Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Conservatives for Checks and Balances, Rolling Back Executive Power!

Because of Gonzo and the paper storm, nobody is talking about this. I've grabbed the whole press release from Citizens Party:
NEWS ADVISORY
March 16, 2007
Contact: Alison McQuade (413) 531 – 8894
Conservatives Unite In Coalition to Defend Civil Liberties, Roll Back Excessive Presidential Power: Leaders in the Conservative Movement to Announce Campaign to Restore Governmental Checks and Balances, Individual Freedoms

WASHINGTON – An alliance of prominent national conservatives will hold a news conference on Tuesday, March 20, to announce the formation of the American Freedom Agenda (AFA), a coalition established to restore checks and balances and civil liberties protections under assault by the Executive Branch. The restoration would bind the current and all future occupants of the White House, irrespective of party affiliation. The group will present a legislative package to restore congressional oversight and habeas corpus, end torture and extraordinary rendition, narrow the President’s authority to designate “enemy combatants,” prevent unconstitutional wiretaps and mail openings, protect journalists from prosecution under the Espionage Act, and more.

They will present a “Freedom Pledge” to all Presidential candidates of both parties to sign, and call for a bipartisan grassroots campaign to protect the vision of the Founding Fathers — that no single branch of government should have excessive power.

Participants at Tuesday’s news conference will include:

• Bruce Fein, a constitutional scholar, conservative writer and columnist, and former Associate Deputy Attorney General under President Reagan;
• David Keene, Chairman of the American Conservative Union, the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots conservative lobbying organization;
• Richard Viguerie, a conservative writer who is considered one of the main architects of the conservative grassroots movement over the past quarter century;
• Bob Barr, a former Member of Congress who served as an impeachment manager of President Clinton and holds the 21st Century Liberties Chair for Freedom and Privacy at the American Conservative Union.

When: Tuesday, March 20, 2007, 1 p.m.
Where: The National Press Club Zenger Room 529 14th Street, NW 13th Floor,Washington, D.C. 20045

That's right, An alliance of prominent national conservatives ... to restore checks and balances and civil liberties protections under assault by the Executive Branch.

There's nothing wrong with celebrating conservative hypocrisies and absurdities, but to be a little more fair and balanced, this is proactive and needs celebration and recognition. This is fracking brilliant!

And get your popcorn; today at 1pm, it's airing live on C-SPAN2. Snag it on cable or stream it free on the tubes!

UPDATE: Notes and quotes and links from the press conference.
 
 

12 comments:

Kay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

What?! An admiral move by conservatives? I'm floored. And enjoying it.

Anonymous said...

wel, well, well, i'll be sure to thank these rip van republicans next time i see them. i hope that their 6 year slumber left them nicely rested because these next 2 years are going to be very very trying for them. also, i'll have to thank them for being so timely, i mean they've got to get this done before the new President takes office......i mean, what if it is a Democrat?!?!?! well they certainly wouldnt want that, now would they?

Cathexis said...

Great to hear! And this should serve as a warning for all of us re: the use of labels. Too many people *claim* to be Conservative, Christian, etc. -- but aren't. We should take care not to malign *true* Conservatives, Christians, and other people of principle because of the actions of some who claim the affiliation, but don't walk the walk.

I may not agree with a lot of Conservatism, but discussing and negotiating with people of principle -- regardless of ideology -- often produces the best results for us, as a nation. It's nice to see principled Conservatives fighting back against the usurpers of their name.

Dread Scot said...

Call me skeptical, but I find it hard to believe this is motivated out of anything resembling genuine principle. Conservatives were more than happy to have Bush sieze unlimited power as long as they believed that power would only be used against their political opponents and people they don't like. More than likely it is finally dawning on them that those powers might be passed intact to Democrats who are unlikely to just give them back. The thought of Hillary's boys going through their dainties and listening in on their phone sex, or whatever, is a bit too much for them.

The time to roll back the abuses is now, while the Bush taint is still clearly associated with them. Anything that passes intact to a new administration of either party will be much harder to undo. If conservatives are willing to join in that fight their help should be welcomed, but they shouldn't be allowed to get away with the claim that they are returning to 'true conservatism'.

