News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: Bush Calls Constitution "“[G]oddamned piece of paper!”

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Bush Calls Constitution "“[G]oddamned piece of paper!”

There have been many stories lately about Pres. Bush's erratic and irascible behavior. Some have even reported that he's drinking heavily again. None of this prepares you, however, for the rather startling scene that played itself out in the White House, when Mr. Bush is reported to have declared to Republican Senators that the US constitution is “just a goddamned piece of paper!”
According to Doug Thompson at Capitoal Hill Blue, a resepcted Washington insider blog, Pres. Bush made these statements when the senators pressed Bush on softening some of the laws in the USA Patriot Act. This is the legislation that was put into law after 911. It is supposed to give the government sweeping powers in combatting terrorism.

Opponents of the Act have argued that it undermines very basic rights guaranteed by the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. In fact, Democratic Wisconsin senator Russ Feingold has threatened a filibuster in the Senate if key elements of the Act are not deleted.

Three Republican Senators are said to have joined with Feingold in opposing the legislation. Conservative and liberal Republicans have expressed grave concerns over what they see as the erosion of key constituional rights.

In the face of this growing opposition in his party, Republican Senators asked to meet with the President. It is in this setting that Thompson's eyewitness sources report the following:

GOP leaders told Bush that his hardcore push to renew the more onerous provisions of the act could further alienate conservatives still mad at the President from his botched attempt to nominate White House Counsel Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.

“I don’t give a goddamn,” Bush retorted. “I’m the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way.”

“Mr. President,” one aide in the meeting said. “There is a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution.”

“Stop throwing the Constitution in my face,” Bush screamed back. “It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!”
A fit of anger by a man under tremendous stress? Another one of those emotional outbursts that one might just blow off by simple saying, "he didn't mean it?"

Maybe. But the stories of an irascible and erratic Bush have caused concern among those who are friendly to the Bush agenda. Some, no doubt, are beginning to wonder whether they don't have a loose cannon in the White House.

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