In which I declare Jeff Jacoby a wanker

Jeff Jacoby, you are a wanker. A useless, jejune, dullard of a wanker, whose wanktastic brain has long waved adieu to the capacity for nuanced thought. That is the only explanation of which I can conceive for this column, in which you dismiss George Bush’s eminent pretensions of authoritarianism by citing as evidence of his reasonableness a typically limp response, wholly emblematic of his efforts to appear as though he doesn’t consider himself above the law, to a SCOTUS decision that attempts to rein in his wanton disregard for it.

According to Jacoby, because Bush said that he takes the court’s decision regarding torture “seriously” and that “We've got people looking at it right now to determine how we can work with Congress, if that's available, to solve the problem,” it definitively proves the president has no nefarious agenda, that America remains “a nation of laws, not of men.” Concludes Jacoby with a sniff, “For all the promiscuous talk about dictatorship, was that ever really in doubt?”

That “promiscuous talk” according to Jacoby emanates, of course, from a “kind of paranoia [which] is routine in the ideological fever swamps . But you can hear such things said about Bush even in respectable precincts far from the fringe,” like CNN's Jack Cafferty, Judge Guido Calabresi of the US Court of Appeals, Slate’s Michael Kinsley, Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter, and The American Prospect's Robert Kuttner. Bloody hysterics, one and all. It is, evidently, utterly implausible in Jacoby’s world that a rational person might logically construe the Bush administration’s open and vociferous support of the Unitary Executive principle as the first peeking shadows of a dictatorship.

Failure to even mention in passing the rigorous endeavors of the Bush administration to undermine checks and imbalance the three branches of government is the least of his omissions, however. Perhaps the most important person who Jacoby fails to mention in his list of “D-word” spouting lunatics, is Bush himself.

"You don't get everything you want. A dictatorship would be a lot easier." (Governing Magazine 7/98) — From Paul Begala's "Is Our Children Learning?"

"I told all four that there are going to be some times where we don't agree with each other, but that's OK. If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator.” —, December 18, 2000

"A dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier, there's no question about it. " — Business Week, July 30, 2001
Just some good-natured joshing from a man with no aspirations of dictatorship.

If the notion that we are a nation of laws and not men is to be undoubted, it is our president who needs to lead the way to such certainty. As for me, I’d prefer to let the doubters speak their pieces, which will better ensure we remain a nation of laws than any diaphanous protestations to the contrary ever will.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus