SEPARATION ANXIETY. Like my colleague Sam Boyd, I was quite entertained by yesterday's Rove-a-thon on the Sunday talk shows. While brother Sam duly noted perhaps the most amusing iteration of Rovian grandiosity ("I'm Beowulf; I'm Grendel), I found myself most riveted by the former deputy chief of staff's interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. For Rove, not only does the Constitution live, so do its founders, who apparently speak to him from the beyond, granting new powers to his favorite branch of government. On Meet the Press, he explained to David Gregory just why he would not testify before Congress:

KARL ROVE: We have a constitutional separation of powers. The founders talk about this. They, they understood this issue, and they wanted to insulate the judicial, the executive and the legislative from each other in this respect.

Wait; it gets better:

KARL ROVE: It should not— -- the Constitution should not be weakened, and we should not weaken the prerogatives of the power of the presidency just because somebody wants to have kind of show hearing on the Hill.

Somebody needs to let this guy in on this little secret: The phrase "executive privilege" does not exist in the U.S. Constitution. I suggest that he, and the rest of the executive branch, be make to read this fascinating disquisition on the subject by Harvey Silverglate, who defended then-Senator Mike Gravel when Richard Nixon's Justice Department went after Gravel for leaking the Pentagon Papers. Best suggestion therein: If the White House refuses to allow its Justice Department enforce congressional contempt of Congress citations, the sergeants-at-arms of the House and the Senate need to arrest the offenders themselves.

--Adele M. Stan

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