Tuesday, July 03, 2007

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

Yesterday was shaping up pretty nicely.

Hearcel Craig is confirmed on the ballot.
There will be no contentious primary in OH-15.

Then the GOP came back with a press release blasting Marc Dann for sponsoring the Red, White and Boom parade in Columbus. Stupid and petty, yes, but perhaps the Ohio GOP is rolling the dice and putting all of their money on the AG race in 2010, writing off most of the statewide races. In that kind of scenario, the strategy relies on the quantity, not the quality of slung mud.

Of course, the big one came after that. No, not the GIRFOF folks finally coming around. Scooter Libby's sentence was commuted. Bush left the fine in place (anybody have a guess as to how long it will take for the right wing to raise that $250k?), and the probation. I tend to think that Scooter will probably stay clean as long as he stops hanging out with those thug friends of his. But no jail time. W says that that's just too harsh.

I don't have some sort of bloodlust when it comes to Libby. It's unfortunate that he took the whole fall for the administration. On the other hand, I don't feel sorry for him. He did what he did knowing that he was potentially taking a bullet for Cheney. I thought that the big positive in Scooter's sentencing and the repeated reaffirmation by the courts of the appropriateness of that sentence, was that it provided the clearest signal yet to those inside the bubble that many of the things that they were doing were against the law. Illegal. Criminal.

Commuting that sentence says to me that they still don't get it. That they are extending the defense that a President can't logically/technically disclose classified information, because the act of disclosing it is, for the president, an act of declassification. That, unfortunately, is more or less true. The problem is, that they believe that a President cannot act in UnAmerican manner, because actions become American when the president does them. Worse, they seem to believe that the president cannot actually break the law, because actions become legal at the exact moment the president does them.

I will calm down. I will go back to putting my head down and concerning myself with the incremental and local changes that are necessary to move the Greatest Nation on Earth back to a place where that phrase is more than just branding. But overnight, I haven't lost my initial reaction --

Dick Cheney and George W. Bush have illegally wiretapped American citizens. They have illegally detained American and Foreign Nationals indefinitely and without charges. They have illegally directed U.S. Military and Intelligence personnel to engage in torture. They have likely illegally used the CIA to transport detainees to nations where they would be tortured using even less defensible techniques. They have likely illegally interfered in criminal investigations for political purposes. The extent to which they have gotten away with this so far is a perverse testimony to the plausibility of their legal arguments in defense of these actions. Last night's commutation, however, shows that in the rare instance in which they are actually held to account, even indirectly, that they have nothing but contempt for the laws and judicial system of our country.

Impeach them.

This morning I don't care that impeachment is divisive, would be counterproductive to any and all other legislative objectives, and would be unlikely to result in any meaningful redress. Those are all reasons that I'll get over it, but right now...

I'm looking forward to a celebration commemorating the stand taken by Americans, in which they told King George that enough was enough, that the King has no inherent rights that the citizens do not themselves possess. That his refusal to recognize this meant that his services would no longer be necessary. The title of this post is the very first charge levied against King George in the Declaration of Independence, rendered verbatim. I guess I'm just caught up in the holiday spirit.

1 comment:

benjamin said...

Nice topical post. I've had pretty mixed feelings about impeachment as well, until today. Who knows, hopefully the American people won't get over this kind of contempt for the judicial system (and Congress, the rule of law, etc.)