You know the drill. The alleged litany of Bush's abuses is extensive. They say he's stubborn, won't listen to advice, won't admit mistakes and lives in a bubble. He wants to force his "fundamentalist" religious views down America's throat.
Liberal legend further has it that he made a "unilateral" decision to attack Iraq -- as just the first step in his plan to enslave the world through democracy -- both by ignoring the wishes of our allies and trying to sidestep, then dupe, Congress. He locks up enemy combatants and throws away the key, he and his henchmen have masterminded their abuse and torture, and he denies them the full protection of the Bill of Rights.
He and his fiendish vice president inhabit undisclosed locations, play hide-the-ball from the benign, well-intentioned Old Media, and conduct secret meetings to discuss schemes to deny health care to the uninsured, deprive the elderly of Social Security, and transfer the assets of the poor to the wealthy.
Worst of all, he spies on innocent Americans who deserve a little privacy when jawing with Osama. Why, he even found a federal judge for the Supreme Court -- Samuel Alito -- who'll facilitate his sinister scheme to consolidate executive power in his quest for world domination a la Austin Powers' Dr. Evil.
Think I'm exaggerating for effect? You be the judge.
Most recently, Newsweek's misanthropic Jonathan Alter penned a column piling on Vice President Dick Cheney, titled "The Imperial (Vice) Presidency." He demonized Cheney as insular, arrogant, unaccountable and an integral part of "a government that increasingly believes it is a law unto itself."
But this idea has been brewing in liberal cauldrons for quite some time. Columnist Helen Thomas wrote in 2002, "The imperial presidency has arrived. On the domestic front, President Bush has found that in many ways, he can govern by executive order. In foreign affairs, he has the nerve to tell other people that they should get rid of their current leaders."
Bruce Shapiro, writing for Slate in 2002, said, "The Bush administration rivals the Nixon White House when it comes to secrecy and unchecked power, with John Ashcroft as our modern-day John Mitchell."
"The Nation" editorialized in 2002 on "The Imperial Presidency," citing "the assumption of imperial war-making powers by George W. Bush and his coterie of close advisers."