Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Checks and Balances

Man, oh man. You spend your day orbiting the porcelain and babbling with a fever and you miss all the fun. After more than six years of lies, arrogance and criminal bullshit, the Bush mob looks about ready to circle some porcelain of its own. Funny what a little oversight can do.

Top of the pile would have to be the unravelling of the Department of Justice under Alberto Gonazales. The firing of United States Attorneys for partisan, political reasons, sidestepping Senate confirmations and the web of lies has more than upset the apple cart. Even Republican lawmakers are beginning to call for Gonzales to step down. Every administration tactic seems to be blowing up in their faces.

Once upon a time, a 3,000 page document dump would have slowed the process of seeking truth to a crawl. The administration likely didn't anticipate the power of distributed effort. tpmmuckraker asked their readership to go through the document dump and piece by piece patterns begin to emerge, lies and manipulations. By today a picture was beginning to form of an administration that was conniving to play politics with prosecution. That is one chilling picture. Not that the Bush regime's serial abuses of surveillance, privacy, habeas corpus etc. aren't chilling enough, but turning Federal Prosecutors into political hitmen is just scary.

The Senate voted to shut down the Patriot Act loophole, that Gonazales had promised not to employ and promptly used to pull this scam. As the investigation widens and both houses of Congress demand answers, Bush offered to allow White House officials to speak to members of the Judiciary Committee, behind closed doors, not under oath and without transcripts. He might as well have offered to sing folk songs. Fortunately, Senator Leahy and Representative Conyers were having none of it. Tomorrow, the house committee will be convening to discuss subpoenas for Kyle Sampson, Harriet Miers, deputy White House counsel William Kelley, Karl Rove's aide Scott Jennings and little porkie himself, Karl Rove. The senate committee will be meeting Thursday.

Bush, ever the stubborn snot, has vowed to fight subpoenas. Thus begins the showdown between the executive and legislative branches. This may turn into the first of a series of constitutional crises, as the administration's notion of unitary executive and unfettered power runs headlong into checks and balances for the first time.

I for one, am looking forward to watching Karl Rove twist in the wind. With everything lining up against them, I expect the Bush mob to try and tie things up in the courts and run out the clock on the little prince's term. Here's hoping that the continued perseverance of the Congress will bring down the house of cards. And there's more to come. Rep. Conyers has been taking his vitamins, as he's also heading up hearings to investigate the FBI abuse of National Security Letters. It really is just one scandal on top of another. We are heading into what looks to be a season of amazing political theater. Too bad I don't care much for popcorn.


thwap said...

Yeah, Leahy says he's tired of these secret meetings where he gets fed a line of bullshit that would've embarrassed even bush II were it held in an open session.

On record, under oath.

Anonymous said...

On record, under oath.

I like that; it's got rhythm.

TPMuckraker is mesmerizing. Did you catch Tony Snow's bitter reference to the "left-wing bloggers"? Ha! He's right, of course -- that's where the press corps are getting their questions, but even more interestingly, that's what the White House is tracking now as well.