Here we are on page 173. There have been many events relating to the political structure of the German nation recently. There have been 4 elections held in one year, and the Nazi party has gained a majority in the Reichstag by numbers, although not an overall majority. The President is still Hindenburg and the Chancellor is now a man named Papen.
Papen had been blandly unaware of the intrigue which Schleicher was weaving behind his back. At the beginning of the meeting with the President on Dec. 1 he had confidently outlined his plans for the future. He should continue as Chancellor, rule by decree and let the Reichstag go hang for a while until he could "amend the constitution." In effect, Papen wanted "amendments" which would take the country back to the days of the empire and re-establish the rule of the conservative classes. At his Nuremberg trial and in his memoirs he admitted, as indeed he did to the Field Marshall, that his proposals involved "a breach of the present constitution by the President," but he assured Hindenburg that "he might be justified in placing the welfare of the nation above his oath to the constitution," as, he added, Bismark once had done "for the sake of the country."
This is a very interesting piece of history that I think we could be reliving again. President Bush has, at numerous occasions, acted outside of his authority granted by the US Constitution. Now, some may argue that he was doing it for the betterment of our country. To me that is a moot point, because he does not have those powers. The Patriot Act I was written in the days following 9-11 and an electronic copy was sent to Congress for approval. The Congress did not have a hard copy to review before the vote. They had to base a decision on what the White House told them was in the document. Also, they were pressured into a vote in a very short time. It was days, not weeks, that they had to decide, so a hard copy wouldn't work much anyway.
Now we see that the Patriot act is being used for non-terrorist type surveillance. Most recently is the Gov. of NY. He was caught using prostitutes by use of the Patriot act.
The bottom line is that the President of Germany was being tempted to go outside of his bounds for the "betterment of Germany". Luckily for them, at the time, He held to his oath. I fear that Bush has not fared so well with his integrity.