(P) I'm not sure why I haven't written much seriously lately. Maybe I'm tired, too busy with other things, or just too overwhelmed by current events to even know where to start. Yes Doug, I heard your thoughts on the matter: laziness.
Regardless, this week's public disclosure of details related to the Libby defense in Mr. Fitzgerald's investigation serves as a particularly potent reminder of the gravity of the path upon which the Bush Administration has embarked our country. This is not about building bases in Iraq, giving subsidies to energy companies, gutting environmental legislation, reducing taxes on income and dividends, or any of the other major policy victories of the Administration. Those are interesting public policy debates, and where discussion should occur, but that discussion can only happen when the country is operating within a framework of clearly established rules and decision-making processes. That is the purpose of our Constitution and the rule of law as it has developed within our own particular system.
Rather than suggest a different rule, or a change to an existing one, the Bush Administration has worked tirelessly, and amazingly effectively, toward demolishing the notion that rules even exist. At least for the President, and other wealthy and powerful individuals that agree with him. In short, the very existence of our Constitutional structure is at stake. Maybe that's for the best. Maybe in this post-9/11 world, the cost of living is our liberty and prosperity. Or at least, that of our less fortunate neighbors and rabble-rousing activists who surely had it coming to them.
What is glaringly, painfully missing from the public discourse is an impassioned, vocal defense of the Constitution and the way of life it protects. Partly, I would suggest this is due to the fact that some of the most vocal principled defenders of limited government enshrined in the Constitution are Conservatives who have put their lot behind Bush and the corporate wing of the Republican party the last few elections. It's a little difficult in our system to knock your own guy too much. Also, there's the opposition response. Financially and tactically, they have chosen to copy the strategy of the Republicans rather than trying something else. Hence, passionate and well-intentioned defenders on the left have been ignored and marginalized as much by their own party as anyone else. Mix in the blandness which consolidation and corporatization of information creates, and you have an environment lacking diverse perspectives.
Our Constitution is worth protecting, and perhaps the lasting effects of the Administration will be a political response strengthening our system of governance to enhance our freedom and prosperity. Or, we might get a chance to see what happens when feudalism and fascism combine in the 21st century. Either way, this is the time for big ideas. The ability of the Administration to make people think this is about body armor and the difference between misleading and lying is perhaps their greatest feat. Once we agree as a country on whether or not the rule of law applies, then we can get to the mundane fun that is tax policy and climate change.