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March 15, 2007

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I was one of those cautious realist for a while, but lately I've been feeling more and more that it is time to move forward with impeachment. I'm just not sure there is enough time left in the term as there is still a great deal of groundwork to be laid.

People often compare this admin to Nixon saying, "not since Nixon have we seen..." But I think this administration far surpasses the Nixon administration. Nixon was a kook who got carried away with opposition intel. He never even came close to the broad corruption, abuses of power, and constitutional disregard of this administration. He mislead us on his intentions in Cambodia, but even that was more a head fake than an out and out hijacking of our entire intel apparatus. Nixon has been outdone by several orders of magnitude in my humble opinion.

Various members of the right-wing foreign policy establishment have resurfaced, but is it credible that anyone would resurrect Alberto Gonzales once he is gone? Karl Rove is a bigger danger, IMHO.

And I think you are too pessimistic about public corruption. People have the feeling now that "they all do it" such that it wasn't an issue in the last election except as to those actually, personally tainted by corruption, and I think all of those lost or resigned. Even though the GOP leadership that remained survived, they lost Congress. There will always be screams of partisan witchhunt, but I don't think the public actually does or will condone corruption that enriches the participants.

The Dems do need to keep up the pressure on this, however, because it is the sort of issue that turns off those few remaining GOP moderates, contributes to the overall perception of Bush as a total amoral imcompetent and so weakens him further in dealing with issues like the War. As I said in a thread below, it is hard to see how he can continue to prosecute an unpopular war with these kinds of controversies constantly swirling around him for the foreseeable future.

It is staggering to remember how far he fell in 2005 after winning in late 2004, and then how much farther he has fallen since the 2006 election. It is hard to think of anything he has touched that hasn't turned to sh*t in his hands. The looming economic problems will just add to that.

But as I said two threads down, it is hard to see who can replace Gonzales. There is no Bob Gates willing to touch that mess, and no one who is safe for Bush who could get through the Senate. The #1 issue will be cronyism, and the #2 should be abuses in the name of national security. There is so much they have to cover up it is hard to think of anyone who could succeed Gonzales. Maybe they'd put up Robert Mueller, who was a US Attorney, but he hasn't done well at the FBI, and that just opens another high-profile job.

Bush well and truly has made a hash of his Presidency. Too bad it is the rest of us who have to suffer.

This administration will be corrupt to the core until they are ejected -- and the president hopefully impeached. There will be no reform or redress within the administration, of course, except in the eyes of the right wing flack and assorted other credulous media types, as well as the moralistic protestations of Bush.

Pessimism, or realism my view, is well placed. The entire system is corrupt, no doubt, and this episode serves to both verify that and innure the public to its significance, whatever short terms slaps on the wrist may be adminstered. It takes some deeply rose-colored glasses to find much vindication of political self-correction in this scandal when pieced together into the whole cloth of corruption that exists.

As to Abu Gonzales, fear not, the dude will land on his feet with many a sinecure far more likely than he will land in a Federal pen.

I keep going back to the damage Abu did regarding torture. All the rest is commentary. This man should never have had this job and now that he has infected the entire DoJ he has to be taken down.

Last Oct., Scott Horton wrote a post at Balkinization that has been haunting me ever since and I would love it if Kagro and/or the great lawyers we have here and at FDL would tackle the issue and bring it to the fore. It is about trying the lawyers who enabled the system to allow for the legalization of what in any other time would be war crimes.

Abu, John Yoo, and the rest are war criminals and should be held accountable as such.

RevDeb:

Scott Horton has another great post up at Balkinization yesterday which everyone should read:

http://balkin.blogspot.com/2007/03/struggle-to-see-what-is-right-in-front.html

Dismayed:

You're right -- I think the abuses of power of the Bush Administration far outstrip those of Nixon. It's no accident, of course, because the seminal figures of Cheney and Rumsfeld figured they were going to "refight the Civil War, with Pickett's Charge succeeding this time."

Having said that, I disagree with Kagro X's characterization of realists, such as myself, as opposed to impeachment on grounds of "partisan revenge" or "political tit-for-tat". I think partisan revenge in this case would be a perfectly acceptable motive, in view of how angry I still am about the "Constitutional coup d'état" attempted against Mr Clinton, and how fitting partisan revenge is for a partisan like Dubya. No, my "realist" opposition to impeachment is grounded purely in the cold vote-counting calculus of the need to obtain 17 Republican votes in the Senate to remove Cheney and Bush from office. Impeaching these guys without removing them is a futile act that may even strengthen them, particularly in view of their scarcely-disguised contempt for Congress, the public and the Constitution. Bush has set himself up as king, like Charles I; his power must be challenged with superior power, and that means removing him from office and sending him back to Texas. To think that lesser measures will suffice is naïve, and so count me a "realist".

