A coincidence. Rereading John Dawson’s Gödel biography Logical Dilemmas, I’ve just got to the point where Dawson recounts how Gödel thought he’d discovered an inconsistency in the American Constitution, which would allow a dictatorship to arise (pp. 179-80). And then the same day I come across Elizabeth Drew’s recent article in the New York Review of Books explaining some of the ways in which the Bush White House has grabbed powers to itself and undermined the constitutional settlement between the three branches of government. Perhaps Gödel’s anxieties were well founded.