There are so many things in this Carl Hulse piece worth discussing, it is difficult to figure out where to start. I guess the beginning will have to do:
After years of quietly acceding to the Bush administration’s assertions of executive power, the Republican-led Congress hit a limit this weekend.
Resentment boiled among senior Republicans for a second day on Tuesday after a team of warrant-bearing agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation turned up at a closed House office building on Saturday evening, demanded entry to the office of a lawmaker and spent the night going through his files.
The episode prompted cries of constitutional foul from Republicans — even though the lawmaker in question, Representative William J. Jefferson of Louisiana, is a Democrat whose involvement in a bribery case has made him an obvious partisan political target.
First, let me get this out of the way. Heh.
Ok. Moving on. I am hard-pressed to counter arguments that the only reason many in the GOP are up in arms about this is that they fear their offices might be raided in the future. They probably should be. First, a lot of them are corrupt as hell. Second, this shortsighted group of sewer trout is finally beginning to recognize they will not be in the majority forever. Many of us who have been pointing this out for years- I can’t tell you how many times I have tried to explain to people that ending the filibuster via the nuclear option would end the filibuster forever. And so on and so on. This group, while letting this administration run basically unchecked, has failed to realize (until now, perhaps), that any future Democratic administration, should they be as shameless and brazen as the current Bush administration, will be well within their rights and precedent to do many of the same things- all to undo the ‘panacea’ that has been created over the past 6 years.
Having said all that, I have no problem with a group of feds with a warrant raiding a congressman’s office. Next piece:
Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the House majority leader, predicted that the separation-of-powers conflict would go to the Supreme Court. “I have to believe at the end of the day it is going to end up across the street,” Mr. Boehner told reporters gathered in his conference room, which looks out on the Capitol plaza and the court building.
BWAHAHAHA. Considering the only common theme among Bush’s three nominations to the Supreme Court has been a complete and total deference to executive authority, and in Harriet’s case, a total deference to Bush, the individual, I am willing to bet this is a fight the Bush administration does not mind taking to the Supremes.
Lawmakers and outside analysts said that while the execution of a warrant on a Congressional office might be surprising — this appears to be the first time it has happened — it fit the Bush administration’s pattern of asserting broad executive authority, sometimes at the expense of the legislative and judicial branches.
Pursuing a course advocated by Vice President Dick Cheney, the administration has sought to establish primacy on domestic and foreign policy, not infrequently keeping much of Congress out of the loop unless forced to consult.
“It is consistent with a unilateral approach to the use of authority in Washington, D.C.,” Philip J. Cooper, a professor at Portland State University who has studied the administration’s approach to executive power, said of the search.
Trust us. We are here from the government to help you and protect you.