In Washington this week, we have seen a push by the current administration regarding the expansion of Executive Powers and, more specifically, the scope of Executive privilege. From Reuters:
The White House on Monday dared the Democratic-led Congress to fight it in court by refusing to provide information and testimony demanded in an investigation into the firing of federal prosecutors.More important, although not explicitly stated in any official reports, are rumors of a more disturbing expansion of executive powers. Justice department insiders report that the Administration is preparing an Executive Order naming Bush as the earthly manifestation of the Egyptian god Ra. Ra, of which all other gods and goddesses were aspects, manifestations, phases, or forms of the god, has long been of interest to the current President who publicly claims to be a devote Christian. The order, according to anonymous sources, would place supreme executive and spiritual powers in the hands of Bush.
White House counsel Fred Fielding, in a letter to two congressional chairmen, called their demands "unreasonable because it represents a substantial incursion into presidential prerogatives."
Congressional leaders disagreed and made it clear they were prepared for a court battle unless they reach a compromise with the White House on access to documents and witnesses.....
Bush is relying on a legal doctrine known as executive privilege, which has been invoked with mixed success to shield presidents and their aides from having to answer questions or turn over information to Congress.
White House spokesman Tony Snow brushed off the threat of a possible congressional contempt citation, saying, "It's up to them."
"What we do believe is that we are on perfectly solid legal ground," Snow said.
Capitol Hill insiders aware of the proposed power grab have already denounced the move as being antithetical, not only to the principal of constitutional checks & balances, but also to the separation of Church and State. Republican apologists have countered that while Bush may be setting himself up as a god or god like figure, he is only providing a conduit by which the faithful can more fully worship his being. Supporters add that Bush-Ra is not constrained by the mortal powers elucidated by a mortal sheet of parchment.