George W. Bush is the imperial president that James Madison and other founders of this great republic warned us about. He lied the nation into precisely the “foreign entanglements” that George Washington feared would destroy the experiment in representative government, and he has championed a spurious notion of security over individual liberty, thus eschewing the alarms of Thomas Jefferson as to the deprivation of the inalienable rights of free citizens. But most important, he has used the sledgehammer of war to obliterate the separation of powers that James Madison enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.
“In war,” Madison wrote in 1795, at a time when the young republic still faced its share of dangerous enemies, “the discretionary power of the Executive is extended ... and all the means of seducing the minds are added to those of subduing the force, of the people.”
Because “[n]o nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare,” Madison urged that the constitutional separation of powers he had codified be respected. “The Constitution expressly and exclusively vests in the Legislature the power of declaring a state of war ... the power of raising armies,” he wrote. “The separation of the power of raising armies from the power of commanding them is intended to prevent the raising of armies for the sake of commanding them.”
The abuses of power that have resulted from the without beginning (no declaration) and without end 'war on terror' have been easily documented- warrantless wire-tapping, torture at Gitmo, the creation of a fourth branch of government (as VP Cheney apparently sees himself), etc. Of course the Democrats are culpable- for the blank check "war authorization" and for wasting time on such issues (non-issues) as the firing of the US Attorneys rather than really reigning in the President in Iraq and on torture.
In other words, our system of government is threatened only in part by terrorists, but also by the actions of the Bush Administration, and the inaction of the Democratic opposition.