In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 6, 2006 / 10 Tamuz, 5766

About our ‘dictator’

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In many quarters it has long been taken for granted that George W. Bush is an aspiring dictator, ravenous for power and all too willing to shred the constitutional checks and balances that restrain presidential authority. Of course this kind of paranoia is routine in the ideological fever swamps, where anyone to the right of Michael Moore is tagged a fascist. But you can hear such things said about Bush even in respectable precincts far from the fringe.

For example: When it was reported in May that the National Security Agency has been analyzing a vast database of domestic telephone records for possible counterterrorism leads, CNN's Jack Cafferty went ballistic. Thank goodness Senator Arlen Specter was asking questions, Cafferty fumed. "He might be all that's standing between us and a full-blown dictatorship in this country."

During the 2004 campaign, Judge Guido Calabresi of the US Court of Appeals told a lawyers' conference that the Supreme Court decision deciding the 2000 election for Bush was "exactly what happened" when Mussolini and Hitler came to power in the '30s. And "like Mussolini," Calabresi said, Bush "has exercised extraordinary power — he has exercised power, claimed power for himself." The only way to restore American democracy, he concluded, was to vote Bush out of office.

A year before, Michael Kinsley wrote in Slate that "in terms of the power he now claims, without significant challenge, George W. Bush is now the closest thing in a long time to dictator of the world."

Time and again the D-word or its equivalent has been invoked to describe the Bush presidency. On issues ranging from his "signing statements" — written critiques of bills he signs into law — to the treatment of enemy combatants to his defense of the Patriot Act, Bush has regularly been accused of harboring totalitarian impulses. "We're seeing clearly now that Bush thought 9/11 gave him license to act like a dictator," wrote Jonathan Alter in Newsweek last December. Just the other day, The American Prospect's Robert Kuttner warned that the Bush administration has been "a slow-rolling coup d'etat" but that "people are afraid to say so."

So when the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld last week, Bush's reaction was easy to foretell: He would show the ruling all the respect of a monster truck rolling over a VW Beetle. No doubt he would emulate one of his predecessors, Andrew Jackson — another polarizing president whose enemies depicted him as a dictator. It would be Worcester v. Georgia all over again.

Worcester was an 1832 case in which the Supreme Court held that the state of Georgia could not impose its laws on the Cherokee nation living within its borders. Its attempt to do so, Chief Justice John Marshall wrote for the majority, was "repugnant to the Constitution, laws, and treaties of the United States." Jackson saw the decision as a challenge to his policy of Indian removal and sided with Georgia, which refused to obey the court's ruling. What the case is best remembered for today is Jackson's withering observation that the court's ruling had no teeth.

"John Marshall has made his decision," Jackson supposedly said. "Now let him enforce it."

Fast-forward 174 years. President Bush learns the court's ruling in Hamdan has gone against him. A five-justice majority held the military commissions created by the administration to try the Guantanamo detainees are invalid, since they were never authorized by congressional statute. The justices seem to have repudiated Bush's claim that the Constitution invests the president with sweeping unilateral authority in wartime. "The court's conclusion ultimately rests upon a single ground," Justice Stephen Breyer pointedly notes in a concurrence. "Congress has not issued the Executive a 'blank check.' "

Whereupon Bush says — what? "The justices have made their decision; now let them enforce it"? Something even more acid? Perhaps he repeats a statement he has made previously — "I'm the decider, and I decide what is best"?

Not quite. He says he takes the court's decision "seriously." A few moments later he says it again. And then comes this: "We've got people looking at it right now to determine how we can work with Congress, if that's available, to solve the problem." There is no disdain. No bravado. No criticism. Just an acknowledg ment that the Supreme Court has spoken and the executive branch will comply.

Some dictator.

It isn't 1832 anymore. Even presidents who are aggressive in their claims of authority don't flout Supreme Court decisions. Harry Truman relinquished the steel mills, Richard Nixon turned over the Watergate tapes, Bill Clinton submitted to Paula Jones's deposition. Al Gore conceded the 2000 election. Now Bush will acquiesce as well.

For better or worse, our legal system as it has evolved makes the judiciary, not the president, "the decider." Bush presses his claims forcefully, as he is entitled to do — but only to a point. We remain a nation of laws, not of men. For all the promiscuous talk about dictatorship, was that ever really in doubt?

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Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.

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