So this I just don’t get. Say you’re John Ashcroft, and you come up with a plan to do such and such. You properly sponsor a bill to allow the appropriate federal department to carry out that plan (among other plans; it’s a big bill). The House takes a look at the legislation and modifies the portion of it dealing with your clever plan. They feel you should not carry out your plan.
Is it not wrong to say “Well, they didn’t understand us, we’re going to go ahead with it anyhow.”? I mean, this is the checks and balances thing, here. The legislative branch does get to say “We don’t think that’s a good idea.” It’s sort of how the entire system works.
The trend I see — and note that I’m not calling these guys evil — is an imperial Presidency; they appear to feel that they are trustworthy people who should be given the power to do what’s right for us. I firmly believe that Bush and Ashcroft are trying to do what’s right for us in their minds. I suspect they just don’t get that some people don’t trust them.
When you think of it that way, it makes more sense. Sure, some of these bills would permit horrendous abuses of power. But Bush knows he wouldn’t ever abuse the power, so what’s the worry? I think it’s crippling to assume that Bush’s goal is to abuse power; it hampers communication. He’d probably do some of the things I consider abusive, but in many cases the things that strike me as abusive might well strike him as abusive as well. Mostly he seems to want freedom to do what he wants without pesky oversight.
Doesn’t make me any happier about a lot of the legislation he’s proposed, though.