The Discerning Texan
-- Edmund Burke
Monday, March 10, 2008
Dems Walk the Plank on Bush's Advisors
In their zeal to take cheap shots at the Bush Administration, the end result of the Democrats' incurable Bush Derangement Syndrome may be to permanently emasculate the powers of the Legislative Branch in regard to the Executive. And, while I am in favor of a strong Executive (the likely result of all this), I cannot help but be disgusted at the mindless hate, the unbridled partisanship which defies all logic, and the lack of anything resembling respect for the Constitution that this Democrat Congress has exhibited. It is a national disgrace:
Read the whole thing...and pray that somehow that America's journey into collective mass insanity mercifully ends in November.
Presidents have zealously protected executive privilege, both Democrats and Republicans, and for good reason. Absent specific evidence of lawbreaking, presidents have to have a reasonable expectation of privacy between themselves and their political advisers. Heads of agencies, such as Cabinet officials and lower ranks, do not qualify as the two branches share responsibility for their operations. Chiefs of staff and White House counsel — the attorney that advises the President in his official duties — fall into a completely different class.
If Congress had evidence of lawbreaking, they could forward that to the Department of Justice for investigation. In this case, they have nothing; they just want to see if they can set some perjury traps for Bolten and Miers in their ongoing war against the Bush administration. They claim they have oversight over the executive branch, but just as the government doesn’t have the right to subpoena people without the existence of a crime, neither does Congress regarding White House advisers.
The courts will hash this out, and will enter some very unchartered territory. Usually, these games of chicken end before they get to federal court, because neither branch wants the judiciary to map the boundaries of executive privilege. Someone will lose in that exchange — and most likely it will be Congress, especially in this case. Without evidence of a crime, the courts will likely reject these kinds of subpoenas as an abuse of Constitutional power.