Repealing the Magna Carta

It's pretty clear, George W. Bush and his ultraconservative colleagues want to roll back Clinton-era progress, not to mention earlier progressive gains (the Voting Rights Act, Nixon's environmental protections, the New Deal), but the Village Voice's Nat Hentoff argues their aim is to undo reforms dating earlier than that—almost 800 years earlier:
The President's threatened veto of the McCain anti-torture amendment, the Vice-President's pro-torture campaign, the President's illegal spying, which he proudly claimed he had re-authorized many times over, his attempt to squelch the free press (which Thomas Jefferson once called "the only security of all" and about which he stated, "Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter"), and his own and the Attorney General's defense of all of the above, are not only the latest examples of the administration's quest to shred the U.S. Constitution and expand already vast presidential powers past anything conceivably envisioned by the founders of the United States, but also a direct attempt to overturn nearly 800 years of Anglo-American legal precedent. In other words, the administration has launched nothing short of a bid to invalidate the guiding precepts of what the U.S. government acknowledges to be the Ur document that inspired and provided precedent for America's founders to issue their Declaration of Independence in 1776: the Magna Carta.
Credit where it's due: Nick Turse had the same idea a few days ago.

[Image: "The U.S. Flag Code says that the American flag should never be flown upside down except as a signal of dire distress, which would appear to give the practice official sanction."]

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