"It's just a goddamned piece of paper!"

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While I was surfing on the Internet in the strange places I like to visit at times, I came across the following little article from December 9, 2005. I am giving the URL and the article.

I normally don't pay much attention to Bush-bashing, and I don't know how accurate this reporter normally is (he seems to be serious), but this one bothered me. Just like the Patriot Act bothers me.

A lot.


URL: http://www.capitolhillblue.com/artman/publ...icle_7779.shtml

From Capitol Hill Blue

The Rant

Bush on the Constitution: 'It's just a goddamned piece of paper'


Dec 9, 2005, 07:53

Last month, Republican Congressional leaders filed into the Oval Office to meet with President George W. Bush and talk about renewing the controversial USA Patriot Act.

Several provisions of the act, passed in the shell shocked period immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, caused enough anger that liberal groups like the American Civil Liberties Union had joined forces with prominent conservatives like Phyllis Schlafly and Bob Barr to oppose renewal.

GOP leaders told Bush that his hardcore push to renew the more onerous provisions of the act could further alienate conservatives still mad at the President from his botched attempt to nominate White House Counsel Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.

“I don’t give a goddamn,” Bush retorted. “I’m the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way.”

“Mr. President,” one aide in the meeting said. “There is a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution.”

“Stop throwing the Constitution in my face,” Bush screamed back. “It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!”

I’ve talked to three people present for the meeting that day and they all confirm that the President of the United States called the Constitution “a goddamned piece of paper.”

And, to the Bush Administration, the Constitution of the United States is little more than toilet paper stained from all the shit that this group of power-mad despots have dumped on the freedoms that “goddamned piece of paper” used to guarantee.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, while still White House counsel, wrote that the “Constitution is an outdated document.”

Put aside, for a moment, political affiliation or personal beliefs. It doesn’t matter if you are a Democrat, Republican or Independent. It doesn’t matter if you support the invasion or Iraq or not. Despite our differences, the Constitution has stood for two centuries as the defining document of our government, the final source to determine – in the end – if something is legal or right.

Every federal official – including the President – who takes an oath of office swears to “uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says he cringes when someone calls the Constitution a “living document.”

“"Oh, how I hate the phrase we have—a 'living document,’” Scalia says. “We now have a Constitution that means whatever we want it to mean. The Constitution is not a living organism, for Pete's sake.”

As a judge, Scalia says, “I don't have to prove that the Constitution is perfect; I just have to prove that it's better than anything else.”

President Bush has proposed seven amendments to the Constitution over the last five years, including a controversial amendment to define marriage as a “union between a man and woman.” Members of Congress have proposed some 11,000 amendments over the last decade, ranging from repeal of the right to bear arms to a Constitutional ban on abortion.

Scalia says the danger of tinkering with the Constitution comes from a loss of rights.

“We can take away rights just as we can grant new ones,” Scalia warns. “Don't think that it's a one-way street.”

And don’t buy the White House hype that the USA Patriot Act is a necessary tool to fight terrorism. It is a dangerous law that infringes on the rights of every American citizen and, as one brave aide told President Bush, something that undermines the Constitution of the United States.

But why should Bush care? After all, the Constitution is just “a goddamned piece of paper.”

© Copyright 2005 Capitol Hill Blue

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That article strikes me as entirely possible. And, I'm not sure he's the first president that has said something like this. The difference is, he seems to get a lot more mileage out of it.

I think this requires an interlude. Since a fair amount of OL is dedicated to creative writing, I suggest dual-purpose. Here is a link where one can revisit Hunter Thompson's Nixon eulogy, aptly titled "He Was A Crook."

Aside from being a great look at another, er, "odd" President, it's some of Hunter's best latter-period writing. I loved watching him work. Even if you don't agree with the politics, this one is a winner.




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That is one hell of an essay. If you can get around the vitriol, there is more insight into the inner workings of the power side of the Nixon Presidency than any other thing I have ever read. I even finally understood why Watergate happened.

I read a book a long time ago by Hunter Thompson, The Great Shark Hunt, but he was always talking about dropping acid in it, so I didn't pay much attention to him anymore. I don't remember much else about that book either.

Then, right before he shot himself, I tried to read his column. But he was always talking about football...

I guess I missed the good stuff.


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Sometimes I think that Hunter started dying after Nixon did.

Nixon was arguably his life's work.

I like most anything he ever submitted to Rolling Stone, that's where this essay appeared. The man had a way with words. Major influence on my writing.

I have always shared Thompson's obsessive interest in Nixon, I'm not sure why. I remember finding him, er, peculiar, even when I was a child, watching him on B/W TV. Nixon the misogynist. Nixon the Quaker (heavens- a plague on the Quaker roots in my Unitarian tradition).

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