“You know,” Pud began slowly, “most kids who go to school in the USA have to take some civics courses. Right?
“And civics is complicated and most grownups are a little embarrassed about all they don’t know about civics.
“So, when President George Asshole Bush issues a ‘signing statement’, people think—Oh, I must have been absent when they taught about signing statements.
“They’re thinking—Ok, right, yeah, a signing statement.
“Hello America,” Pud was rolling, “there’s no such thing as a signing statement!
“Let’s say I, Pudinhand Wilson go into the DMV and apply for a new license. On the application they make me sign some statement like—I promise to obey all the laws of the State of California, and all that.
“So let’s say, on the application, I put an asterisk next to the ‘all’ in all laws, and, at the bottom of the page write ‘*except speed laws’.
“Well the clerk sees this and doesn’t give a shit. But what effect does my ‘signing statement’ have? None, except it could be used against me in some future legal action—let’s say I was in a crash where somebody died—to prove my intent to break the law.
“It’s not like I’m gonna tell some cop who pulls me over that I never agreed to obey speeding laws.
“So too Bush’s signing statements, they are just gratuitous statements of intent to violate or ignore the law. That Bush issues these statements at the same time he signs the laws he intends to violate might be ironic, but it gives the statements no more force than my asterisk on the license application.
“He may as well issue a signing statement saying black is white, day is night, war is peace... you know.”