I cannot, for the life of me, understand what kind of thought process is going on in the Bush White House, with less than a year left in their term. However, they continue to act as if Bush is a king, not a president, who can pretty much do whatever he wants to. Look at this new example of a raw grab for power. This is from dday at Hullabaloo.
Mike Mukasey, Attorney General of the United States, before the House Judiciary Committee today. (UPDATE: This is a paraphrase, not a transcript)
Delahunt: You said if an opinion was rendered, that would insulate him from any consequences.
MM: We could not investigate or prosecute somebody for acting in reliance on a justice department opinion.
Delahunt: If that opinion was inaccurate and in fact violated a section of US Criminal Code, that reliance is in effect an immunity from any criminal culpability.
MM: Immunity connoted culpability.
Delahunt: This is brand new legal theory.
MM: If it comes to pass that somebody at a later date that the opinion should have been different the person who relied on the opinion cannot be investigated.
Delahunt: Is there a legal precedent.
MM: There is practical consideration.
The Attorney General is saying that the President can do anything he wants, break the law any way he wants, as long as the President's own Justice Department, populated his own handpicked officials, validates it. And he's saying it directly to members of Congress, essentially telling them that they don't exist. They have no power to prosecute because the Justice Department won't take up the case, and the courts have no power to adjudicate because these are official state secrets. There is only one branch of government that matters.
What I find equally amazing and hugely frustrating is that both the Democrats and the press let Bush get away with this. I partially blame Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid for saying, unequivocally, that impeachment is off the table. But it is also all the other Dems in the Senate and House. Except for a few very brave exceptions, everyone seems fine with just running out the clock, letting Bush to whatever he wants, no matter the excesses or illegality involved, until he leaves office. And the press apparently can’t be bothered to pay any attention to this.
What is going on is much, much worse that what the Nixon White House did during the Watergate scandal and cover-up. Yet the politicians, media and most of the public can’t be bothered with such things. This “President”, and I used that term with some irony, has caused untold damage to the institutions in this country that we depend on to maintain our freedom and democracy.
I wish I could be funny, ironic and snarky like a number of bloggers out there. But I am just too angry, too depressed about the political situation in this country. I am so glad that we still have some of our political structure intact, such as making George W. Bush and most of his cronies leave office next January. If Bush had more time, or we were to elect another Republican who thinks just like Bush, this country would never recover.