Monday, November 3, 2008

Country First

For those who don't know, Andrew Sullivan is a conservative. He blogs, he's an editor of The Atlantic, an author, he defends classic conservatism. He's a devout Catholic. Today he makes his case for electing Barack Obama, his commitment to which he's made clear for many months. It's long. It's detailed, and concentrates on what I agree are the most egregious actions of Bush and Cheney, and why electing McCain would do nothing to erase them.

"...Cheney and Bush, unlike any presidency in American history, have dangerously pushed constitutional government to the brink of collapse. They did not merely assert a unified executive in which actions and regulations reserved to the executive branch were kept free from Congressional and judicial tampering. That is a perfectly defensible position, especially in wartime. They did not merely act in the immediate wake of an emergency to protect American citizens swiftly - again a perfectly legitimate use of executive power, unhampered by Congress or courts. They declared such power to be unlimited; they asserted also that it was as permanent as the emergency they declared; they claimed their dictatorial powers were inherent in the presidency itself, and above any legal constraints; they ordered their own lawyers to provide retroactive and laughable legal immunity for their crimes; they by-passed all the usual and necessary checks within the executive branch to ensure prudence and legality and self-doubt in the conduct of a war; they asserted that emergency war powers applied to the territory of the United States itself; they claimed the right to seize anyone - anyone, citizen or not - they deemed an "enemy combatant," to hold them indefinitely with no due process and to torture them until they became incoherent, broken, brutalized shells of human beings, if they survived at all. They did this to the guilty and they did this to the innocent..."

His entire column is here, and it's well worth the read.

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