Saturday, June 14, 2008

Watergate/Groundhog Day

Yesterday, I finally got to see the excellent PBS documentary, Watergate Plus 30: Shadow of History (2003) and, now that we're at Watergate Plus 35, I'll post more about it tomorrow. What was true then (1973) and then (2003) is still true today, and one can draw a jagged line of "Executive Privilege" straight from Watergate through Iran-Contra to the Bush-Cheney present moment.

I truly wonder how things might have been different had Jimmy Carter been reelected in 1980. The USA took a wrong turn at the crossroads, 28 years ago. Imagine -- Ronald Reagan would have been too old to run for a first term in 1984, and that election cycle would have been up in the air. We might be living in the land of milk and honey or the days of wine and roses, honeysuckle and wisteria. On the other hand, we might be just about the same place we are now, or worse. Who knows? Regardless, I can't wait to vote for Barack Obama in 2008!

Today's Rune: Breakthrough.


Erik Donald France said...

from Snippet from Jonathan Mahler, NYT, June 15, 2008, "War Powers:
Why This Court Keeps Rebuking This President"

. . . Other factors may be at work, too, for example an expectation that for the foreseeable future, military conflict may be the rule, and times of peace the exception. Three justices in the Boumediene majority said in their opinions that the Guantánamo detainees have already been held too long without proper hearings.

Taking a step back, it seems indisputable that the court is more powerful today than ever. The justices may represent something of an undemocratic force — unelected, appointed for life, accountable to no one — but a generation before this administration took office, Vietnam and Watergate were already raising calls for a strong judiciary to police the political branches of the government.


the walking man said...

It would appear that the court without Rehnquist is somewhat constitutionally aligned on itself. We could want a more centrist court but then that is politics not law.

I see your reasons for hope, not unfounded ones Erik, I remain cautiously optimistic.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Now that the UAW (my union) has endorsed Barack Obama, I'm throwing my vote his way. Will Michigander's pick a winner? And does it matter?

Erik Donald France said...

Thanks for the comments!

Mark, cautiously optimistic is a good way to go. Glad somebody is doing something to check and balance.

JR, yes -- it does matter! McCain is a nightmare, no better than Bush or worse. We'll see who the VP choices are, and then go from there. . .


I voted for Hillary back in the winter. Obama is in town on Monday, but I have to work. He'll be back.