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June 22, 2007

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I keep wondering if any of the Democrats in Congress understand that it's necessary to do more than lip-synching phrases when their support is called for. Far too many seem more interested in their own privileges than in the "general welfare".

I want back the country I was raised to believe we had. I don't want to have to go to pitchforks and torches, but if that's what's necessary, then so be it.

I read that McNulty and Abu G have already recused themselves from manny matters relating to this investigation, and that decisions regarding prosecution of the contempt charge would likely fall to the discretion of Solicitor General Paul Clement.

Anyone have a take on how that would shake out?

P J Evans: I, too, want that country back! I am so afraid of what we are becoming, but, like you, I will resort to the pitchforks and torches.

Ever since the news was posted yesterday about Cheney's pronouncement that his office is not part of the Executive Branch, I have been deeply troubled. I have been troubled about a lot of things, but his pronouncement tells me that: a) he is delusional, and b) we will have an awful time getting him out of that office because, in his mind, he IS the chief executive.

So, there are actually several battles to fight: Bush is going to fight tooth and nail to prove he is 'right'; Cheney will fight because he thinks he has a little bit of power and he does not want to let go of it; Gonzales will just sit there and run the clock out. In the meantime, unless something happens to precipitate a change, our country is paralyzed and totally at their mercy.

I sure hope I am wrong...

Wel, CNN.com's poll this afternoon is on whether Cheney is too secretive or not. Last time I looked, the results were running 4 to 1 in favor of 'too secretive'. (The minority is probably the hardcore wingnuts.)

Now if we could just get Congress to realize where the majority actually is, we'd be in much better shape.

I have a question for the legal types, please correct my assumptions, and pardon me for phrasing this badly and baldly. If Congress finds Bush, Cheney, Abu, etc in contempt, and the DoJ refuses to act on that, what recourse does congress have? My vague recollection is that the Speaker or the Majority Leader can order the Sgt at Arms to arrest and hold the contemptors in one of the anterooms of either the house or the senate. Is that right? Oh, and please let's throw Condi in there with the other three. (She's just as contemptuous of Congress as Lurita Doan is.) Maybe this is all just wish-ful thinking on my part, but hey, a girl can hope....

And Kagro, I think you may be right about Conyers and Leahy et.al., going in this round-about way, to prove to the MORs in the country that they did everything possible before going the impeachment route.

I heard on Washington radio WTOP today that the WashPo is going to do a series about Dick Cheney and his claims to power, beginning this weekend. The first article is supposed to be on the front page.

This is going to be a long process, but I do believe that there are several things we can do. First, governing and oversight BOTH need to go on. Congress needs, as Kagro said, to keep laying the foundation that Bush/Cheney think they are above the law, knowing that Bush/Cheney will not back down because psychologically they cannot.

Second, the appropriations bills and other bills with popular and needed programs should be passed, daring Bush to veto them. Remember, when Gingrich effectively shut down the government by not passing a budget bill acceptable to Clinton, Gingrich LOST because the public supported the programs Clinton wanted and did not support Gingrich's budget cuts. And Clinton was a hell of a lot more popular then than Bush. Bush will inevitably be weakened both by the scandals and investigations and by his opposition to programs the country supports, to say nothing of his deeply unpopular war.

When Congress is ready for the showdown, it is crucial that the public be perceived as having withdrawn consent from his Administration. This is what prevents the soldiers from firing on the populace if we really do have to take to the streets with torches and pitchforks.

Meanwhile, to forestall that day, we amplify our voices to the extent possible to make it clear that Bush/Cheney and their policies have been rejected by large majorities. Being seen as backing the losing side beyond all reason is one of the few things that will sway the press, because it will hit their bottom line.

But we have to be in it for the long haul, and not expect things to change quickly, barring the intervention of the holy blood clot.


One more thing is to use the avenues of redress under the law against Bush/Cheney. This was used to some extent against the Vietnam War but also to good effect in Eastern Europe. The point is not so much to win the case, which may not be possible given the GOP hold on the judicial process, but to force the GOP judges and the Gonzo DOJ to go through the motions of making absurd arguments to support the Bush/Cheney regime. Put people on the spot--make them cooperate in what they have to know in some way is a farce. I think this can also be used aginst the GOP in Congress.

I highly recommend Jonathan Schell's "The Unconquerable World", which came out just as the war was starting. It's about the power of people in an age of total war, and he makes a real case that the people are ultimately stonger.

Well, Mercer's resigned his post as acting Associate AG, and withdrawing his nomination. He's still USA for Montana, though. (Talking Points Memo is referring to it as 'the DoJ resignation of the week'.)

