Check out this speech by Al Gore delivered this afternoon. Jen and I happened to catch the last 2/3 on C-Span before switching to the Golden Globes (a useless bit of pap if there ever was one). Gore stopped me in my tracks:
“A president who breaks the law is a threat to the very structure of our government. Our Founding Fathers were adamant that they had established a government of laws and not men. Indeed, they recognized that the structure of government they had enshrined in our Constitution – our system of checks and balances – was designed with a central purpose of ensuring that it would govern through the rule of law. As John Adams said: “The executive shall never exercise the legislative and judicial powers, or either of them, to the end that it may be a government of laws and not of men.”
“It is often the case that an Executive Branch beguiled by the pursuit of unchecked power responds to its own mistakes by reflexively proposing that it be given still more power. Often, the request itself it used to mask accountability for mistakes in the use of power it already has.”
“We have a duty as Americans to defend our citizens’ right not only to life but also to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is therefore vital in our current circumstances that immediate steps be taken to safeguard our Constitution against the present danger posed by the intrusive overreaching on the part of the Executive Branch and the President’s apparent belief that he need not live under the rule of law.”
Here’s a link to the C-Span Realplayer version of the speech. If you have a few minutes, check it out—even if you don’t like Al Gore. He makes a lot of very, very good points.