Sunday, March 11, 2007

The shortfallings of the Bush Administration

Let’s sum up, shall we? New Mexico GOP Party chairman Allen Weh has a chat with Karl Rove in 2005. Specifically, he tells Turd Blossom himself that US State’s Attorney David Iglesias should be fired. According to the AP, “the GOP party leader made clear his dissatisfaction with Iglesias stemmed in part from his failure to indict Democrats in a voter fraud investigation.” Tonight, the White House confirmed that Rove personally delivered these concerns (and others) to the Department of Justice, and “may” have mentioned complaints about Iglesias personally to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Yeah. And I “may” have voted for John Kerry in 2004. It was so many years ago, I can’t quite recall. But maybe.

By the way, this same US Attorney received a call at his house – the only time in his career he’d ever received a call from a member of Congress at homes – from Congressman Pete Domenici. Domenici was asking about the same investigation:

Domenici: “Are these going to be filed before November?”
Iglesias: “I don’t think so.”
Domenici: “I’m very sorry to hear that.” [Line goes dead]

Domenici wasn’t the only Congressman calling Igelsias. From ThinkProgress:

Iglesias also detailed his call from Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM), which occurred roughly two weeks prior to Domenici’s call. Iglesias said that after some light chit-chat, Wilson said “she’d been hearing about sealed indictments” and asked Iglesias for details. “The second she said any question about sealed indictments, red flags went up in my head,” Iglesias said. “We specifically cannot talk about a sealed indictment.” Iglesias likened it to calling up a nuclear scientist and saying, “let’s talk about those secret codes, those launch codes.”

Iglesias, along with 7 other US Attorneys, were fired last winter. The allegations – and all evidence produced to date certainly seems to back up the allegations – are that each firing was politically motivated. A law school professor of mine e-mailed me last week; he was a classmate of Carol Lam, the US Attorney in California who was fired. His comments: “Even in law school you could see her as a prosecutor – honest, straight-forward, earnest, smart. Her firing is repugnant.”

For an administration that scores points wherever it can railing against “activist judges”, this active meddling in the judiciary is reprehensible.

I am appalled at the behavior of those elected to serve us. Worse, I’m embarrassed that I’m so exhausted after six years of this bullshit that I’m not energized enough to actively work to ensure that these charlatans are swept out of office. Just under a year ago, I wrote:

Josh calls this the Bush administration’s creeping monarchism. It just seems like simple disdain to me. Disdain for the law, disdain for the Constitution, disdain for the people. Everything I thought I knew about what made our country great: limited government, checks and balances to prevent unmitigated exercise of power, freedom of speech, basic Constitutional guarantees of due process… it’s hard to see where any of that fits in the Bush view of the USA today. Forget about policies — funding for programs can be restored. Tax cuts can be reversed (or not). Military priorities can be altered. But the credibility of an entire political system is on thinner ice than I think many realize. And without the courage of our convictions to back us up, our ability to lead by example in the rest of the world is criminally compromised.

With Bush and his team, the hits just keep coming. Whether it’s firing prosecutors you don’t like because they’re not indicting enough Democrats (damn the facts, we need a Democratic indictment on the front page ahead of election day!), or my favorite Bushism of late, FBI shortfallings (be honest, that new word is pretty much the one-word motto for the Bush Administration) by abusing the Patriot Act (itself an abuse of the Constitution, but who am I to judge), to Condoleeza Rice’s ludicrous claims two weeks ago, to outing a covert CIA operative because they didn’t like her husband, to developing new (illegal) clandestine programs in the Pentagon (without any Congressional oversight) because you don’t like the intel the pros are producing, to, well, I think you get the point.

As Keith Olbermann sarcastically wrapped up that most recent rant on Condoleeza Rice by channelling none other than Edward R. Murrow, Good Night, and Good Luck. We’ll need it.


  1. "...I'm embarrassed that I'm so exhausted after six years of this bullshit that I'm not energized enough to actively work to ensure that these charlatans are swept out of office."

    I think that's the method behind the madness. You're supposed to be exhausted (they come from some many objectionable angles it's hard to imagine anyone who follows things who isn't). That's how they plan to win. They may not get even half of what they try - but you can bet they'll get tons even if they only get 10% through. Give credit where credit's due - they're trying to destroy this country and one of the few things they've done right is try to destroy all of it so that they're sure to get some of it.

  2. I have to give them some points for the creativity of using federal prosecutors to file trumped up election violation charges as a campaign tactic. Illegal? Yes. But creative, nonetheless.

    Ever notice that voter fraud accusations from the right tend to revolve around voter registration? How fraudulent is it to register Mickey Mouse for an election? It's not like someone named Mickey Mouse will show up at the polls on election day. Compare that to efforts to suppress voter turn-out, such as scrubbing registered voters from the rolls, doing "get out the vote" calls telling people the wrong date, and telling people that they'll be arrested at the polls if they have any past-due bills. Those tactics are effective, illegal, Un-American, and used solely by Karl Rove and his admirers.

  3. Interesting article here:

    Let's try this linky thing:
    Firing US Attorneys

    The article provides some nice historical context for those of us (myself included) that aren't familiar with how this democracy truly at times (dis)functions.

  4. I haven't seen any information on the personal political affiliations of these judges. Is such information available somewhere?

    And do you think that the extra media attention lavished on this event will help get to the heart of the Duke Cunningham corruption?

    I'd also like to know what other cases Carol Lam was working on when she was fired.

  5. It will be interesting to see what happens to Pete and Heather. BTW, Pete is a Senator, not a Rep.