One issue trumps any other, including abortion: This week’s confirmation hearings of executive power adherent Samuel Alito may be our last real chance to safeguard the U.S. Constitution from “one-man rule,” as Other Lisa describes “the Bush Administration’s extra-legal activities” in her review of “The President and the Law,” a shocking Weekly Standard article by “Bushevik apologist Harvey Mansfield” which, Glenn Greenwald says, “sets forth with perfect clarity the view of Bush defenders — as previously expressed by, among others, Dick Cheney – that as a result of the ‘war’ we are fighting against terrorists, the President really is above the law; he is the law; and the Constitution gives him the right to ignore both Congress and the courts”:

Bush opponents must make clear to Americans that this is the theory on which the Bush Administration is based.

(Independently, Americans also ought to know, and the Senate needs to find out, whether and to what extent Sam Alito agrees with these views of Executive power and the rule of law. Maybe Joe Biden could give Alito a homework assignment of reading Mansfield’s article and be prepared to discuss it at the hearings). […]

[T]o recap: The President is “larger” than the law. The “rule of law is not enough to run a Government.” We must remember that a monarchy is “effective” and therefore, in times of “war” (like now), we must embrace “one-man rule.” In sum, in emergencies like the one we have now and will have for the indefinite future, the “law does not apply.”

Don’t miss CabinGirl’s diary on executive power — the 12th in our series of 12 diaries offering ready-made letters to send to our Senators opposing Samuel Alito’s SCOTUS nomination. Otherwise, as Other Lisa writes, “I’m thinking it’s about time for another Tea Party…”

But, as columnist Gene Lyons asks, “Have Americans lost the guts for democracy?” Will we rise up and stop this nomination?

… presidential reservations of rights, the idea of the unitary executive, it’s quite clear that Judge Alito is one of the intellectual authors of this entire approach. And he has consistently taken a view of executive rights and executive prerogatives that is extreme. Clearly, also he’s had the view that in wartime, the commander-in-chief powers trump other powers and may trump legislation that Congress has enacted, so this is an alarming factor. — Scott Horton, chair, International Law Committee, NYC Bar Association and adjunct Professor at Columbia University, on Democracy Now!‘s “An Imperial President? Bush Claims Right To Ignore New Law Banning Torture,” January 6, 2005 (Emphases added.)

Did you know that the NSA is also opening private mail? Sandra Day O’Connor, whose seat Alito would take, said, “A state of war is not a blank check for the president when it comes to the rights of the nation’s citizens.”

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