We need to get to the point where 17 Republicans realize that their political survival depends on voting for removal of these criminals and tyrants from office. This is guerre à outrance, and ordering a frontal assault before the enemy has been sufficiently weakened is just going to get us all killed.

When Rove was looking into firing all 93 US atty's in Jan 2005, did he have in mind replacing them without Senate confirmation, using the change in the Patriot Act? I think that revision occurred later, but it doesn't mean Rove wasn't thinking about it

I would like to know the genesis of the idea to be able to appoint USAs without Senate confirmation. This wasn't just a Specter staffer and a mid-level attorney in the DOJ. I doubt there would have been a purge of USAs who didn't follow the party line or needed to go for a Rove crony without the ability to replace them with drones. Like the guy that supposedly had to prosecute the phone jamming scandal in NH.

who will replace Gonzo? RUUUUUUUU-DYYYYYYYYYYYY, RUUUUUUUUUUUUU-DYYYYYYYYYY.... Do you think he's too busy running for president to clean up this one-horse town?

Rudy? With Bernie Kerik about to be indicted? I'd love to see those confirmation hearings. And maybe we'd get to hear more about his Monsignor friend Sara wrote about earlier in the week.

there's just deserts for alberto gonzales

and then

there's just deserts for the george bush presidency.

i prefer the latter.

the manipulation of u.s. attorneys' appointments is george bush's watergate.

far more so than his iraq invasion caper.

rather than see abu gonzales "tried and convicted", i would prefer to see this matter play out over several months.

day-by-day the leaks will come.

congressional hearing by congressional hearing, we will learn more and more abut the one, true, never-ignored objective of george bush's administration:

hold onto power, whatever it takes.

this matter of the attorney generals' dismissal provides a parable, neat and unambiguous, about the the way our contemporary right-winging republican party plays our american game of politics -

to whit,

cheat and lie

then

cheat and lie some more.

to whatever extent necessary to gain or retain power.

as josh marshall has pointed out, and pursued in his reporting over the last three years, this is both a story about abusing our system of justice and about abusing our election process.

the central issue i suspect will turn out to be attempting to manipulate the electoral system.

that is what these firings were about - failure by the dismissed attorneys to file election fraud charges against democrats during an election campaign in order to influence the outcome of that campaign.

so let abu gonzales dangle,

or dangle and drop.

the main focus needs to be on the bush presidency's misuses of the legal system to cheat in the electoral system.

that's the ominous bottom line of this scandal - stay in power no matter what.

this scandal is about the deliberate manipulation of our rules to gain and retain power in both state and national elections.

looking at these matters in a broader way,

what the bush administration represent is authoritarianism - a version of the very totalitarianism that their intellectual ancestors like the john birch society, sen barry goldwater, and congressman richard nixon and senator mccarthy were railing about decades ago.

our political system has been blessed enough and naive enough to believe authoritarian government could never come to us.

now we are about the discover that is not the case.

with the bush presidency, authoritarianism arrived in american politics.


p.s.
it would be nice if journalists could avoid the stupidity of appending the suffix "-gate" to whatever name this scandal comes to be known by. that usage is worn beyond threadbare.

Orion - right on target. This is about election tampering. And yes this administration shows us how a democracy can fall into Authoriitarianism even Fascism. Never say it can't happen here. We now know which 32% of the population would have been goose steppin in '42. We almost sank into the ink, and we're not off the slippery slope yet.

Of course, it's not about Gonzales or Bush...unless they do something even MORE evil, they'll both be out of office in 2 years. The problem is that they've shredded the Constitution, and beefed up federal power to the point where——there's no doubt who's boss, and it's not the people.

Of course, WE THE PEOPLE will fix this...eventually. But how bad will it get before we do?!

The Democrats should demand those fired prosecutors be unfired, returned to their offices and their investigations completed.
.

Some names as replacements to Abu Grab Gonzales:

1. Patrick Fitzgerald
2. James Comey

Now, I know a lot of folks aren't high on Comey, but don't forget what he did, made some investigation happen without political interference. If he hadn't acted, the admin would have swept this under the rug and we wouldn't even have had the Libby trial. He not only appointed Fitzgerald, but he gave him the power of the attorney general and an unlimited budget, which had to be paid right out of DOJ. His directive was brilliant and it kept Ashcroft, Gonzales, etc completely out of it.

justintime - "The Democrats should demand those fired prosecutors be unfired, returned to their offices and their investigations completed."

