June 28, 2007

I am not posting much because I am traveling.

I did happen to read this headline: "Emphasizing Presidential Rights and Ignoring the Constitution" and thought to myself, "more of the same." The difference was, this was
a story in a Korean newspaper about President Roh:

"In a statement released on the morning of June 27, President Roh Moo-hyun urged
lawmakers to convene a special session of the Assembly in July to deal with
legislation relating to the welfare of the people – such as National Pension Act
– as soon as possible. He is apparently pointing out to the Grand National Party
(GNP) that “Blocking the legislation is not in the interest of the general
public, and is only in the interest of a certain political party.” In response,
the GNP rebuked President Roh, asking, “Is public welfare a concern of the
President? How could he blame us?” in rejecting the idea of a special session of
the Assembly. The 15-minute statement, broadcast live on TV, was made for
emphasizing the need to pass major bills to the people, as the President’s
address plan at the National Assembly was canceled during the extra session in
June. President Roh accused the GNP of being responsible for dealing with the
legislation, explaining details of the delayed process. The president condemned
the main opposition party, saying, “The GNP reiterated that people’s livelihoods
should not be used for political purposes, but they are deliberately putting off
handling the legislation. Their actions are contradictory to their words, and
their irresponsible behavior is undermining their political trust.” President
Roh also complained that “The Constitution is being ignored” regarding the
rejection of his address in the extra session of the Assembly, which he had
proposed. He said that “A presidential speech before the National Assembly needs
no permit from the National Assembly because it is the constitutional right of
the President. I am deeply concerned about the future of this country’s
democracy as I see the reality that the National Assembly shows no respect for
the President and bars the President from exercising his rights.” However, many
point out that his criticism is not persuasive as he himself has made several
remarks undermining the Constitution. For example, he stirred public criticism
by using explicit expressions that compromised the credibility of the
Constitution in an appraisal forum for the Participatory Government. In
addition, he harshly criticized decisions made by the Constitutional Court and
National Election Commission. When the Constitutional Court ruled that
relocating administrative capital was unconstitutional, based on the Customary
Constitution in October, 2004, the president said, “I have never heard of the
theory of the Customary Constitution. Besides, when the National Election
Commission found that the president’s remarks violated election laws on June 7
and 18, he filed a constitutional petition against the decision, saying, “The
election laws are hypocritical systems which make it impossible for a President
to make political remarks.”

Back at home I think we are heading for a constitutional crisis. My feeling (and hope) is that the Dems in congress wills top being timid and will force the courts to come down clearly on what is quite clearly an established pattern of presidential abuse of power. Time to use the subpoena power for all that it is worth.

If the servile, bootlicking Supreme Court, as expected, protects its investment in the Bush administration, we will have ourselves a clear example that we have become a banana republic. It is especially interesting that the rightwingers who attacked Clinton so continuously, and got the servile, bootlicking Supreme Court to annouce that he was open to being sued. But there have been some moments when the Court has recognized that the abuse of executive power is not in the national interest. It should be an interesting summer.

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