Thursday, December 22, 2005; A29
...the reasonable guy that Bush and his speechwriters brought forth on Sunday night vanished when the president strode into a White House news conference on Monday. He went back into combat mode to dampen the outcry over the powers of the presidency and domestic intelligence surveillance.
Not even conservatives will rush to endorse the expansive powers that Bush claims to find in the Constitution to enable the National Security Agency to evade existing law and systematically conduct wiretaps against terrorism suspects on U.S. soil without warrants.
The kind of secrecy and obsessive concern about the powers of the presidency for their own sake that this administration showed even before Sept. 11, 2001, are inconsistent with the workings of American democracy, as well as with the fragmentation of power that marks the nation-state system today.