Thursday, June 10, 2004

One of the things about blogs is that they aren't necessarily comprehensive, and aren't necessarily meant to be. Blogging is just a goddam hobby, and no blogger is obliged, by virtue of having a blog, to write about any particular subject.

Suppose, for instance, that the Wall Street Journal releases a memorandum from the White House that says that the President has the power to set aside any law, to authorize torture, and to ignore the other two branches of government in doing so. And let's suppose that there's a law professor blogging about civil rights issues when it happens. It's entirely within the guy's rights to concentrate his attention on school speech codes, and the rather distant possibility of a revival of the flag-burning amendment. That's his prerogative. Maybe he thinks that his readership, seeking out diverse views, will have already seen a detailed, and caustic analysis from another professor. Maybe he just can't think of anything to say.

These, at any rate, are the excuses arguments I come up with when dinged in email for not writing anything about the Darfur genocide now ongoing in Sudan.

But some people do have professional obligations. Senators, for instance. If the White House is claiming the authority to unilaterally set aside the laws, and Congress does not strongly object, then the process of checks and balances which is supposed to safeguard our liberties is shot.

Which brings us to the question: is there anything that Dubya's crew could do which is so outrageous that even sitting Republican Senators will call it an outrage, or are they so "animated by a spirit of faction", in the words of the Federalist Papers, that Reagan's Eleventh Commandment entirely trumps the other ten?

The memo hasn't been floating around for more than a couple of days yet, and one understands that it might take a little time to put together a strategy, even if they do tend to strongly object. But initial soundings are hardly encouraging....


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