A Disassociated Press Editorial, January 4, 2006
By Eric Mader
"How much power should they have?" asks the current Newsweek cover. As soon as I saw it there on the rack, I had to pause a moment and ponder it seriously: How much really?
It's true that over the years I've been a trenchant critic of nearly everything done by the Bush administration. But still, the fact remains, we are in a time of war, and there really are some very frightening organizations out there who'd like nothing better than to kill as many of us as possible. So how much power should we, as responsible Americans, give this president and vice-president in the current situation?
If we are indeed responsible citizens, I think we need to be able to overcome the partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans and at least give these two men the benefit of the doubt. In difficult circumstances, facing a cunning new kind of enemy, they are in fact responsible for defending us. We need to decide as a nation where we should strike the balance between security and civil liberties.
After considering the issues and going over in my mind all that's happened during the recent five years, I'd have to say that Bush and Cheney should definitely be given a certain amount of power to deal with things as they see fit.
They should be given the power, for example, to decide what the soup of the day should be: whether it should be chicken vegetable or split pea.
They should also have the power to negotiate with the different competing companies when it comes to replacing their sign. I'd definitely give them the power to choose the design and colors on the sign and how much they want to spend.
When it came to first opening their diner, I think they have the right and should have the power to choose on which highway off-ramp they'd be likely to do the best business.
Bush and Cheney together should also have the power--though I'm not sure how well they'd manage it--to hire and manage a service staff.
They should have the power to decide which country western or Bible Belt radio station they want to play during business hours--though again I suspect their decision here may not be the best either for the sanity of the wait staff or for long-term profits. Nevertheless, I think they should be given this power.
In terms of defense, one could argue that they should have the power to keep a baseball bat, maybe even an aluminum one, behind the counter. A loaded weapon, however, is another issue altogether, one that we'd have to consider in light of the problems these two seem to have with following the law. I myself would opt against given either of them a gun license.
Both men should definitely be given the power to unzip their own zippers when they need to piss in the diner's men's room or indeed even when one of them might decide to piss against the side of his truck under the moonlight in the parking lot. It's his truck, after all, it's in his parking lot, and this is America.
After looking at the current Newsweek cover and thinking things through a bit, these are some of the powers I'd be more than willing to give Bush and Cheney.
But as for giving either of these arrogant arsewipes the power to decide when and how they might want to ignore the Constitution or American law; or if or when they might want to lock you or I up incommunicado without the right to a lawyer; or when or why they might want to decide to start making dossiers of my email, phone calls, reading habits and love life--as for powers like these, no, I wouldn't be willing to offer them. To be perfectly honest, the threat to American lives from Muslim terrorism would have to be about five times what it is now before I'd even consider allowing such powers.
George W. Bush is the American president, after all, not the American king. If he and his administration are not going to respect American laws and norms, he should be dealing with something a little less challenging.
I'm a generous man. Letting these two run a diner seems to me more generous than giving them the prison time they probably deserve. George 'n Dick's Country Kitchen might be the answer to both our international woes and our Constitutional crisis.
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