Thursday, December 21, 2006

Who You Gonna Call?

[posted by Callimachus]

Back in 1798, when a president overstepped his authority and reached for what were deemed authoritarian powers, Jefferson and Madison reacted with alarm -- in part because they were the opposition party. Looking to oppose Adams, they went, correctly, to the states. The result was the Virginia and Kentucky resolutions, and a step down the path of disunion.

Where would you go today, O ye who so fear Bush? Supreme Court? Madison explicitly rejected that as the check on presidential tyranny. Lincoln taught Taney how futile it was for the court to oppose the Commander in Chief. Ah, but slavery was evil!

Where would you go today? And who took the brakes off the car? And was it such a clear-cut case after all in 1861?