I wonder what it’s like to be in President Bush’s world, a world unconstrained by checks and balances or, apparently, reality. That’s where it seems our president spends his days, anyway, based on this Boston Globe analysis of the President’s “signing statement” for the Patriot Act renewal.
In the signing statement, Bush (or his staff) wrote that “The executive branch shall construe the provisions . . . that call for furnishing information to entities outside the executive branch . . . in a manner consistent with the president’s constitutional authority to supervise the unitary executive branch and to withhold information” (emphasis added). This point was made in response to a requirement in the law that the FBI notify Congress within a certain period of time if they have used the expanded powers under the act.
Of course, on the one hand, the president has to make a statement like this, or else risk compromising his position that he doesn’t have to tell anyone about secret wiretaps. But on the other hand, it makes you wonder what the president believes does constrain his activities, if anything.