We are living in a time of crisis. Terrorists have struck our shores and promise to again. We are at war in Afghanistan and Iraq and some believe we should add Iran to our battlefields. To protect us, the President claims unprecedented powers to engage our troops, wiretap our citizens, and torture our prisoners. Monarchial prerogatives his vice president has unembarrassingly called them. A frightened Republican controlled Congress of President Bush’s first six years provide no checks, serving as the President’s parliament rather than as the independent branch of government promised by the Constitution. And, so far, the Democratically controlled Congress has not done much better in checking the President, passing quickly, without meaningful debate, the Patriot Act extension. Few would disagree with this portrait of a crisis.