in the face of widespread opposition.
It is this finely crafted system of checks and balances that empowers voters to make change. The Legislative Branch is the most audible voice of the people, the branch most easily held responsible by the people and therefore the branch most responsive to the people. In November, the people demanded change. This time, Congress heard them. Change is finally coming.
Voters were and still are exasperated with the Bush Administration's continued proclamations that things are going well in Iraq and that the best solution is to stay the course. They are tired of a President who continues to back loyal party players in scandal after scandal (Plamegate; Scooter Libby's perjury conviction; Tom DeLay's ethics debacle; "Brownie" who was doing a "great job" during and after Katrina; and now Gonzogate).
The Constitution was created by men with a deep apprehension of exactly the situation we face, men who not only envisioned the problem, but also presented the solution. All that remains is for Congress to avail themselves of the powers they possess to begin to set our nation back on course, and it seems that is what they have begun to do. We no longer have a "Do Nothing Congress". They are fine-tuning a warfunding bill with a March 31, 2008 goal for withdrawing troops; they are holding hearings on firings of U.S. attorneys, firings that were at best unethical and at worst may constitute obstruction of justice; and they have held hearings on the FBI's misuse of National Security Letters. They have been in power three months. This is only the beginning.
Congress is no longer a rubber stamp. This Congress is finally checking the power of the Bush Administration a.k.a. "The You Can't Tell Me What to Do Administration" thanks to checks and balances.