I remember about a year ago when the phrase "the wheels are starting to come off of this administration" was beginning to be heard outside of the tired, frustrated, and (previous to that point) out-shouted core group of sane citizens (what a lot of the media, taking it's cue from ShrubCo, called the "fringe") who had been watching in horror as a bunch of incompetent neo-cons, convinced they could fly a helicopter based on repeatedly viewing "The Matrix" and old "Blue Thunder" re-runs, took this country into a wild nose dive that we STILL haven't pulled out of.
I naively thought that getting spanked in the last election cycle would put the breaks on a lot of the idiocy -- however, I forgot what happens when you corner an addict, preventing them from using all the tools of denial at their disposal. They get nasty. They get defensive. Above all, they get stupid, with their flailing attempts at some sort of equilibrium, already damaged by their drugs of choice (oil, power, greed), beckoning almost comical...
Except that lives are being destroyed. And not just the Iraq debacle, but about the coming housing price crash that will see corrections downward of 50% or more in markets like the SF Bay area. Education, health-care, climate change... This administration has made more mistakes based on sheer hubris, the almost zen like certainty that they were untouchable, then any administration ever. History will need to find the all-time worst leaders to compare W against, as even the most feckless American presidency is superior to the one we are afflicted with in 2007.
And yet he manages to surprise me with how dense he is.
First, allow me to clarify some things:
- There is no constitutional provision for "executive privilege" -- it's a handy newspeak construct, like "unlawful combatant".
- Saying that earlier administration used signing statements and claims of executive privilege ignore a key point: Most earlier claims of executive privilege either failed outright, were negotiated around to avoid a court showdown, or were justified in some clear way. Bush hasn't justified his claims, has refused to negotiate, and thus looks to fail -- after all, if he HAD concrete justification, he would use it. While this may seem a bit weak from a debate point of view, considering the sweeping scope of his (and Dick Cheney's) claims*. Also, in just over 6 years Bushie boy has managed to create more signing statements then the previous 220 odd years of Presidents. In other words, it's like using the one or two times various police officers were forced to use lethal force as an excuse to spray an automatic weapon in the general direction of gang members standing amongst civilians who were peacefully assembling, protesting "but other officers have shot people before..."
- NO government employee, elected official, or member of the military pledges loyalty to the President -- they pledge to uphold the constitution of the United States. Today, one of the morons who think that the President actually knows what he's doing, Sara Taylor, actually said this to the congressional committee that called her to testify:
Remember, I said that there is no guarantee of "executive privilege" -- if it's invoked, it WILL go to the courts, and Bush would probably lose... after a very long time. In other words, it's in Bush's best interest to drag his feet (especially considering, at this point, that there's going to be a ton of dirt to be found).
But that means that Harriet Miers, who is no longer the White House counsel, would still have to appear in front of congress -- she would just have to cite the executive privilege claim and let the wheels on justice wind down the clock on this misbegotten administration.
Thanks to this great article on DailyKos, we see that Bush has just managed, in full view of you, me, and everyone else who cares, to commit a felony:
Whoever, with intent to avoid, evade, prevent, or obstruct compliance, in whole or in part, with any civil investigative demand duly and properly made under the Antitrust Civil Process Act, willfully withholds, misrepresents, removes from any place, conceals, covers up, destroys, mutilates, alters, or by other means falsifies any documentary material, answers to written interrogatories, or oral testimony, which is the subject of such demand; or attempts to do so or solicits another to do so; or
Whoever corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication influences, obstructs, or impedes or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede the due and proper administration of the law under which any pending proceeding is being had before any department or agency of the United States, or the due and proper exercise of the power of inquiry under which any inquiry or investigation is being had by either House, or any committee of either House or any joint committee of the Congress—
Shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both. (Emphasis added) 18 USC 1505
Like I said: Wow.
If they can go after Bill Clinton for lying about getting a blow job while being grilled over a COMPLETELY unrelated case (what DID Monica and Bill's adventures in the oval office have to do with Whitewater anyway?!), then this overt act should get the attention of those stalwart moralists on either side of the aisle -- Like Congresscritter Vitter, who said that Bill should have resigned over the whole imbroglio. The same hypocrit who was apparently a client of the DC Madame, and an "absolute gentlemen" as described by the owners of a New Orleans brothel.
Hadn't heard about any of this? Ask your local newspaper and TV news show why. And then post about it in your own blogs.
I am really getting tired of this crap -- while you're looking about DailyKos, do a search on the phrase "inherent contempt", and do what I do when I get really crazed about this: Visualize Gonzales, Bush and Cheney hauled before congress by the Sargent at Arms.
Hey, it brings a smile and giggle to MY face.
* Dick-head's recent claims of "not being of either the legislative nor executive branches" of US government structure not only caused countless 8 year-old social studies students to openly mock his assertions, but accidentally blew apart all claims of "executive privilege" he previously made. No wonder he back-tracked so quickly.