May 4, 2006

A Forceful New York Times Editorial.

A few days ago I wrote on the worrying habit of President Bush of nullifying the content of many laws passed by the Congress by "presidential signing statements". The New York Times addresses this issue in no uncertain terms in its editorial for tomorrow (5th May).

It mentions the curious fact that Bush is the first president since Thomas Jefferson to NOT veto any bill passed by the Congress. The reason for that is clear: if he does veto it, the Congress can override him by passing it with a two-thirds majority (not a likely eventuality anyway given Republican-controlled Congress). So he overcomes that annoyance by signing on the law, but also saying that he doesn't give a damn about following it.

Bush's personal philosophy might be alarming. But what is infinitely more alarming is the fact that he doesn't have the slightest regard for rules and norms. An illogical ideology can be fought if all the parties agree to follow rules. If one side disregards rules at will, then it's time to worry.


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