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Yoo Have to be Kidding


Shorter Verbatim John Yoo and John Bolton:   “Constitutional principles seem to be mere inconveniences to Mr. Obama, however.”

They, however, have a very principled argument.  Admittedly, in this case Obama is doing something plainly within the power of the executive branch — directing military and intelligence agencies how to act in ways that contravene no act of Congress — while Yoo and Bolton believed that the president could actually ignore legislation passed by Congress.   However, Obama is doing this to advance policy goals that John Yoo and John Bolton don’t support.   See the crucial difference?

I conclude with an obligatory link to Stephen Holmes on Yoo.

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  • dangermouse

    pro trolling

  • DrDick

    Yoo and Bolton, the greatest legal and political minds the modern conservatives have ever produced. tells you all you need to know about the modern conservative movement.

  • c u n d gulag

    Yoo can do it!

    BUT NOT YOU!!!

    We need to have a montly “Chootspah Award.”
    This would clearly be this months winner.

    The month is still new, though, so you never know…

    • c u n d gulag

      Or, “monthly,” even!

      “EDIT,” please!

      • JoyfulA

        While you’re at it, “month’s winner.”

        • c u n d gulag


          • Njorl

            You need one fewer “R” and one more “G”.

            • Anonymous

              we all need a lot fewer Rs, esp in state legislatures

              • jefft452

                sorry, that was me

              • More Gs would be nice too.

                • Bill Murray

                  Roger Daltrey has yet to repatriate all the Gs he used to sing My Generation

    • Perhaps we should call it “Yootspah” instead?

  • joe from Lowell

    When they were academics, several of his current advisers loudly proclaimed that simply signing treaties without the Senate’s consent helped form binding “customary international law.”

    That open-quotes mark is not nearly enough to make the difference between binding and customary disappear.

    Forget about the morality of John Yoo’s opinions. Nobody that sloppy should be teaching law at a well-regarded university.

    • c u n d gulag

      He shouldn’t even be allowed to home school!

      • efgoldman

        Hasn’t Yoo been disbarred yet?

        • RhZ

          No he hasn’t!!!

    • Incontinentia Buttocks

      Yoo’s not at all sloppy. He’s very careful to always criticize the actions of Democratic presidents and to never criticize the actions of Republican ones.

      • joe from Lowell

        That must be one of his “binding customary” rules.

      • TT

        That’s why it should be called the Unitary Republican Executive Theory.

        The Yiddish term for it is Yootzpah.

    • Hogan

      “Loudly”? What does that mean? They wrote their law review articles in all caps?

    • Richtman

      And even earlier, in the same column, they explicitly acknowledge that the treaty WILL NOT BE SIGNED.

      This column has been a scab on my brain all day. I just keep picking at it and letting its stupidity bother me.

    • Actually, joe, customary international law is binding. “Customary” is as opposed to “treaty,” not as opposed to law.

      Yoo remains a very bad man who should be in jail, but he didn’t make a legal error here.

  • Daragh McDowell

    GOPer ‘academics’ make much more sense if you simply conceptualise their lives as one big massive act of projection.

    • Richtman

      I thought it made more sense if you think of these two as engaged in a conceptual dark humor/art/comedy think piece that’s played out for their entire professional careers. Now, they’re just waiting to release the documentary, like a couple of high art Borats.

  • Epicurus

    Pardon the incivility, but fuck both of these guys where they breathe. John Yoo and John Bolton have zero credibility when it comes to discussing constitutional issues. Yoo is a hack lawyer, who would take ANY position his client asked him for, and justify it with miles of legalese and bullshit. Bolton is simply a clown, with a pretty nice moustache. Neither is a qualified constitutional scholar, hence I ignore their suggestions.

  • joe from Lowell

    In pursuing his long-term goal of blunting American power so it meets with approval in international organizations and foreign capitals

    I’ve got two questions:

    1. Where’s Osama, asshole?

    2. How’d the “initiative” to relocate the bases from Saudi Arabia to Iraq, at the behest of the House of Saud, work our for American power, asshole?

    • TT

      Avenge Bin Laden
      Vote Republican

      • JoyfulA

        In the running for bumper sticker of the year!

        • joe from Lowell

          I’m imagining the text bracketed by a picture of Osama and a picture of Dubya.

  • Hogan

    While security activities receive an exception, it appears confined to self-defense, a term often defined narrowly to include only cross-border attacks.

    If we start defining self-defense to mean only self-defense, how will we be able to defend ourselves?

  • rea

    So, what these guys think is that the Constitution, by giving the Senate the power to ratify treaties, prevents the president from doing something he would otherwise have the power to do, if other countries have a treaty dealing with the issue? If, hypothetically, France and Germany enter into a treaty forbidding genocide, to which the US is not a party, then constitutionally, the president must commit genocide?

    • timb


      The champions of Executive Power now opine the Executive cannot regulate the conduct of the Armed Forces without going to Congress first.

      Freaking war mongers is what they are. When the president wants to kill or torture, he can ignore Congress and law and customary international law as he see fit. When he wants to keep Earth’s orbit from being littered with the corpses of aerospace industry contracts, then he is subverting the Congress’s role….a role Congress did not have from January 21, 2001 through January 2009

  • David Kaib

    That there are people as shameless as this is appalling. That they are taken seriously and not treated like pariahs is beyond disturbing.

  • Christopher

    One of the most viscerally repulsive editorials I’ve seen in the Times.

    Sometimes when I’m reading I hit a sentence that makes me say, “Okay, you clearly have nothing useful to say, I’m done.” Eg anybody who uses the term “job creators” seriously. Here, I got to:

    This code, drafted by Europeans who do not bear America’s global responsibilities…

    People still fall for this bullshit?

  • JupiterPluvius

    Somehow, they left the page about the argumentum ad IOKIYAR out of my copy of Nowak and Rotunda. I’m going to ask for my money back!

  • Guest

    The only reason to read anything these guys write is to help build the case against them at the war crimes trials I hope are in their future.

    • oldmtnbkr

      Can we have an AMEN, peeps?

  • The Shaggy DA

    If I may paraphrase the film masterpiece Billy Madison… Mr. Bolton and Mr. Yoo, what you’ve written is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever read. At no point in your rambling, incoherent screed were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone here is now dumber for having read to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your souls.

  • Tracy

    Jesus Christ. Every irony meter in North America just simultaneously melted.

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