This time the bickering (more entertaining than the civil remarks exchanged by guests from Lebanon and Israel, which have been dominating the airwaves as of late) is over Dubya’s usage of what are called signing statements.
From what I understand, a signing statement from a president accompanies his signature on a law passed through Congress and essentially states that he has a problem with the law (or parts of it) and will choose not to uphold this law (or parts of it).
Which basically means Congress passes a law, then our president goes, well, good for you, guys, but I ain’t doin’ it.
One guest, apparently from the Attorney General’s office, wanted to cut the guy some slack, because the numbers being reported (over 800 signing statements and one veto, the former greater than all previous presidents’ signing statements combined, the latter compared with some 600 by Roosevelt back in the day) include all provisions rather than just raw numbers of laws, and that if you really factor that into account Dubya doesn’t stack up so intensely to past presidents.
But everybody else is like–yo, this is wack. (NPR is so hip sometimes.) The dude is overstepping the bounds of the Constitution by a) essentially usurping the role of the legislative branch, by sneakily rewriting laws and b) also usupring the role of the judicial branch, by deciding himself which laws are constitutional and which aren’t and enforcing them thusly.
I gotta agree here–this is wack.