(Darryl) Levinson thesis (continued)
SLevinson at law.utexas.edu
Tue Mar 7 19:36:53 PST 2006
>From tomorrow's NYTimes:
March 8, 2006
G.O.P. Senators and Bush Reach Wiretap Accord
By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK <http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/k/david_d_kirkpatrick/index.html?inline=nyt-per> and SCOTT SHANE <http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/scott_shane/index.html?inline=nyt-per>
WASHINGTON, March 7 - Moving to tamp down Democratic calls for an investigation of the administration's domestic eavesdropping program, Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee said Tuesday that they had reached agreement with the White House on proposed bills to impose new oversight but allow wiretapping without warrants for up to 45 days.
The agreement, hashed out in weeks of negotiations between Vice President Dick Cheney <http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/c/dick_cheney/index.html?inline=nyt-per> and Republicans critical of the program, dashes Democratic hopes of starting a full committee investigation because the proposal won the support of Senators Chuck Hagel <http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/h/chuck_hagel/index.html?inline=nyt-per> of Nebraska and Olympia J. Snowe <http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/olympia_j_snowe/index.html?inline=nyt-per> of Maine. The two Republicans had threatened to support a fuller inquiry if the White House did not disclose more about the program to Congress.
"We are reasserting Congressional responsibility of oversight," Ms. Snowe said.
So is Ms. Snowe correct, or is she what Leninists used to term a "useful idiot" who believes that the White House is remotely interested in "Congressional responsibility of oversight"? (Is this a rhetorical question?) Presumably Sen. Hagel, whom I believe to be an honorable man, has decided that he can't be a viable candidate for the presidency if the Bushies go all out to oppose a traitor (defined as someone who collaborates with Democrats to engage in genuine oversight). And, of course, as always, one must ask if I have just engaged in another "partisan rant" or, on the contrary, am offering a valid insight about the nature of today's decidedly anti-Madisonian (shall we call it "Levinsonian") constitutional system?
It is sometimes said that one problem with the Westminster parliamentary system is that it in effect elects a prime minister with dictatorial powers unless a very rare backbench revolt occurs. So have we in fact caught up with our English friends?
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