A fascinating little glimpse into Liz Cheney's view of the executive in her Colorado College senior thesis:

"To assert that the Constitution is a shield of protection 'for all classes of men, at all times and under all circumstances,' " she writes, "is to deny the nation the right of self-preservation. There have been and will be times in the experience of the country when constitutional provisions will of necessity be suspended to guarantee the survival of our democracy." The Supreme Court was wrong in declaring [Lincoln's] actions illegal in Ex Parte Merryman because his power "was actually an assertion of the power of the people." How he divined that will of the people, Cheney does not explain.

So, according to the Cheneys, the president has the inherent right to declare war and conduct it entirely as he sees fit; the war may include within its remit the entire territory of the U.S. and everyone within it, citizen and non-citizen alike; all such persons are subject to the president's extra-legal control, backed by military force and indefinite imprisonment without charges. Torture is the icing on this cake - the way in which dictators have always created the evidence they then use to justify their dictatorial power. It is a perfect loop - with only a four-year election getting in the way. But that's Rove's job: to create such a climate of fear and internal division that majorities clamor for a permanent protector.

This is what we were just delivered from: far more frightening than any economic depression.

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