We the People: Is the United States Constitution Obsolete?
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• The Alien and Sedition acts of 1798—courtesy of President Adams
• The suspension of habeas corpus—compliments of President Lincoln
• The Palmer Raids and the suppression of free speech after World War I—thoughtful gifts from President Wilson
• The internment of Japanese Americans during World War II—a considerate contribution care of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
• Trumped-up trials for treason during McCarthyism—bons mots from Presidents Truman and Eisenhower
• The wiretapping of dissenters during Vietnam—delicious truffles served up by Presidents Johnson and Nixon
So when President Bush ultimately decided to renew the possibly unconstitutional PATRIOT Act, it may have been, historically speaking, the most presidential thing he ever did. He turned a goddamned piece of paper into a mere thing of wax.
As he often said, September 11th changed everything.
From the book Me the People by Kevin Bleyer. Copyright © 2012 by Kevin Bleyer. Reprinted by arrangement with Random House, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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