Saturday, March 10, 2007


The problem with trying to impeach Bush is that unlike Nixon, he's inoculated his self-destructiveness with belief. Tricky Dick ultimately drank his own hemlock of insecurity, boozing it up at the end just like DNA for loserdom. Bush, on the other hand, is a self-satisfied bully, not a self-pitier, and it will be a hell of a lot harder to bring him down. Same thing with Cheney -- unlike Nixon, their humanity is not their fatal flaw. In fact, it's exponentially harder to find.

So the hell with that, you hit one at a time. Convicting Libby is just a proof of a theorem, but now it's time to apply those laws to the others. Peel away his armor of fellow, lesser stakeholders. The ones who did his dirty work with calculation, because it was their own dirty work themselves. They own options, to pay off after eight years with fortunes from the very private sectors they advanced like jackals into the people's business.

Today The New York Times made their position -- "The Failed Attorney General" -- clear like a clarion to be read all around the world these 24 hours:

During the hearing on his nomination as attorney general, Alberto Gonzales said he understood the difference between the job he held — President Bush’s in-house lawyer — and the job he wanted, which was to represent all Americans as their chief law enforcement officer and a key defender of the Constitution. Two years later, it is obvious Mr. Gonzales does not have a clue about the difference.

He has never stopped being consigliere to Mr. Bush’s imperial presidency. If anyone, outside Mr. Bush’s rapidly shrinking circle of enablers, still had doubts about that, the events of last week should have erased them.

You can read it for the why, but here's the close:

We opposed Mr. Gonzales’s nomination as attorney general. His resume was weak, centered around producing legal briefs for Mr. Bush that assured him that the law said what he wanted it to say. More than anyone in the administration, except perhaps Vice President Dick Cheney, Mr. Gonzales symbolizes Mr. Bush’s disdain for the separation of powers, civil liberties and the rule of law.

On Thursday, Senator Arlen Specter, the senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, hinted very obliquely that perhaps Mr. Gonzales’s time was up. We’re not going to be oblique. Mr. Bush should dismiss Mr. Gonzales and finally appoint an attorney general who will use the job to enforce the law and defend the Constitution.

"Attorney General" is a title that immediately confers upon its holder some measure of respect -- the highest law officer in the land, President excepted, and that along with his incredible ability to lie smoothly, smugly, under oath (much smoother but no less illegally than Scooter Libby) seems to have conferred some sort of bullshit gravitas unto this crony hack bagman. It seems that whenever Bush/Cheney asked him to bag a portion of federal law they didn't like, he brought it back to the White House from the GOP rubber stamp Congress in a plain brown wrapper.

So from Gonzales, finally, to Karl Rove, who by all reports narrowly escaped indictment in the CIA Outting Leak Affair de Plame:

Presidential advisor Karl Rove and at least one other member of the White House political team were urged by the New Mexico Republican party chairman to fire the state's U.S. attorney because of dissatisfaction in part with his failure to indict Democrats in a voter fraud investigation in the battleground election state.

In an interview Saturday with McClatchy Newspapers, Allen Weh, the party chairman, said he complained in 2005 about then-U.S. Attorney David Iglesias to a White House liaison who worked for Rove and asked that he be removed. Weh said he followed up with Rove personally in late 2006 during a visit to the White House.

"Is anything ever going to happen to that guy?" Weh said he asked Rove at a White House holiday event that month.

"He's gone," Rove said, according to Weh.

"He's gone." How Tony Soprano of you, Karl.

This is the path of corruption leading directly into the White House, as I'm sure subsequent revelations (from other skin-savers like Weh) will confirm.

So maybe two birds with one massive scandal. Gonzales forced to resign, Rove to follow after Congressional subpoena. Criminal conspiracy somewhere down the line, maybe tying into Libby, maybe tying into the war, maybe finally nailing Cheney. Depends how far the American public wants to go, and hard they fight for it. Because the forces against are still so vast.

And maybe this is the way, should events move quickly enough, to remove George W. Bush from power.

I know they've tried to inoculate him from impeachment with the moron savante strategy, but c'mon now, are you going to tell me El Presidente had no knowledge of the Valerie Plame smear or the sudden, wicked change of law to allow him to replace any U.S. attorney he wants without Congressional oversight?

Let's all just grow up and finally ask:

What did the President know, and when did he know it?


Anonymous said...

Good News / Bad News:

I think Gonzales'll be gone within the next 4 weeks. His replacement will either be Ted Olson or Ed Meese.


Mark Netter said...

I keep wondering if Ashcroft quit because he saw all this coming down the line. Maybe he wasn't opposed to it on principle, but he might have been savvy enough to get the hell out of the way.

Anonymous said...

That's a good point, because at the time it seemed extremely odd that he'd just pick up and leave. If in fact he saw the future & bailed, he's a much smarter guy that he appears to be.

(BTW: I'm terribly conflicted about Fred Thompson -- loved him in watergate, hated him in Law & Order. What should I do!!!)

Mark Netter said...

What did he do in Watergate? News to me.

And is he really that great on L&O? Love that Steven Hill!

Anonymous said...

He was repub counsel to the senate watergate committee & was the one to ask alex butterfield, "Do you know of any listening devices in the oval office?" This was the first public bombshell of the hearings (although later shown to be kabuki, as was Howard Baker's "What did dick know & when did he know it?")

(ps, i lied before: I hated him in law & order. If the show was a truly honest depiction of republican DA's, he'd have been a pedophile. I also loved Stephen Hill & hated Diane Weist. You know that Hill was not the original DA in the pilot, yes?)

(pps: and I hated Angie Harmon more than I hate jock itch.)

(ppps: for extra credit [I know you know this], How did Jill Hennessey get her start in movies?)


Mark Netter said...

Cronenberg's Dead Ringers with her twin sister. She's from Toronto, I think.

Nice call!

Anonymous said...

"I want you to call me Beverly, and you to call me Eliot"