Wednesday, July 13, 2005

July 12, 2005

The Log

Here’s a little something the born-again’s in the White House need to chew on:

"Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own?" -- Luke 6:41

Yep, there it is. Right out of the book they claim is the be-all, end-all and the final word on all matters cosmic to human – God’s own inspired advice writ large.

So why do they ignore it? These of all folks -- the same party -- (and in some cases the very individuals) -- who endlessly obsessed and chased every real and perceived speck in the eye of the Clinton administration -- now blissfully ignoring the log in their own.

Yes, I am talking about Karl Rove, George W. Bush’s Rasputin, the man behind The Man. (Some would say the ventriloquist behind The Man.)

Do you see the same double standard I do? (Yeah, it’s a rhetorical question.)

Here, look at this and try to guess what it is:

Be it resolved that:
1. The (Blank) made false statements concerning his reprehensible conduct…
2. The (Blank) took steps to delay discovery of the truth;
3. No person is above the law, and (Blank) remains subject to criminal and civil penalties;
4. (Blank) by his conduct has brought upon himself and fully deserves the censure and condemnation of the American people and the Congress…

Who’s “Blank?” Rove? You could be excused for thinking so. No those words are directly from the Dec 9, 1998 resolution by House Judiciary Committee Democrats censuring their own President.

We have not seen a similar censure resolution offered by House Republicans on the CIA leak scandal, so lets just apply the same standards the Dems used against Clinton and see how the White House stacks up:

Count One – The making of false statements:
Rove lied about his involvement in blowing the cover of CIA agent Valerie Plame. We know he lied from Pillsbury Doughboy, White House spokesman, Scott McClellan who said two years ago that he asked and Rove personally assured him he had no involvement in the disclosure. Now we know that was a lie. But who was lying? Rove or Scotty? Since WH press secretaries only repeat what they are told by their bosses the order to lie came from either George W. Bush or Karl. There’s no “maybe” here. Either the President or Rove gave Scotty information they know was false and instructed him to provide that information to the press.

Count Two – Delaying discovery of the facts:
Even though the administration and/or Rove have known for two years that the leak was from the highest levels at the White House, they stuck to their story. That’s called “obstruction of justice,” and it’s a felony. (A felony is well within the “high-crimes and misdemeanor” criteria for impeachment. Just ask Bill.)

Count Three - No person is above the law: Except in this administration, apparently.

Count Four - his conduct has brought upon himself and fully deserves the censure and condemnation of the American people and the Congress:
We’re still waiting…. Hello you highly-moral, values-abiding, Republicans in Congress.. anyone in there?

But Republicans now control virtually all three branches of government; so don’t expect anything close to what the Democrats did when Clinton misbehaved in office. It would be like John Gotti making a citizen’s arrest of Sammy the Bull. Forgetaboutit.

But, just to annoy them, I want to remind everyone that just six years ago the standards Republicans used to decide what justified a full administration colonoscopy were far lower than they are today.

The Travelgate Caper: On May 19, 1993, several employees of the White House Travel Office were fired. Republicans alleged that friends of President Bill Clinton had engineered the firings in order to get the business for themselves. What came of the Travelgate scandal? Not much. After a long investigation a special prosecutor ruled, in effect, “no harm, no foul.”

(Travelgate – now there was a real scandal! Imagine, people in high office giving government contracts to friends and supporters. Nothing like that would happen in the current administration, I’m sure. But I can’t help wonder how much money Clinton’s friends might have made arranging White House travel? A few hundred grand, maybe? Which leads me to wonder how much Dick Cheney’s pals at Halliburton have netted so far on their no-bid contracts in Iraq? A few hundred million, maybe? Just wondering. )

The Filegate Flap: During 1996 the head of White House Security in the Clinton White House improperly requested personnel files from the FBI without asking permission of the subject individuals. Estimates range from 350 to 900 unauthorized file disclosures. The incident caused a firestorm of criticism because many of the files covered White House employees from previous Republican administrations. In March 2000 the Independent Counsel determined that there was no credible evidence of any criminal activity.

The Monicagate Affair: I need not remind anyone what this scandal was all about – sex and perjury. Bill Clinton got caught with his pants down, so to speak, and then lied about it under oath. I never really blamed Bill for lying about such a thing – what married man with a teenage daughter wouldn’t lie about such despicable behavior. But I did blame him for being such a self-indulgent, amoral, cheating putz. And I will never forgive him for that.

" Rove and his lawyer's denials that he was involved in telling reporters about Plame now appear to be at best based on Clintonian hairsplitting about whether he literally used (Plame's) name and identified her as covert or he simply described her as the CIA-employed wife of Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, the administration critic that White House was eager to discredit at the time." (Full Story)

My point should be clear: If Republicans believed that Travelgate and Filegate called for full-court investigations, why not Rovegate? In fact, Filegate has a lot in common with Rovegate; a White House official revealing classified information without the knowledge or permission of the victim.

But where’s the outrage on the political right today? Maybe they haven’t noticed. After all they’ve had their hands full lately enforcing rightwing fatwas; fighting to keep a brain-dead woman in Florida alive against her will, trying to give voting rights to discarded embryos so they could not be used to harvest potentially life-saving stem cells and working to insure that Christians can erect monuments to Ten Commandments -- which they don’t follow -- on government property. Busy, busy, busy. Too busy to notice the moral, ethical and legal lapses afoot just up the block at the White House.

All I’m saying is that what was sauce for the gooser should be sauce for the gander. Had this happened in the Clinton White House a special prosecutor would still be spending taxpayer money sifting the ashes. Republicans would have demanded it. We would have been deluged on the talk shows with “outraged” Republicans excoriating the administration. They would pound the table denouncing the administration for allowing one of its own to blow the cover of a covert CIA operative, putting lives at risk and endangering national security, all for crass, naked political purposes.

Can’t you just hear them?

So, there you have it. The party of “morality” and “values” can’t quite seem to get their pompous, pontificating, holier-than-thou balls in an uproar over Rovegate… the log in their own eye.

Footnote: If you missed yesterday's White House briefing you missed a zinger. It would appear White House reporters have finally decided to stop being chumps and to actually challenge this administrations double-talk. I have posed the transcript of the relevant parts HERE for those of you that missed it. Enjoy.

Site of The Day
Sign the Fire Rove Petition

No comments: