Friday, November 16, 2007


In addressing the 25th anniversary gala for the Federalist Society, George Bush complained about the Senate's ability to filibuster his nominees to lifetime judge positions --

Unfortunately, the Senate has failed to act on many of my other nominees. At times it has imposed a new and extra-constitutional standard, where nominees who have the support of the majority of the Senate can be blocked by a minority of obstructionists.

The choice of words is therefore the same as the White House terminology for condemning General Musharraf's imposition of emergency rule in Pakistan --

MS. PERINO: I'm going to let her [Benazir Bhutto] have her own definition. What we -- we can only support, as the United States, constitutional measures, measures that are within the constitution. These extra-constitutional measures that President Musharraf has undertaken, starting late Friday night, are deeply disappointing and not something that we can support.

Thus in Bush's mind, there's no difference between suspending the constitution (Pakistan) and an independent branch of government defining its own rules of conduct in matters in which the US Constitution is silent. An additional twist is that Bush's complaints about activist judges in his partisan speech mirror exactly those of Musharraf in justifying his de facto coup.

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