I'm a lot of things; one thing I am not is an expert on Constitutional law. That said, I know a thing or two. For instance, I know that the various branches of the federal government can't grant one another the power to violate parts of the Constitution. Most people considered this self-evident and relatively settled 200 years ago in a decision known as – try to stay with me here – "Marbury v. Madison," of which you may have heard.
Actual quote: "I'm mindful of your civil liberties, and so I had all kinds of lawyers review the process."
Although most people only faintly remember it (if at all) as "that case that led to the idea of judicial review," the issue at stake was, in essence, Congress giving the Judiciary one of its powers. According to the Judiciary Act of 1789 (I'm going somewhere with this, I swear) disputes over executive appointment of justices were to be resolved in the Supreme Court. Unfortunately, this thing called "Article I through III of the Constitution" clearly states that appointment is a purely executive power (subject to legislative consent). Hence, the Judiciary Act is unconstitutional and the Supreme Court struck it down. Amazing, I know.
Watching George W. Bush on his non-stop public relations campaign to not go down as the worst president in history (look out, Warren Harding!) I am little short of amazed at his "logic." Apparently (and please, Bush fans, correct me if I'm simply misunderstanding him) it's OK to commit espionage on U.S. citizens because he let Congress know he was doing it. Of course by "Congress" he means "Tom DeLay and Pat Roberts," but that's beside the point.
To recap, then, the argument holds that it is OK for the executive branch to unilaterally decide to disregard the 4th Amendment if Congress gives its implicit consent. Aside from the fact that all of Bush's speeches on the subject have been held in hostile battleground states like Kansas, Texas, and Mississippi, that rationale is officially the funniest thing I've heard all day. Because, really, if you're going to put forth an idea that half-assed you might as well stack the deck and do it to an audience of soldiers who just returned from Iraq (like he did today). Hey, if you're intent on governing by knee-jerk rather than the rule of law, you won't find a more reactionary audience than that.