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November 2007
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Mukasey will be Confirmed

It seems that there are now more than 50 votes in the Senate to confirm the AG nominee. This is a shame. The whole waterboarding discussion was a distraction from the larger issue of which it was just a special case.

Namely, is the President obligated to enforce… and obey… the laws passed by the congress, or is the President allowed to substitute their own personal judgement in cases where they disagree. The fact that the President, and through them the entire executive branch, are subject to the law (at least until a law is contested and deemed unconstitutional) should be an absolute no brainer. It completely baffles me that there is apparently a huge portion of the public that just does not see this as an important pillar of our society. The fact that this belief is not a minimum requirement for an AG (or frankly anybody in government) deeply saddens me.

The fact that it isn’t possible to even muster a majority of the Senate to be willing to stand up for their own power and authority in our constitutional system is just frightening in the extreme. As usual, Andrew Sullivan puts it well:

Schumer and Feinstein Surrender
(Andrew Sullivan, The Daily Dish, The Atlantic)

Every time the Democrats fold on these matters, Cheney tucks a precedent under his belt. Every time they cave into their cowardice and fear, another critical part of our liberty disappears. These precedents are designed to destroy the rule of law and replace it with the rule of a Decider. And they will last for ever, as will the right to torture, because this war is for ever. This is how democracies perish. The rule of law no longer has any party to defend it. The Republicans want no check on the powers of our de facto protectorate. And the Democrats have no spine. We live under the lawless protectorate we deserve. And such lawlessness is always the result when cowards refuse to confront bullies.