It's a fascinating thing to observe the press struggle with issues that half the country got past years ago. The deference to the President (not Bush, the office) remains astoundingly wide. Even when the POTUS screws up, the press won't say so... at least not right away, and not directly. But now that an equally revered institutation, asnd a conservative court at that, has handed down a major ruling on the limits of presidential power, the press is struugling to catch up. A few examples follow. From KRT:
At its heart, legal experts said, the ruling rebuffed Bush's contention that the president has special powers during wartime to disregard acts of Congress and international treaties.
"I think the court's ruling is a rejection of the administration's post 9/11 legal centerpiece claim, which is the president has inherent authority in all kinds of things in the name of crisis," said Neal Katyal, the lead attorney who argued the case on behalf of detainee and plaintiff Salim Ahmed Hamdan.
"One of the potential implications is that the `inherent authority' argument pushed by the executive branch may be in retreat," agreed Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., in an interview with McClatchy Newspapers on Friday.
Can you imagine the press suggesting the 'inherent authority' was anything but CW a week ago?, Why everyone knws that all the WH has to do is yell WoT™ and Dems flee the city quaking in their boots about being labeled soft, losers, or 'cut-and-runners'.
Republicans yesterday looked to wrest a political victory from a legal defeat in the Supreme Court, serving notice to Democrats that they must back President Bush on how to try suspects at Guantanamo Bay or risk being branded as weak on terrorism.
In striking down the military commissions Bush sought for trials of suspected members of al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups, the high court Thursday invited Congress to establish new rules and put the issue prominently before the public four months before the midterm elections. As the White House and lawmakers weighed next steps, House GOP leaders signaled they are ready to use this week's turn of events as a political weapon.
Why, just ask Chris Matthews (he'll verify with Kate O'Byrne). Or listen to Rush (he speaks for America).
Never mind that polling does not support Bush's approach to governing. Never mind Bush's continued <40% in job ratings (35% in the most recent from TIME). Never mind that generic ballots everywhere favor Dems by wide margins. Never mind that Dems are in strong position on recommending a change to the approach in Iraq.
The truth is simple. Republicans and Bush want a divided and polarized America. It's the only way they think they can win elections. It's the only way they have in the past. Their failure of ideas (see Iraq) and failure of governance (see Katrina) can not be defended. So let's move to the Big Smear. Let' s make everyone Max Baucus. Forget about the fact that that's what Bin Laden wants.
Today's conclusion: bin Laden's message was clearly designed to assist the President's reelection.
At the five o'clock meeting, once various reports on latest threats were delivered, John McLaughlin opened the issue with the consensus view: "Bin Laden certainly did a nice favor today for the President."
Around the table, there were nods....Jami Miscik talked about how bin Laden — being challenged by Zarqawi's rise — clearly understood how his primacy as al Qaeda's leader was supported by the continuation of his eye-to-eye struggle with Bush. "Certainly," she offered, "he would want Bush to keep doing what he's doing for a few more years."
But an ocean of hard truths before them — such as what did it say about U.S. policies that bin Laden would want Bush reelected — remained untouched....On that score, any number of NSC principals could tell you something so dizzying that not even they will touch it: that Bush's ratings [in the U.S.] track with bin Laden's rating in the Arab world.
It's also what Bush wants. But it's not what Americans want. And only a victory in November by the opposition party will convince the media of that.