Monday, March 26, 2007

Lowering the bar to "egregiously illegal"

Front paged at Booman Tribune and My Left Wing. Recommended at Daily Kos

Last night, after watching a rerun of the morning’s Meet The Press where both David Iglesias and John McKay tore Attorney General Alberto Gonzales a new one over their firings, my wife turned to me and said “you know, it’s like this administration is pissing all over the very foundation of this country” (yet another reason why my wife is the most awesome person ever).

And it dawned on me that the real intent and underlying theme of this administration was not only that (or as I liked to say “wipe their collective ass with the Constitution), but to push things so far past the point of right vs. wrong, or even upholding their oaths of office, but more so to the point where if it isn’t so egregiously illegal that they can actually be hauled off to prison for it then it is ok.

That is how far things have devolved. That is the bar being used to judge the actions of this administration. By the mainstream media. By the wingnuts. By the talking meatsticks. And even by us here – it is not nearly enough that the Attorney General most probably lied to Congress under oath or even that he most definitely lied to reporters (which certainly is way past the point of an ethical lapse which should be grounds for disbarment).

It is not nearly enough that administration officials at the highest levels of government leaked classified information as revenge for calling bullshit. It is not nearly enough that the President knew about this and still did nothing to those who were involved. It is not nearly enough that an Executive Order was issued related to the ability of the Vice President to declassify information whenever and however he wants right before the leak.

It is not nearly enough that evidence was ignored or manufactured or twisted in order to hoodwink the world into the biggest and most deadly disaster in decades. It is not nearly enough for these officials to flout their oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

It is not nearly enough to ignore all warnings about an impending hurricane and then ignore all calls for help – leaving the entire Gulf Coast to deteriorate. It is not nearly enough to change the laws in a sneaky manner in order to “legally” be able to fire US attorneys and replace them with partisan hacks. Especially when only 10 of the 468 prior US attorneys to leave office did so involuntarily (and those were for egregious cause).

It isn’t nearly enough to retroactively change laws to make it ok to use formerly illegal methods to spy on Americans. It isn’t nearly enough to act against the interest of Americans with respect to healthcare, social security, tax laws, education or the environment. It isn’t nearly enough to use government money for paid propaganda. Or “faith based initiatives”. Or to strong arm NASA, or other agencies to change the conclusions and reports of scientists and other experts to fit a preconceived agenda.

It isn’t enough to lie. It isn’t enough to do something that is clearly unethical and quite probably illegal. No, it must be so illegal that even all of the retroactive law changes and covering up STILL can’t hide the illegality of the acts. It must be SO bad that the discussion isn’t whether the perpetrators did something that clearly warrants them to resign or be removed from office in shame.

No, the bar has been lowered and the debate has shifted to such an unconscionable threshold. It doesn’t matter if it is right or wrong. It doesn’t matter if it is unethical. It doesn’t matter if there were lies or coverups. What matters is whether it is so bad that even Congressional subpoenas will be fought all the way to the Supreme Court.

Just being a lying fucking scumbag who doesn’t deserve to be in office isn’t enough anymore. Not even enough to be the START of a conversation. Sadly, the conversation isn’t about whether obstruction of justice is likely a major reason for the US attorney firings, the subsequent lies and coverups.

“Yeah, it was horrible and unethical, but it wasn’t illegal”. You know what? It probably was illegal. And shame on those who think that this is the new bar of what we should hold our “elected” officials to.

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