Bush is among the purest, truest conservatives who have ever disgraced public office in this country. The limited government, checks and balances rhetoric which has been associated with conservatives is nothing more than the natural position of the minority in opposition, using arguments based on strong constitutional principles to oppose the raw political power of the majority. Once the conservative movement gained control of all the levers of power, those tactics and that rhetoric were no longer necessary, so they dropped them in favor of using the power of the majority to undermine everything they had previously claimed to care about. The last six years have shown the true face of conservatism, and if we forget that again, as I'm sure we will, we will be doomed to repeat the course.

mistharm said...

Great to hear! And this should serve as a warning for all of us re: the use of labels. Too many people *claim* to be Conservative, Christian, etc. -- but aren't. We should take care not to malign *true* Conservatives, Christians, and other people of principle because of the actions of some who claim the affiliation, but don't walk the walk.

I may not agree with a lot of Conservatism, but discussing and negotiating with people of principle -- regardless of ideology -- often produces the best results for us, as a nation. It's nice to see principled Conservatives fighting back against the usurpers of their name.

--

I generally agree with ya; and hell... maybe these folk really are just getting into the game late.

But there's something I find fishy here.

There have been a small number of real conservatives out there fighting back since very early in the Bush administration - but none of those groups are what I would consider "prominent". I want to know *which* conservative groups are a part of this - because if its anyone related to PNAC or the American Enterprise Institute and the like... I'm not going to believe it for a minute then.

Back to what you said though - I agree. I like Chuck Hagel even though I disagree with most of his policy points, because he actually represents what he says he represents, and isn't batshit crazy either.

I can have a good discussion with a genuine conservative. A neocon the best I can do is a screaming match.

Is it sad that I almost want to run a "Liberals to restore the Republican Party" campaign? Just so the 'other side' might be populated with less-crazy individuals?

... Cause yah, that's what I'm feeling now.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Cathexis. Not all of us conservatives are mindless drones marching in lockstep with the White House. Bush first came up on my radar in 1999, when I was a McCain supporter (yes, it's embarrassing to me now), and I've generally opposed him ever since. I was willing to give him a break during his first six months in office to see how he'd shake out, and back then he seemed like he'd be an ineffectual President. Then came 9/11, and I hoped he'd be able to rally America and work for the good of the country. I was quickly disabused of that notion. I've been loudly opposing him ever since, and until lately I've been very unpopular with my fellow Republicans. Finally, I think enough of us have returned to sanity that the GOP might have some hope, even though the President continues to ruin our credibility as he continues to ruin the country.

Anonymous said...

One more thing. I'd love it if Hagel ran for President, but if he did, I don't think he has much of a chance to survive the primaries.

Right now, looking at the Republican field, I'd have to say that just about any Democrat looks good to me, other than Hillary Clinton. I was never against Bill Clinton, and I'd rather see him serve a 3rd term than see Hillary in the oval office. Obama, Richardson, Edwards would all make OK presidents, at least better than what we have now or better than any of the Republican candidates.

Paul said...

I agree with Dread Scot -- the conservatives are just making sure that the next POTUS, who will undoubtedly be Democrat, won't benefit from W's power grab.

They're no saints...

Paul said...

I agree with Dread Scot -- the conservative group is just making sure that the next POTUS, who will undoubtedly be a Democrat, won't benefit from W's shameless power grab.

They're no saints...

Ricky Shambles said...

Thanks, all, for getting in on this.

I agree that there is something suspicious about this turn of events, but cannot simply dismiss it. Whether or not it's political posturing, no president - past or future - should have the power (and disregard that comes with it) that our current president does.

And whoever is doing it, republican or democrat, conservative or liberal, the balancing of powers and the sanding down of this synthetic third leg that's upending the stool is the right thing to do. I'm a little disappointed it's not liberals, but glad to see conservatives finally get on the stick to wean the president off the monarchical teat.

Anonymous said...

Ron Paul was the first signer. He has consistently voted for the Constitution and is completely principled in his choices. He voted against the war, against the Patriot Act, against executive power expansion and has been voting this way ever since he made it into congress. He's a republican, but the republicans don't like him that much because he always votes for what is right and not what will grab more power. Ron Paul is running for president and we should support him: http://www.ronpaul2008.com