Please - you've just gotten yourself lost in the hype.

1. The Gonzo 8 are ALL of them REPLIDIOTS!

Maybe New Mexico is so remote it fell under Rove's radar for a half a decade and so he left Iglesias alone long enough that he grew into something resembling a responsible person.

Maybe when the enormity of Cunningham's misognysitic sell-out depravity fell into her lap through the enterprise of an diligent local journalist, Lam felt it was a sign that she'd found a higher calling.

But lest we forget - BOTH of them - ALL 8 of these highly -educated ambitious fresh-scrubbed trial monkeys - at one time were head of the class Kool Aid drinkers - or too naive to appreciate the difference between neonconartistry and principled democratic government. For whatever reason, the Rove experiment in practical government found them acceptable as trustees for his vision of the future.

I sincerely wish that each and every one of them finds a way to face the fact she or he are not victims of anything more than their own naivete or hypocrisy and go on to turn her or his life around nto something worthwhile. A anti-land mine NGO or a day care centre would be nice. Farewell to all.

2. At its root this story is about an element of process to enable Rove's goal of a NEVER-ENDING SELF PERPETUATING HATE MONGERING RICHFOLK PANDERING GOVERNMENT [sorry for the yelling].

This isn't the Nixon crowd here. Nixon was such a pansy he actually showed the effects of guity and remorse.

This is a huge mob clusterfuck starting with the Other-Folks' blood bond of Bush-Cheney-Rove-and-Rumsfeld [He's not gone you know.]with their ad agenies [the AEI, the Hoover Institute, and the rest of the septic wank tanks and assorted zombie horrors produced in Mad Doctor Sciafe-enstein's laboratory - with the Let 'Em Eat Tacos But No More Estate Taxes obscenely rich - and a mixed bag of nutty closet white supremicists, furriner-hating, Uzi-loving, anti-evolutionist climate change denying volunteer liberal exterminators.

This isn't that pansy Nixon crowd here, who at least had a modicum of shame and the faint hope of redemption [Good on you, John Dean]. A little noise like the growing conceit of Congress that it can actually exercise oversight means nothing to the current Zombies.

Don't believe me - just take a gander at Snow's press conferences over the last two days. Even Ari and Scotty had the enough humanity to duck out after their best-before dates [and now we know from their latest testimony and punditry that their performances were more the product of brain impairment than belief]. Facing an 'defiant' White House press corps [Gawd they're so out of condition! If this was a football team Coach Thomas would cut them all.], the Snowman came back with that same tired old right jab: "Look this simply isn't what this White House does ...". Well, future Glad Wrap man, this is PRECISELY what this White House does.

The Repidiots are treating this like just a pothole in the news cycle. Maybe AlG gets thrown under the bus 0 but more because an increasing number of Repidiot Senators are thinking "How the hell am I going to explain in 08 why I went along with facilitating a lame duck president taking counsel from the lead in the revival of Being There?"

I realize all this contradicts my excited prediction early in the week when the first batch of emails came out. about I was wrong. This is where I went wrong - I read those emails with my own eyes and came to my own conclusions about what they meant. My eyes and my brain have no ability to meld with the Bushons. I really should have waited til Snow got back and translated all of it into Bushi'ite.

3. KagroX premise I do not dispute - but - as ugly as it has been it, not only can get uglier, this getting uglier is INEVITABLE. I mean, it took Nixon almost a year from when the tape system was outed before he cut and ran.

4. After a week of watching his pathetic moronic whiney waterboy meanderings about Capital Hill and the ever-warm studios of MSM [it only SEEMED that Miles O'brien was better than the rest, because he caught AlG near the end of the his CNN shift and by then he was punchy to the point the toy poodle AG actually thought O'Brien was the dog and he the master], I'm not only completely satisified that AlG is merely a lobotomized yes-robot, but I think we should almost feel better LEAVING him there - - so long as we can stop anyone from the White House sending down for room service.

We could always send AlG and his 'lil buddy Kyle' [He's still there you know] off on an all-expenses paid Brainbroke Mountain tour of the 93 US districts and rent out their offices until 08? It couldn't be any worse or more expensive.

And at least while AlG is still in offence we all enjoy an additional de facto quasi-constitutional right to dismissal of any charges against us which might involve a Bushie program: "There's no crime here just politics. Tony Snow and Al Gonzo and Dana Perino - even President Bush - all said so. This prosecution is all about 'pleasuring' the President!"

