An Andrew Sullivan reader writes in to say:
This president often mentions his oath but never talks about protecting the constitution. On the contrary, he regularly talks about his oath to protect the people, or to protect America. But it's possible to justify any number of tyrannies in the name of protecting the people.
The framers were aware of that danger and so wrote an oath of office that demands the constitution be protected, not the people. It would be much harder for a president to claim dictatorial powers in the name of protecting the constitution. "I had to destroy the constitution to save it" wouldn't fly. Or so you'd think. Yet Dubya has gotten away with it nearly unchallenged, as far as I can see. This slip by a functionary already has received much more attention than Dubya's frequent use of the same construction — perhaps because any Senator or presidential candidate who dared say "The president's oath is not to protect the people, and in the name of a vow he never took he has deliberately violated the oath he did take, to protect the constitution" would be pilloried by the Bushies for "not understanding the threat" or having a "pre-9/11 mindset."
Maybe. But it needs to be said, loudly and often, by patriots of any political stripe.
Meanwhile, a TPM reader has a query:
Remember the War Czar? Anyone heard anything from him lately? Shouldn't he be pretty prominent what with all the news from Iraq and the surge in full swing now? Oh, maybe he's off "coordinating" or something. Here's, arguably, the most powerful military man in the country and I'll bet 9 out of 10 Americans (even the informed ones) don't even know the guy's name (it's Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute). Talk about another brilliant idea.