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Volume 68, Issue 82, January 27, 2003


Bush junta democracy's enemy

Tom Carpenter
opinion columnist

It is, indeed, as former President George Bush so accurately stated during his administration, a brave new world. His son and reigning dictator, Dubya, stepped right from the pages of Aldous Huxleyis novel Brave New World<P> to land in the White House. The airwaves resonate with the administrationis double-speak.

Itis amazing to sit in front of the television and listen to the non-elected leaders of the United States encourage the Iraqi people to overthrow Saddam Hussein with a coup. The delicious irony does not escape me.

What they are saying is, in effect, "Hey, it worked for us. It can work for you, too."

Yes, our Republican Supreme Court-appointed president and vice-president are spreading the news: If you want to grab the reins of power, foment a coup like we did and you can catapult your junta into power.

Americans used to laugh at the tiny "banana republics" that produced coup after coup to change the leadership of their country. Now, the joke is on America.

Itis not difficult to understand why only a small percentage of voters bother going to the polls. The last presidential election proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that if voting mattered, Americans wouldnit be allowed to do it. The Republican coup supports this statement.

Nowhere in the Constitution does it state the Supreme Court appoints the president. But donit tell that to our impotent Congress, wretched waifs who scurried away from their election responsibilities like the proverbial rats leaving a sinking ship.

Article II of the Constitution clearly describes how a president is elected, and there is nary a word about the Supreme Court doing the job. A swift examination of the 27 amendments to the Constitution failed to discover a new amendment granting the Supreme Court the right to appoint a president.

As a matter of fact, the Founding Fathers established the clearly defined separation of powers within our three branches of government to prevent a travesty like the 2000 presidential election from occurring.

Spineless Congress meekly surrendered another of its Constitutional duties to the president without a quibble -- the power to declare war. Section 8 of Article I in the Constitution gives Congress, not the president, the power to declare war.

Dubyais supporters say the president needs the power to react quickly to threats against the United States. That was the same flatulent reasoning Congress used to enact the infamous Gulf of Tonkin resolution during the Vietnam "police action."

It took more than three months to prepare a strike against al-Qaida in Afghanistan after the United States suffered the most deadly attack on American soil in the countryis history. Bush has been loading up to blast Iraq literally since he took the office of the presidency two years ago.

Where is the "rapid response" in either of these scenarios? Where is the need for Congress to surrender its constitutionally assigned duties to the executive branch?

The people who fomented the coup against our electoral processes are more dangerous to democracy than Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, but they are not as dangerous as the cowardly Congress that allowed the coup to succeed. We no longer live in a democracy. People who usurped the Constitution now rule the country.

Regardless of the outcome of the War on Terror and Dubyais Lone Ranger attack against everybodyis miscreant, Saddam Hussein, an impotent Congress poses the greatest danger to the United States today.

Carpenter, a College of Education student, can be reached via


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