If Bush were to be gone AlG would getlost at the bus station and starve. Effectively this story is about Bush and Cheney and Rove - and Rummy of course [He's still out there, you know. Oops, repeating myself again. But he is.].

Sychophants like Condi and Hadley and AlG and Gates [Gates goes WAAAAY back with the cabal; the only reason we're so impressed is he's learned to how to deal with spectacularly wilful conspiracy theorists in his dealings and dining with the faculty at Texas A&M - plus, as Bush would tell us, he talks a lot more gooder] - they're all just facilitators.

I for one have had it. The entire basis for the American experiment has been demolished in just over 6 years by these moronic bloodthirsty habitually mendacious messianic thugs, set on us like an invasion of cane toads on crack - and enabled by the desperately committed ignorance of a public that TO THIS DAY still hedges on whether Saddam was responsible for 9/11 and EVERY SINGLE SUNDAY shows up to listen to a bobble-head chorus line of child-molesting anti-humanist religiots who are convinced we all MUST COME TO UNDERSTAND that dinosaurs are a just lefty conspiracy made from chickens on steroids and Neil Armstrong was lead actor in drama set on a sound stage in Nevada no more legitimate than The Creature from Planet X.

Well no more Mr. They-Can't-Be-As-Bad-As-They-Seem for me.

The Anger Management Impaired People have proven themselves INCALCULABLY WORSE - to a standard of proof well beyond what apparently "freed" Libby on Count 3. We all know the tactic from what John Kerry went thru - attack them and the first things you see is an army of zombie dittoheads firing poison-tipped talking points. This group mock is just the warning - it's the Zombies back room chats with the owners of the big corporations which is lethal [I'm sorry for the hyperbolic metaphor - as we all know too well, it's only those who volunteer for service to the Bushies who actually get killed.]

This is no time to wait for a Welch or a Murrow or a Cronkite or a Bernstein to ride in on a white charger. All we have is farm implements and factory tools - and a willingness to take'em out. I've always said I was never particularly interested in 'politics' BB [before Bush=,

just in a woman's right to choose

and a worker's right to a fair wage and fair treatment

and an equitable tax system

and the truth of real science

and not putting turning every forest into asphalt and concrete

and in preventing torture or any other pointless cruelty.

But these Repidiots and their speech-impaired brain-impaired morals-impaired mumbling head leader are irretrievably committed against tolerating all I am for and for advancing all I am against

What we face here is undeniable irretrievable tyranny. I'm not old enough to have seen it when Mussoline and Hitler and Stalin mangled our fellow humans - and I like you were smart enough to get ourselves not born in Africa or Southeast Asia or the Middle East. So I am compelled to refer something we all have heard of, but which now, to each of us more than ever before, and with courage and persistence and a whole lot of luck won't happen again for another century:

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

[Pastor Martin Niemöller]

But even then, I do not value my dignity or my reputation or even my life over the lives of my children or my grandchildren, or you, or your children and your grandchildren, or the children and grandchildren of billions I will never meet or know, or their fair shot at the opportunities I have enjoyed. See y'all on the streets.

Seventeen Republicans Senators WILL NEVER VOTE TO REMOVE BUSH FROM OFFICE. It took me a while to realize why Pelosi had taken impeachment "off the table" but I finally got it. The entire Republican party has decided that the Republic is less important than their own political power. If they help impeach "one of their own" as they did with Nixon, it will taint the party far beyond one election. I believe their thinking is, if a number of Republicans are defeated in 08, so be it. It's a temporary setback. They'll rev up the dirty tricks and be back in power in 2012. If they did the right thing and impeached these criminal morons, it would "taint the brand" for decades to come and they're not willing to do that. So they'll continue to protect crooks and liars until the pendulum swings back their way -- and all that will take, my friends, is one well-orchestrated "terrorist" attack, bigger and better than 9/11. You heard it here first.

Lapdancer,

I guess you prefer those eight Gonzales appointed stooges stay in office?
And you're OK with the corruption investigations that were underway (by the fired eight prosecutors) be snuffed out?
.

tiny LabDancer, although your rants are always way too long, I usually find them amusing. This time though you're just a tad too cynical and delirious for my tastes re the tossed AGs. You say you wanna revolution, well you know we all want to change the world

You can't begin until ends are finished. This is a criminal enterprise, this administration, and impeachment is the only logical action. Waiting until they are out of office only maintains the green light for the future. The government has been defiled; you don't just shrug and say it will be better next time. The way they run things will then be the openly accepted way. So what if 17 Senators won't vote for impeachment. (Self-incrimination?) Let history record that!

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