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I Sit And Look Out: Does Bush claim the divine right of kings?

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To those who study history, that comment may cause a shudder of recognition. Is this the modern American version of the divine right of kings?Monarchs since time immemorial, including those in the Bible, were anointed by high priests when they assumed the throne. Indeed, Caesar Augustus was so convinced of his divine right that he had himself proclaimed a god, to be worshipped in his lifetime. No prelates anoint the president of the United States at the inauguration. But the axis of ayatollahs, consisting of Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and James Dobson, gave its imprimatur to this administration and has continued to do so, as long as there is little or no deviation from their agenda of anti-evolution, anti-choice, anti-stem cell research and anti-same sex relationships. The divine right of kings idea in the Anglo-Saxon world may have reached its peak, or nadir if you wish, in the reign of the Stuarts in Britain. This family was never the brightest bulb in the aristocratic firmament, but it hit the jackpot in Charles I, who lost his head because of his arrogance and stupidity and gave rise to the oppressive protectorate of Oliver Cromwell. Charles II was probably the smartest of the Stuarts (not hard) and he kept his crown and his head for more than two decades before expiring peacefully. (No one ever proved he made a deathbed conversion to Roman Catholicism.)But Charles left no legitimate heirs, so the throne was occupied by his brother James II, who as the Duke of York, had given his name to New Amsterdam after the Brits overcame the Dutch. James, in typical Stuart fashion, tried to rule like one with the divine right, but he didn't last long. The peaceful Glorious Revolution overthrew him and in came William and Mary, who was the daughter of James.One of the stupidities that caused James to lose the crown was his obstinacy about bills passed by Parliament. If he didn't like them, he would just ignore them. That did not sit well with commoners or lords and they devised the English Bill of Rights in 1689, a century before ours, to make sure that kind of thing didn't happen again. One section of the Bill of Rights stated: "The pretended power of suspending of laws, or the execution of laws, by regal authority, without consent of Parliament, is illegal." Sound familiar?Last July, the American Bar Association Ð no bastion of left-wing thinking Ð said that the anointed one was flouting the Constitution and undermining the rule of law by claiming in signing statements that he could disregard provisions of the laws he signed. The association called this "contrary to the rule of law and our constitutional system of separation of powers." It noted that George Washington said a president "must approve all the parts of a bill, or reject it in toto." And James Madison, often referred to as the Father of the Constitution, wrote: "The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny."But, that's what the divine right of kings Ð and presidents Ð is all about, isn't it?Since the subordinates take their cue from the boss, we shall see in the next columns what effect this attitude of accumulation of power has had on our country in the last six years, including our self-castrating Congress. Always bear in mind that we taxpayers pay for all of this.

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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