I was over at Hullabaloo reading Digby’s excellent post on Bush’s absolute-power grab, and it occurred to me why this particular story came out at this particular time. It was me. Or specifically, it was because I was re-reading Winston Churchill's History of the English Speaking People (an excellent book, btw), and I just got to the Magna Carta part this morning. And so the kind folks at the NY Times decided to give me a real-life example of why it was so important. Churchill even said that its importance was somewhat lost to people at the time, who regarded it mostly as a benefit to the ultra-rich (even upper-class merchants were not considered “freemen” at the time). And how it had even been largely forgotten about until it regained significance in the 17th century; and has been considered a breakthrough ever since.
And so that's what this was about: a reaffirmation against absolute power. In fact, I strongly believe that all the actions of the Bush Admin are solely intended to show us how not to act. They repeat history's mistakes so we don't have to. Someday we'll have to thank him in an appropriate fashion, like perhaps an impeachment hearing.