Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Bob Barr Democrats

The Moose does not associate with Bob Barr on this post.

Nothing has earned the Moose more opprobrium from polite and not so polite progressive circles as suggesting that the President had authority to eavesdrop into communications between suspected terrorists and their contacts in the United States. For that heresy from liberal orthodoxy, the Moose was branded a reprobate, a reactionary, a scalawag, a know nothing, a brown shirt, a jack-booted brown shirt, a fascist jack-booted brown shirt and a very, very, bad person with bad breath and bulging bunions.

But, there was one accusation that was truly rich for the Moose - (cue the shrieking) - he was outed as a Rovian Republican Plant. They finally unmasked the Moose! But how could he have forgotten to pick up his check? Mr. Rove, the Moose opts for direct deposit.

Mooseketeers, if you are searching for individuals within the Democratic Party who are serving the political interests of the White House Deputy Chief of Staff, you can find them in the upper echelon of the national Democratic Party.

What got the Moose into hot water with all of the fever swamp was his endorsement of a strong executive in time of war. That got the Moose to thinking... was there a liberal Democrat presidential precedent for such a Commander in Chief?

Bingo! FDR!

Now, there was a fellow who believed in energy in the executive. A truly Hyde Park Hamiltonian!

Consider this,

* FDR attempted to stack the Supreme Court.
* FDR advanced the unconstitutional National Industrial Recovery Act.
* FDR flouted the Neutrality Act to arm Britain.
* FDR created internment camps.
* FDR promoted censorship and government propaganda.
* FDR authorized warrantless wiretaps.

Now there was an imperial Presidency!

Some of what FDR undertook as an energized executive was truly unfortunate and unwarranted (particularly internment). However, he was a great liberal who understood that winning the war against the fascists was essential to preserve our freedom. If the blogosphere had been around during the forties, no doubt, FDR would have been roundly denounced by www.dailytaft.com as a dictator, tyrant and worse.

An enraged former Vice President would bemoan the virtual end of democracy as we know it.It was deeply ironic if not downright bizarre for the former veep yesterday to draw moral and legal sustenance from noted Constitutional scholar and Clinton Impeachment Manager Bob Barr.

Maybe, when Tom DeLay has some time on his hands, he will consult for the Moveon crowd with their impeachment efforts. The impeachment right of the 90s and the contemporary impeachment left deserve each other.

Someday, there will be a progressive in the White House who will undoubtedly want to employ all of the powers of the office to both promote his agenda and defend the country. And then, no doubt, that President will clash with congressional conservatives who will seek to curb the purview of the Chief Executive and Commander in Chief. One can recognize this age old conflict without ascribing Nixonian motives or worse to the Executive. There should be a reasoned and rational discussion about the balance of security and liberty during wartime. But, ahistorical hysteria is not necessary.

If the Moose had his druthers, we would have divided government with different parties controlling the Presidency and the Congress. Neither party should be trusted with complete control over government - genuine checks and balances are a virtue. In fact, America was operating quite well from '96 - '98 before the Delayicans along with the Veep's new buddy, Mr. Barr, advanced impeachment.

W is no FDR. FDR was a progressive who sought to unite the nation while W has unfortunately too often practiced the politics of division and plutocracy. However, they both admirably recognized a real threat to civilization from the fascist menace of their day.

And, when it comes to executive power, President Bush is a piker compared to the Hamiltonian from Hyde Park.
-- Posted at 8:17 AM | Link to this post | Email this post