In 1689, British Parliament "hired" William & Mary to be king and queen of England. John Locke, a good buddy of Isaac Newton's, was the apologist for this Glorious Revolution and came over from Holland with Queen Mary. The brilliant and rather infectious idea behind this scheme of Parliament was simple but powerful: have a constitutional rather than absolute monarchy.
In an absolute monarchy, the monarch was the ultimate authority. In a constitutional monarchy, even the monarch is subject to the constitution. (And about a century later, the Americans decided that once a country had a constitution it had no need for a monarch.)
Still, some apparently yearn for the early days of one person's judgment trumping wearisome legal processes subject to appeals, delays, and confusion. How else to explain the fact that Americans now love Reagan, the man who decided that the constitution was too constraining and decided to launch a war without approval from congress, financed by illegally selling arms to Iran? Or the fact that Bush is still admired by about a third of Americans in spite of wiretapping proposals that John Ashcroft ruled unconstitutional? Or tacit approval of Bush's dismissal of constitutional rights in the Jose Padilla case?
There are plenty of Americans who would apparently love to simply vote in a monarch every 4 years and then let him have free reign.
Jami Floyd of Court TV describes the sad condition of Jose Padilla and the even sadder condition of the legal process here.
"Padilla was held without charge for years as an enemy combatant. Padilla's lawyers have said that, as a result of his isolation and interrogation, their client is so mentally damaged that he is unable to assist in his own defense. He is so passive now, they say, so fearful that he is 'like a piece of furniture.'"
Alex Whalen writes about the illegality of the wiretapping program Bush was pushing for over the top of Ashcroft's sick body here.
"Amazingly, the President's own political appointees -- the two top Justice Department officials, including one (Ashcroft) who was known for his 'aggressive' use of law enforcement powers in the name of fighting terrorism and at the expense of civil liberties -- were so convinced of its illegality that they refused to certify it and were preparing, along with numerous other top DOJ officials, to resign en masse once they learned that the program would continue notwithstanding the President's knowledge that it was illegal."