- January 20, 2001 & January 20, 2005:
"I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully
execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend
the Constitution of the United States."
- November 2005:
Bush on the Constitution:By DOUG THOMPSON
'It's just a goddamned piece of paper'
Dec 9, 2005, 07:53
Last month, Republican Congressional leaders filed into the Oval Office to meet with President George W. Bush and talk
about renewing the controversial USA Patriot Act.
Several provisions of the act, passed in the shell shocked period
immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, caused enough anger that liberal groups like the American Civil Liberties
Union had joined forces with prominent conservatives like Phyllis Schlafly and Bob Barr to oppose renewal.
told Bush that his hardcore push to renew the more onerous provisions of the act could further alienate conservatives still
mad at the President from his botched attempt to nominate White House Counsel Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.
don’t give a goddamn,” Bush retorted. “I’m the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it
“Mr. President,” one aide in the meeting said. “There is a valid case that the
provisions in this law undermine the Constitution.”
“Stop throwing the Constitution in my face,”
Bush screamed back. “It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!”
I’ve talked to three
people present for the meeting that day and they all confirm that the President of the United States called the Constitution
“a goddamned piece of paper.”
And, to the Bush Administration, the Constitution of the United States is
little more than toilet paper stained from all the shit that this group of power-mad despots have dumped on the freedoms that
“goddamned piece of paper” used to guarantee.
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, while still White House
counsel, wrote that the “Constitution is an outdated document.”
Put aside, for a moment, political affiliation
or personal beliefs. It doesn’t matter if you are a Democrat, Republican or Independent. It doesn’t matter if
you support the invasion or Iraq or not. Despite our differences, the Constitution has stood for two centuries as the defining
document of our government, the final source to determine – in the end – if something is legal or right.
federal official – including the President – who takes an oath of office swears to “uphold and defend the
Constitution of the United States."
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says he cringes when someone calls the Constitution
a “living document.”
“Oh, how I hate the phrase we have—a 'living document,’” Scalia
says. “We now have a Constitution that means whatever we want it to mean. The Constitution is not a living organism,
for Pete's sake.”
As a judge, Scalia says, “I don't have to prove that the Constitution is perfect; I
just have to prove that it's better than anything else.”
President Bush has proposed seven amendments to the
Constitution over the last five years, including a controversial amendment to define marriage as a “union between a
man and woman.” Members of Congress have proposed some 11,000 amendments over the last decade, ranging from repeal of
the right to bear arms to a Constitutional ban on abortion.
Scalia says the danger of tinkering with the Constitution
comes from a loss of rights.
“We can take away rights just as we can grant new ones,” Scalia warns. “Don't
think that it's a one-way street.”
And don’t buy the White House hype that the USA Patriot Act is a necessary
tool to fight terrorism. It is a dangerous law that infringes on the rights of every American citizen and, as one brave aide
told President Bush, something that undermines the Constitution of the United States.
But why should Bush care? After
all, the Constitution is just “a goddamned piece of paper.”
© Copyright 2005 by Capitol Hill Blue
Source: Capitol Hill Blue
Dear President Bush;
about that "goddamned piece of paper."“Stop throwing the
Constitution in my face,” Bush screamed back. “It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!”
us start out with the fact that the Constitution is actually written on parchment, not paper. A trivial point, I grant you,
but one that reveals (along with your inability to correctly pronounce the word "nuclear") a shocking lack of education in
a head of state.
But to get to the point, the Constitution is not the parchment itself, but the ideas written upon it; ideas which form
the foundations of our nation, ideas which would carry equal weight if written on stone, glass, metal, or even paper. These
ideas are the soul of the nation. They include the recognition that the people of this nation have certain rights, rights
which the government does not have the authority to remove. These rights include freedom of speech, to say what we think about
the nation at any and all times, to write that opinion down and share it however we choose to. These rights include the freedom
to worship as we choose, free from coercion. These rights include the right to privacy, in our homes and businesses, free
from government intrusions other than in very specific and well-defined circumstances.
Maybe those rights are inconvenient to you, as such rights are always inconvenient to tyrants, but you are not allowed
the choice which rights you will abide by or not. That too is spelled out explicitly in the Constitution.
The Constitution isn't just a piece of paper or parchment. It's a contract; the original contract with America. It's the
contract you yourself swore an oath to preserve, protect, and defend against all enemies both foreign and domestic. You attached
your name to that promise. You swore that oath before a judge of the United States Supreme Court, with your hand on a bible.
That isn't just scenery for the cameras. Swearing an oath before a judge carries legal obligations with that oath, and legal
penalties for breaking that oath.
The election process by which you claim authority is defined in that Constitution. And as you claim authority by Constitutional
process, so too are you limited by Constitutional process. If you act outside the limits of the Constitution, you are no longer
acting as the President, but as a private citizen abusing the powers with which you were trusted. A government that acts outside
the Constitution ceases to be the legal government of this land.
The Constitution exists not only to tell the government what it may do, but more importantly what it may not do. You, as
the President, are not allowed to declare wars without the US Congress. You, the President, are not allowed to seize people
at random and send them off to be tortured. And most of all, you, the President, and not allowed to lie to the people and
to the Congress.
Every President before you, including your father, swore that oath to preserve, protect, and defend that Constitution.
Millions of Americans died in wars in the firm belief that the form of government describes on that parchment was worth such
a sacrifice. To state that the Constitution is just a "dammed piece of paper" is a slap in the face of every American who
ever donned the uniform of the military forces of this country.
Go over to Arlington National Cemetery. It's not that far from where you live. Look at those tombstones. By your statement,
you have written across and every one the words, "Died for a goddamned piece of paper."