Monday, March 06, 2006

Line-item veto: what would Bush edit?

The Supreme Court struck the last one down. Hopefully they'll strike it down again, but considering that conservatives have been pushing for this all the way back to President Grant, I'd say chances are pretty good that Bush found out in the quiet chats with Roberts and Alito right before appointing them that he did what he could to ensure its passage.

I think the line-item veto is a very bad idea. Very. What it allows is for the president to take any bill passed by Congress and remove provisions from it, signing into law the parts that he wants passed, ignoring the rest. Proponents say that this will eliminate pork, cutting out unrelated riders and such. Critics say that this will lead to the president being able to undo compromises struck by Congress, thus concentrating too much power with the executive branch. I am a critic.

It got me thinking: if anyone should bother to drop the Constitution on Bush's desk after the line-item veto is passed into law, and if Bush should happen to decide to read it, what would that lead to? The anal-retentive among you will point out that the line-item veto only applies to legislation and not to the Constitution, but you can shut the hell up. The rest of you can enjoy my vision of Bush at his desk with a red pen over the Constitution, muttering to himself.

(In case you don't have the rights afforded by all 27 amendments, click here for a nice summary of what those rights are. The short answers are on top, and the links lead to the full texts, if you want.)

1st Amendment—Veto. You're welcome, Reverend Dobson. You too, Mr. Murdoch!
2nd Amendment—Let it stand.
3rd Amendment—Let's veto that one—just in case! Heh heh...
4th Amendment—DEFINITELY veto! And tell Alberto right away!
5th Amendment—This is totally unnecessary. If you're innocent, you have nothing to worry about. Veto!
6th Amendment—Veto! Then notify the folks down in Gitmo!
7th Amendment—After what they did to Kenny Boy? Veto!
8th Amendment—Add the clause "except for suspected terrorists" or I'll veto!
9th Amendment—Ah, they can keep that one. It's not like that mess in Florida's going to happen to me again...
10th Amendment—States' rights! Yeah, we'll keep *that* one (but look out, 14th Amendment!)
11th Amendment—This one's boring! Yeah, you can keep it.
12th Amendment—Electoral College! Better keep that one...
13th Amendment—In the name of free enterprise—veto!
14th Amendment—I'm not going to tell people how to live their lives! Veto!
15th Amendment—Veto! It's a states' rights issue!
16th Amendment—Veto! Must... cut... taxes...
17th Amendment—You mean we could have governors appoint senators? Veto! Veto! Veto!
18th Amendment—Let's keep this one. It serves me well!
19th Amendment—Voting rights should be determined by the State Secretary of State. Veto!
20th Amendment—No way! If I veto this one, I can have another six weeks as president? Veto!
21st Amendment—Veto! You drunks!
22nd Amendment—Whoa! I'd like to see that one go! Four more years! Veto!
23rd Amendment—They always vote Democrat in DC. Veto!
24th Amendment—Can't... veto. Must... cut... taxes...
25th Amendment—Say, um, Mr. Cheney? Could we not talk about this one? It makes me uncomfortable...
26th Amendment—Kids don't vote anyway, so you might as well let it stand.
27th Amendment—The Hammer could use a raise right now to help with his legal bills. Veto!

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