Hey, George, didn’t you swear — to God & Jesus on a Bible, no less — to preserve, protect, and defend that “goddamned piece of paper”?

(Capitol Hill Blue) GOP leaders told Bush that his hardcore push to renew the more onerous provisions of the [PATRIOT] act could further alienate conservatives still mad at the President from his botched attempt to nominate White House Counsel Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.

“I don’t give a goddamn,” Bush retorted. “I’m the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way.”

“Mr. President,” one aide in the meeting said, “There is a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution.”

“Stop throwing the Constitution in my face,” Bush screamed back. “It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!”

I’ve talked to three people present for the meeting that day and they all confirm that the President of the United States called the Constitution “a goddamned piece of paper.”

I didn’t really need a quote to confirm what Bush and his cronies think of the Constitution. The use of cruel and unusual punishment on war prisoners (torture), indefinite incommunicado chargeless imprisonment of citizens on the president’s word alone, secret “sneak and peek” searches without warrant, there have long been plenty of signs indicating their opinion. I’m just stunned at the hubris (or idiocy) it takes to say something like that out loud.

And to think, Nixon was almost impeached over the cover-up of political dirty tricks that culminated in a burglary and Clinton was impeached for lying under oath about sexual favors from an intern.