Monday, December 12, 2005

But sir, it's one of the most important pieces of paper ever written upon.

Credit to Barbi over at Night Bird's Fountain for bringing this to my attention.

Turns out that we saw, during a White House debate on the Patriot Act, what President Bush really thinks about the Constitution that he is sworn to defend.

According to Capitol Hill Blue columnist Doug Thompson, Bush at a meeting last month on the Patriot Act got angry and said when told that some of the things he wanted to do might run afoul of the Constitution, "It's just a goddamn piece of paper."

The relevant text from the article is here:

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.

GOP leaders 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.

“I don’t give a goddamn,” Bush retorted. “I’m the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way.”

“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.”

You may be a liberal. You may be a conservative. But if you believe that President Bush was correct in believing that he could do as he wishes simply because he is the leader and not be constrained by 'the piece of paper' upon which our Republic is built, then it could not be said that you are a friend or defender of our country.


Anonymous said...

When I see things like this I really, really, really hope that the source is wrong.

I had the opportunity over the weekend to watch "A Note of Triunmph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin". Corwin wrote radio plays in the 1930's and 1940's. One of his most famous broadcasts was on December 15, 1941, the 150th anniversary of the Bill of Rights. Corwin was traveling to Hollywood by train while working on a script for the broadcast when he learned of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He cabled his bosses and asked whether the broadcast should still proceed given the news. The next day, while still on the train, he received a reply from his bosses which said that President Roosevelt felt it was more important than ever to go on with the broadcast. The broadcast, entitled "We Hold These Truths", was listened to by an estimated 60 million Americans - in a country of 140 million people.

It's not just a goddamned piece of paper. It's the cornerstone on which this nation is built.

Eli Blake said...

Great comment.

dorsano said...

Great comment, Indy - great story - and great instincts.

I don't consider Captitol Hill Blue to be a reliable source. Some of what they publish may very well be true. I just don't have the time to fact check them and there's enough smoke to warn me off.

Here, for example, is something they wrote about Clinton.

The "Patriot Act" speaks for itself I think. The name alone sets off warning bells.

Americans are among the most patriotic (nationalistic) people in the world - we don't need contrivances like that name to defend our country.

If nothing else, history will record that the "Patriot Act" was one of the most embarrassing names ever given to a piece of legislation.

Eli Blake said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Eli Blake said...


here is what the editor had to write about how he put this story together though. Sounds like it took some thought before he published it. And as far as what they wrote about Clinton, I suspect the reason the media didn't pick it up had to do with the fact that by 1999, people had had it with Clinton sex scandals and the media didn't want to go through another Monica scandal.