Thursday, April 19, 2007

Alberto Gonzales: Mayberry Mafia Consiglieri, Part II

We are the most powerful nation in the world. The world looks to Washington for leadership. Or at least it did once upon a time. Whether Republican or Democrat, we would like to think that the best and the brightest are representing our nation and that there is real respect for the law. Our government is not perfect but there are standards and those standards are expected to be upheld and when they are not, there are supposed to be consequences, not just public relations moves before we see more of the same. Something is seriously wrong in Washington and most of it is visible in the White House. The best and the brightest do not appear to be members of the Bush Administration. The best and the brightest are clearly not leading in the White House. And the scandals and the corruption and the gross incompetence continue.

Alberto Gonzales is an embarrassment and should resign. His testimony today was so ridiculous it makes you cringe. TPM Muckraker has the full coverage (here's the link to this week's coverage: TPM Muckraker April 15 to April 21); there's truly not much to add. Congress is obligated to keep hammering at Alberto Gonzales and others of his top staffers until some satisfactory answers are forthcoming or resignations take place. The American people simply cannot afford the Department of Justice to become totally corrupt. This is scandal that comes straight out of the White House. Alberto Gonzales is doing the bidding of Karl Rove and the bidding of George W. Bush. It is embarrassing to our history. It is embarrassing to present this scandal to the world.

But the scandals go on. There's Paul Wolfowitz, his girlfriend and Wolfowitz's hypocritical assertion that he wants the World Bank to be free of corruption (selectively, no doubt, and to the advantage of the Bush and his friends, apparently). Maureen Dowd of the New York Times has this to say in her latest column:
The weekend meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund were consumed with the question of how the bank chief could fight corruption while indulging in cronyism. Who could focus on a weak yen when you had a weak Wolfie with a strong yen for Shaha? In addition to the story about Paul Wolfowitz's giving his girlfriend, Shaha Ali Raza, a promotion and a $60,000 raise because he felt guilty that she had to be transferred from the World Bank to the State Department when he took over, the New York Times reported on Tuesday on more imperialist hanky-panky.

...when Wolfie was No. 2 at the Pentagon, the office of his consigliere, Douglas Feith, directed a private contractor to hire Riza, then at the World Bank, to spend a month traveling to Iraq to study ways to set up the new government.


As they rushed to war, the neocons delighted in blowing off international institutions and diplomats, treating them as impediments and whiners. So it only made sense that Wolfie wouldn't hesitate to blow off rules he didn't like once he began running an international institution himself.


Astonishingly, W., Wolfie, Dick Cheney and the Prince of Darkness himself, Richard Perle, have learned nothing from their mistakes of blindness and hubris, except to sweep them under the bed and indulge in more blindness and hubris.


Shouldn't Rummy and Cheney have followed their own advice: You go to war against the country you have, not the one you imagine?

Hmm, that's not a bad last line but I would add one more: shouldn't we have a president who tackles real problems and not the ones he imagines? Of course, that would require a level of integrity the current occupant of the White House does not have.

Let's end by focusing once more on the Department of Justice, run by Bush yes-man, Alberto Gonzalez. Steve Soto of The Left Coaster provides the details:
It is a basic operating principle of Rovian political theory to cover up your own weaknesses and vulnerabilities by redirecting attention towards attacking your opponent on the same issues, and keeping that opponent on defense. We know pretty clearly now what this GOP mumbo-jumbo about voting fraud was all about. [Linked to the McClatchy Washington Bureau]:
For six years, the Bush administration, aided by Justice Department political appointees, has pursued an aggressive legal effort to restrict voter turnout in key battleground states in ways that favor Republican political candidates.

The administration intensified its efforts last year as President Bush's popularity and Republican support eroded heading into a midterm battle for control of Congress, which the Democrats won.

This is the president who read speech after speech about bringing 'democracy' to the Middle East. This is not pretty and I take no pleasure in saying it. We have a liar in the White House. We have an incompetent in the White House. We have a rigid ideologue in the White House. We have a hypocrite in the White House. Quite clearly, we have a problem. The more Bush's shortcomings and failures become evident, the more Bush is compelled to wave his arms and talk arrogantly and belligerently about his authority as 'the Decider.' He is a failed president whose flaws become more evident every day. Congress, the media and the various members of our government must keep Bush in check and keep the government running until Bush is either impeached (I know, not likely) or until he leaves office. And Americans need to think long and hard about how a flawed man like George W. Bush became president in the first place.

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Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

I wonder again if, as with Rumsfeld, a large part of keeping Gonzales in place when even Republican senators are calling for him to resign or be replaced, isn't a matter of not wanting to take a chance that an ex-A.G. Gonzales might tell tales out of school, so to speak.

And/or, perhaps Bush, Cheney and Rove are concerned that any replacement they could get confirmed by the Senate might be too honest and conscientious for their own political good.

Then again, I have to wonder if anyone confirmable by the Senate would sigh on with Bush & Co. Federalist Society stalwart Ted Olson might, but Democrats on the Judiciary Committee might just torpedo his nomination.

I'm thinking maybe former Sen. Alan Simpson, but Bush & Co. might perceive him as too honest and independent.

What to do? What to do?

12:39 PM  
Blogger Craig said...

S.W., crooks prefer known crooks to those who are unknown, crook or not. That's about all I can make of it.

I oppose impeachment only because it creates too big a mess but it's clearly time for a special prosecutor to keep Bush, Rove and Cheney busy and out of trouble their last two years.

And Congress should send a doctor over to the White House to find out what's causing all that amnesia. Hell, it might be time for an independent psychiatric exam of a few of them but particularly Bush. I couldn't believe Bush's rambling townhall comments were being taken seriously by his audience, hand-picked though it was. Polls that go 'poof'?

1:33 AM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Craig, you'll find the cause of the White House amnesia outbreak resting beneath a pile of 500,000 or so "lost" e-mails. And those are right next to several dump truckloads of written and oral requests for specific information from the White House about various matters by members of both houses of Congress over the past six and a half years.

10:21 PM  

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