Friday, April 06, 2007

Bush, Cheney Redeux? see also:

I pray that this is some kind of joke -- a very sad, sick and misplaced attempt at humor as twisted as the sneer on Darth Cheney's face.

From the always shady NYTImes, April 1:

Cheney/Bush May Challenge 22nd Amendment for THIRD Term
by Phillip Mckrack
April 1, 2007

Mr. Cheney again cited the war in Iraq as a key component in the effort
to combat terrorism, saying "The war in Iraq is such a crucial part of
the greater war on terror that we currently have our legal advisors
looking into the possibility that the 22nd Amendment may not apply in 2008."

Because the speech was not publicized and was held on a secure military
base, very few journalists were present, and none were able to ask
questions about what the Vice President's comments might mean. Repeated
efforts to contact the Vice President's Office to clarify the comment
were unsuccessful.

The 22nd Amendment to the Constitution prohibits U.S. Presidents from
running for a third term, stating "No person shall be elected to the
office of the President more than twice...". The 22nd Amendment was
passed in 1951 after President Franklin Roosevelt broke a tradition that
dated back to George Washington, in which Presidents voluntarily refused
to run for a third term.

Political pundits and Constitutional experts are split on what the Vice
President's comments could mean. Some see the comments as an effort to
extend the Administration's "war powers" due to the fact that the
country is at war. They argue that there is a tenuous case to be made
that the 22nd Amendment doesn't apply during war time since the Congress
waited until after WW II to introduce such an Amendment. Others say that
the mere fact that the country had just ended the war in 1951, when the
Amendment was passed, suggests that the Congress would have put such an
exception into the language of the Amendment if they had intended it not
apply during times of war.

Others say that the Bush Administration will argue that the 2000 race
was not actually decided by an election and that the Bush administration
has technically only been "elected" once since the Supreme Court's
Decision in Bush v. Gore effectively nullified the popular vote.
Anonymous sources inside the White House have corraborated that this may
indeed be the Administration's plan.

Arguing that it was not actually elected would be a very interesting
approach for the administration to say the least, but most experts agree
that it is certainly possible given the Bush administration's history of
creative interpretation of the law with regard to such cases as:
# the assertion that The Geneva Conventions do not apply to U.S.
detainees captured on the battlefield,
# suggestions that the legal definition of "torture" only includes
activities that cause death or organ failure,
# the argument that U.S. Citizens do not have a right to "due process"
if declared "enemy combatants", which was recently rejected by the
Supreme Court,
# Attorney General Albert Gonzales's testimony before Congress that the
Constitution doesn't guarantee U.S. Citizens a right to Habeas Corpus,
# The Administration's claim that the FISA law does not apply to their
warrantless wire taps of Americans.

Critics of the Administration argue that these cases are all the proof
needed to believe that The Bush Administration would try to argue that
its own victory in 2000 demonstrates that it could run for a third term
in 2008.

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