checks and balances?
29 September 2004 - Los Angeles Times
commentary, Robert Scheer asserts that a Bush reelection would
threaten the "checks and balances on the president's exercise of
power by Congress and the judiciary". Iíve got news for Mr. Scheer:
those checks and balances have been trampled under the feet of the
federal government since long before the current Bush administration.
is that system of government that divides power within a nation
by strictly limiting the power of the central government and protecting
that of its otherwise sovereign constituent states. The checks and
balances of the tripartite federal government were instituted to
keep its power from consuming that of the states by keeping the
three branches in competition with each other. But history makes
it very clear that the three branches have worked very well together
to centralize the federal governmentís power.
are some who say that the centralization of power in the U.S. -
the usurpation of powers by the federal government never delegated
to it by the Constitution - began even before the Bill of Rights
was ratified. Others contend it was first practiced in earnest by
Lincoln in his suspension of habeas corpus and waging of the War
Between the States. Still others argue that the worst began in the
1930s when FDR threatened to "pack" the Supreme Court in order to
usher in his "New Deal", and continued in the 1960s with Lyndon
Johnsonís "Great Society". Assaults on federalism such as these
have been perpetrated by Democrats and Republicans alike throughout
and however it started, Mr. Scheer and the rest of America can rest
assured that the federal government has been trashing stateís rights
for a long time now, and there is no reason to believe it will be
any different under either Bush or Kerry.