W's Opportunity

President George W. Bush faces an historic opportunity in the next few weeks. By exercising prerogatives granted the chief magistrate by our Constitution, Bush may be able to force Congress to repeal moratoriums on off-shore drilling, provide John McCain and Republican House and Senate candidates a stick with which to bludgeon Democrats - and - strike a blow against the overweening Judiciary.

The Democrat Congress has adjourned for the summer without addressing the people’s most pressing problem – catastrophically high gasoline prices. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid refuse to permit a vote considering removal of restrictions on off-shore drilling. Why? The Democrat caucus, many of whom are up for re-election, face a Hobson’s choice, either betray their radical environmentalist patrons or patently refuse to relieve constituents of burdensome energy costs. The President has authority to call Congress into special session and force it to address this emergency. Were Bush to act thusly the potentialities are of great benefit to the average American. Either the onerous drilling restrictions will be lifted, resulting in an immediate and significant drop in the price of oil and gasoline or the Democrats will be exposed as having a complete disregard for the well being of the American people. The benefit of the former needs no explanation and the latter presents McCain and Republicans with an atomic powered issue by which to retain the presidency and perhaps recapture the majority in Congress.

The second opportunity for President Bush arises out of a ruling by a DC federal judge ordering White House aides to answer Congressional subpoenas. Such a ruling if accepted, effectively eviscerates free and candid discussion between the President and his staff opening to the public the necessarily private counsel of presidential advisers. The US Constitution established three co-equal branches of government. In Marbury v Madison [1803] the Judiciary in a bald power grab declared itself to be first among equals and sole arbiter of the Constitution. Since then the judges have been remaking America in their image. The Founders did not foresee this turn of events for they knew the lions of the court had no teeth. The Constitution grants the Executive branch exclusive authority to administer and enforce the laws of the nation. The Judiciary has no army or police force. In 1832, President Andrew Jackson made use of this actuality. When issued a Supreme Court edict he deemed unconstitutional “Old Hickory” replied to an aide: “Judge Marshall issued the order, let him enforce it!” President Bush should echo this sentiment and ignore the current ruling.

George W. Bush has been a terrific disappointment to conservatives and has helped wreck The Republican Party. With only a few months left in office, decisive action on these fronts will go a long way toward his reconciliation with the right and in reestablishing the GOP. We hope against hope he will strike while the iron is hot.