April 11, 2007 [LINK / comment]

Congress infringes upon executive

For the past month or two, President Bush has spent much of his energy fiercely resisting the efforts by congressional Democrats to impose an artificial deadline on U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq. As well he should! There are signs that more and more moderate Democrats are waking up, raising hopes that a compromise war funding bill without such deadlines can be passed. Some Democrat Congressional leaders agreed to meet with Bush in hopes of averting a total cutoff of funding, which no one seriously expects, but cannot be ruled out. Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid and Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused, however, on the grounds that Bush was setting unfair preconditions. See Washington Post. I have heard some pundits suggest that the Democrats' pressure on Bush to withdraw troops might be a useful way to spur the Iraqis into picking up the slack, but I don't think that is the case any more, if it ever was. The position of the Democratic leadership on Iraq war policy is irresponsible and very dangerous for this country, and you don't have to be a 100% Bush loyalist to see that.

I happened to come across a very pertinent quotation on the idea of separation of powers, as highlighted by John Adams in the Massachusetts state constitution:

In the government of the commonwealth, the legislative department shall never exercise the executive and judicial powers, or either of them; the executive shall never exercise the legislative and judicial powers, or either of them; the judicial shall never exercise the legislative and executive powers, or either of them; to the end that it may be a government of laws, and not of men. (Article XXX)

Similarly, Nancy Pelosi's venture in shuttle diplomacy last week was an embarrassment to her party, to Congress, and to the United States of America. She misrepresented Israel's position at a delicate phase in Palestianian politics, and she let herself be taken in by Syria's double-dealing dictator Bashar Assad. When the Washington Post criticizes a leading Democrat for acting in a "foolish" way, you know there has been a major screw-up. Go home, Nancy. You're no no Henry K.

"Secular Piety"

The eminently sensible Jeff Goldstein has a nice essay on "Secular Piety and the New Age Orthodoxy" at Protein Wisdom; link via via Instapundit. He ridicules those who react to news of global warming by ostentatiously showing that they are

eager to repudiate worldly goods and embrace a life of asceticism -- or what passes for asceticism in today's pampered world.

Indeed: self-flagellation without the back scars. For those with no faith in God, ironically, the craving for ritualistic redemption is often the strongest.