Thursday, January 5, 2006

Generation Gap

Back in the late 1970’s Congress passed a series of laws that were designed to fill the loopholes and correct the corruption that led to such things as Watergate and place limits on the Executive branch so that the excesses of imperial power so artfully demonstrated by presidents of both parties could be contained. Laws such as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), the War Powers Act, and campaign finance reform including the Federal Election Commission were passed, each with the trumpeting fanfare that once and for all our system of checks and balances would protect us. We rather naively thought that those acts would ensure that no president would ever try to subvert the laws, spy on American citizens, take us to war without Congressional oversight, and that the corruption of our elected officials by the rich and determined was a thing of the past.

Yeah, well, here we go again. The only things I hope we don’t revisit from the 1970’s are disco, polyester leisure suits and the Chrylser Cordoba (“with fine rich Corinthian leather”). Some things are better left in the past.

Update: a reader corrected the ad copy adjective.