Balkinization  

Monday, March 01, 2004

JB

Separation of Powers, or Stonewalling?

Josh Marshall provides the transcript of Scott McClellan's unconvincing attempts to explain why President Bush will meet with the 9/11 Commission-- you know, the one he tried to shut down early-- for only one hour. McClellan offers the argument that the Commission is a legislative body, which, I take it, is an appeal to the constitutional principle of the separation of powers.

But that argument won't wash. If we were to take it seriously, Bush should be refusing to appear at all. Saying that you will meet with a legislative body for only one hour is like being a little bit pregnant.

The reason that President Bush won't appear for more than one hour has nothing to do with the separation of powers. The president is worried that he will be asked deeply embarrassing questions about his conduct and that of his Administration in the run up to the September 11th attacks. Those embarrassing questions will, in turn, show his hypocrisy in repeatedly using the 9/11 attacks to justify every questionable policy of his administration, including his mismanagement of the national budget, while attempting to insinuate that anyone who questions his policies is therefore unpatriotic. The families of the 9/11 victims should give him hell for his repeated and cynical manipulation of this tragedy.



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