I think the obvious point to be made is that Cheney is in charge ... of everything. Little George is simply an empty suit. He can't even control the VP. Cheny operates his own foreign policy, his own intelligence network, his own spec-ops, etc; he does only what he wants, and Bush doesn't have the brains or the balls to do anything about it. He is the weakest occupant of the Presidency in American history. He is cowed by his VP, who has no fear of being put in his place. Bush can't stand up to Cheney, who is clearly out of control. Little Boots is, in fact, a WHIMP. And Cheney knows his man.

This statement of facts should be the contant talking points for bloggers, Representatives, Senators, Speakers of the House, Senate Majority Leaders, Committee Chairmen, Special Prosecutors, columnists, editorial writers and every loyal American.

A constant and loud barrage assaulting Bush's Ego and Manhood should be very disconserting to someone as thin-skinned and insecure as Little Boots. His sense of self is an excellant target of opportunity....doesn't he realize how disrespectful Cheney's behavior is? How can he even pretent to be the most powerful man in the world when he can't tell the VP what to do...and what not to do. Maybe the National Enquirer is right....the stress of the Presidency has been just too much for W, and he has reverted to Wild Turkey as his sole refuge.

Repeat...repeat...repeat.........

Perhaps... if a schism 'tween Bush and Cheney can be pushed and exacerbated, Little Boots will somehow muster the courage and determination to lock Cheney in the Whitehouse attic like the mad and deranged embarrassment to the family he is. But that is alot to ask for from a WHIMP.

Repeat...repeat ...repeat.......

Contempt;
When I saw Doan's defence, her contemptuous answers in her best Vassar arrogance, Cheney's consistent contemptuous attitude and Bush's law signing statements and non enforcement of those laws flying in the face of American resentment voiced by the polls there is no other option but to bring contempt. Whatever stategies are used in defence of contempt... we stand for what is the Right by Constitution and rule of law no matter.

Dee Loralei,

Under the inherent contempt procedure, yes, Congress can order the arrest of contemnors, and try them on their own authority, in either the House or the Senate. The Capitol used to have a jail cell it could use for this purpose, but it's unclear whether it's still functional. In all likelihood, they'd use the Capitol Jail, which is actually an off-site facility maintained by the District of Columbia government.

Kagro X, I think there may be another strategy here. Yes, get the various Contempt matters voted on by the Full House, and then if DOJ fails to faithfully select a prosecutor and proceed, move on to impeachment against Gonzales. An Impeachment investigation of a lesser target, the AG, would have the advantage in getting relevant documents given whatever Gonzales related charges are tabled -- for instance failure to support investigations of Cheney's failure to follow Executive Orders concerning protection of Classified data, could be a charge in an impeachment -- it would have the effect of indirectly getting at Cheney without immediately taking on Cheney.

Timing is interesting here. My guess is an investigation might begin soonest, next fall. Thoroughly done, it could take all fall. Debate on resolutions of impeachment against Gonzales could come at the same time as the early primaries -- and just might drive this whole issue into the midst of the Presidential Campaign in the primary season. Candidates might just be forced to discuss basic constitutional issues -- for instance, how would you restore the DOJ if elected? Likewise candidates for Senate or Congress might be asked where they stand on oversight. I suspect Gonzales might be found guilty in a Senate Trial taking place after much publicity about the specifics and in the months just before the Election Season. Given last week's non-binding vote that attracted 53 votes with four probable non-Gonzales votes absent, one would need only ten more votes to convict.

Indirectly, a Gonzales Impeachment would be a quasi-impeachment of Cheney and Bush.

Sara, that's pretty much where I see this beginning, too. But I've always been in the business of mapping this out as far in advance as possible, and see no reason to stop now.

We might as well let them know we know where this goes. No sense in hiding it. Even as Pelosi said impeachment was off the table, she declared subpoena power the most important prize we could win in taking back the Congress. Those of us who've been thinking this through and drawing the maps know what that really means. There is no subpoena power without the impeachment power. Not with these guys.

Gee. Is there disatisfaction in the ranks?

I would say that your leaders realize that they will be held accountable by the general electorate if they don't "govern well" as DemFromCT likes to say.

So I assume that the bloggers who wish very much for a "pound of flesh" from each and every Republican will run into that old problem of the danger of spilling blood.

Jodi, you never wake up, do you?

Your boys have made it impossible to govern well, because they've destroyed the mechanisms of governance. Restoring them requires admitting it, showing everyone the damage done, repudiating it, and making sure it never happens again.

You and your blase attitude are what's responsible for this. Good governance, it seems, is the last refuge of the bad cop, caught red-handed.

Luckily for us, serving justice is good governance. And makes more of it possible.

The less flesh we take from your recidivist action figure heroes, the worse things get.

Kagro X,

yet your leaders don't seem to be following your lead?

Ahhh, ..., but they are the leaders aren't they?

I didnt even own a pitchfork until the second theft of our presidency by Rove. Now I own several.

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