Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Interesting comments by George Washington University constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley last Wednesday on Olbermann's Countdown.

Regarding Bush's stonewalling and refusal to cooperate with Congress, Turley states:
I mean, they could do a sort of Tai Chi of litigation and just move incredibly slowly. This president doesn‘t have long to go.

But there is one thing that might concern them about the court, and that is, you know, for many years, since we first found out about this program, some of us have said that this was clearly criminal act that the president called for, that under federal law, it‘s a federal crime to do what the president ordered hundreds of people to do.

Now, if we‘re right, not only did he order that crime, but it would be, in fact, an impeachable offense. Now, both sides, both Democrats, Republicans, have avoided this sort of pig in the parlor. They don‘t want to recognize that this president may have ordered criminal offenses. But they may now be on the road to do that, because the way Congress can get around the executive privilege in court is to say, We‘re investigating a potential crime. And if they do it here, that crime was ordered by no one other than George Bush.
Yes, conceivably Bush has ordered hundreds of federal crimes, yet not a peep from the "rule of law" crowd.

Concerning Cheney's ludicrous attempt to define his office as neither part of the executive or legislative branch, Turley said:
The position adopted by Mr. Addington and Mr. Cheney, to put it bluntly, was absurd. I mean, it was—I had—it was completely frivolous.

And what really is striking about this is the lack of coherence and control within the administration. The vice president‘s office is a true center of gravity unto itself. I mean, in past administrations, if someone like Mr. Addington made such a moronic argument as this one, they would be out of a job the next week. I mean, he started this huge controversy. Everyone that of any credibility said that it was a ridiculous argument.

And now they‘re trying to backpedal and say, Well, we‘re going to go with a different argument.

I think that what it really shows is the lack of sort of adult supervision within the administration of somebody to come up with a coherent and single position for the president.
In part, the absence of "adult supervision" over Bush is what Peter Baker wrote about yesterday in the Washington Post, with one senior House Republican quoted as saying, "There's nobody there who can stand up to him and tell him, 'Mr. President, you've got to do this. You're wrong on this.' There's no adult supervision. It's like he's oblivious."

Often times, the road to reason with a man as detached and nonsensical as this one is through his spouse. Has anyone appealed to Laura to speak frankly with him? I'm not saying she would or could work miracles but at this point, when most friends would be exasperated and willing to try any intervention option, all means to effect change are on the table.

However, with this guy in office, there's little chance for beneficial change. As Dan Froomkin wrote yesterday:
[T]o me, it sounds like Bush is looking not for answers -- but for rationalizations for his behavior. There is no sign of genuine introspection, no sign of acknowledgment of mistakes, no sign of any significant change of course. In a pattern familiar to anyone who has ever had a drinking problem, Bush appears to be engaged in a furious effort to persuade onlookers that he's fine -- even if he isn't.
At best, one could hope that many years from now GW will lament about his abysmal reign, finally realizing how wrong he was about everything and asking aloud "what was I thinking?" But alas, that's not likely to happen given Bush's massive ego and self-delusion, and worse yet it wouldn't matter since the U.S. will have already suffered terribly under his rule.

This country has enjoyed many highs (too numerous to mention) and some lows (Great Depression, slavery, McCarthy, Watergate, to name a few). In the latter group, we can now add GW's two terms in office. As with the other dark holes in our past, may we eventually recover from this one.

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