The American Conservative has a sobering article about how much easier it has become for President Bush... or any ensuing president... to declare martial law. And how it seems that our elected officials are completely indifferent to it. And the likelihood of this new power to be abused.
And it will be abused, no doubt about it. Politicians can not resist using power, if they know that they can get away with it. And there is really nothing left to stop them from doing it (Fred Reed writes about this better than I can).
It's funny: President Bush has done things to the Constitution that, if Clinton had done this 8 or 9 years ago, the "conservative Republicans" would be ready to storm Washington with torches and pitchforks. But these same people turn a blind eye to Bush or anyone else claiming to be a "good Christian" (see Chuck Baldwin's new article for an especially good read about that).
Some people cheer for "our President" getting this new power now. How joyful will they be when the next president, or the one after that, uses the powers they gave this current one to come after them. And it will happen. It is the nature of the beast that is unregenerate human nature.
This is why I have come to believe that widespread gun ownership is vital for the survival of liberty in this country. It's so you will be able to kill them when they follow their orders and come for you.
Call me a kook if you like, but I just know from history how these things tend to wind up...