Thursday, April 06, 2006

Plamegate Summer

There's a blog name I like called Watergate Summer mainly because the name harkens back to my childhood, a time when there was nothing on television in the afternoons but the Watergate Hearings. The President of the United States at the time had been found to abusing his power, authorizing illegal wiretaps against political enemies, and break-ins to the opposition party's headquarters to acquire incriminating photographs of associate E. Howard Hunt as one of the "mystery tramps" arrested in Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963. The hearings were at a time when not only was our country at war, but facing the greatest Constitutional crisis it had ever faced.
During the time this was going on, as I mentioned, we were fighting a war, much the same as we are today. We were fighting in Viet Nam, a southeastern Asia country. We were not at war with Viet nam, but merely fighting against the spread of Communism, a political ideology in direct opposition to our own. The Communists weren't free, they lived in fear of the government, and had to be careful what they said because the government was spying on them and could lock people away with out a trial. The Communists were trying to take over the world, and it was the determination of the capitalist backed US government not to let this happen.
But the war was never used as an excuse to prevent hearings into what the President knew and when he knew it. And though the Congress was controlled by the Democrats, and the White House was Republican, this was not seen as a partisan move, merely an investigation into whether or not the President had been involved in breaking the law. Along the way we learned of a lot of the inner workings of the Republican party, such as the dirty trick squad run by Donald Segretti that followed 1972 Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern around and harassed him at every turn. And then, in the midst of it all, the President resigned rather than face impeachment for high crimes and misdemeanors.
Sound familiar?
The result of all this was that Congress passed laws to ensure that this type of abuse of power wouldn't happen again. Another result of this was that it prevented the Republicans from gaining control of Congress as they had lost all credibility with the American voter.
Now we have a President who is fighting a new war. And unlike the previous abuser of power, he has used this war to justify every wrong it commits. Torture? It's okay, I'm a war President. Lie to Congress about Iraq's threat to the United States? It's okay, I'm a war president. Break the law to spy on peace activists and religious organizations? It's okay, I'm a war President. Oh, that's illegal? I'll get my party to pass a law that allows me to skirt the law because we're the war party, and I'm a war president.
So it comes as no surprise that when a member of the opposition party suggests censuring the president, he finds no support in Congress. The Republicans are in charge and they can remember that the last time their president turned out to be an odious monster, it hurt the party for years. So, rather than put the country, or for God's sake, the Constitution before the party is akin to sacrilege to them.
Now the word has come from Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation into the leaking of a covert intelligence agent's name to members of the press, known as Plame-gate, the authorization for this leak came from the President himself. the leak came on account of the covert agent's husband writing an op-ed piece in the New York Times denouncing the intelligence used to justify the invasion of Iraq. Anyone who's been paying attention to remembers what the President said when questioned about this. (or maybe it was his press secretary, Bush doesn't do a lot of meet and greet with the press, having to answer questions just not his forte). "If any one in this administration has been found to involved in this in anyway, rest assured they would no longer have a job." Or words to that effect. Now it's been found that the line goes all the way up from Scooter Libby to Dick Cheney and the President himself, is it possible we may be looking at a Plamegate summer?


Granny said...

Not with the Republicans holding down the fort. I don't know it will take. One or two of the reports I read even said his actions may not have been illegal.

Nothing is illegal in this Adminstration because there is no one to stop them yet.

Watergate at least had a few courageous reporters and come Congresspeople with spines.

Where are they now?


ELB said...

Yeah, where are they is right.

Left of Center said...

America is suffering the death of a thousand cuts. Not one a killing blow in itself, but cumulatively, they are bleeding us out. The President is secure is his war powers and puppet congress now, but hopefully that changes.

pissed off patricia said...

Seems to me there has to come a time when the Republicans won't be able to take any more. How long will they allow a ten ton stone to be tied to their ankles as they get pulled deeper and deeper into water?

This should be called War-gate

Lew Scannon said...

Yeah, Bush's approval rating just dipped a little more in the ap/ipsos numbers, it's the lowest he's ever reached.

Kathy said...

Granny read the same news I did. What Bush did may not have been illegal, but is was definitely unethical and underhanded. And they all themselves the values party? What a joke.

Peacechick Mary said...

We can dream, tho. I visualize myself sipping lemonade from a tall tumbler and watching Bush go down a long slippery slope into a shark infested pool. Sip, Sip more lemonade.

Granny said...

Didn't mean I was giving up. Just having a depressing week. Upward and onward once again.

Lew Scannon said...

There are procedures to follow when declassifying information, none of which were. He can't just decide to declassify because he wants to.

Kvatch said...

There's a blog name I like called Watergate Summer mainly because the name harkens back to my childhood, a time when there was nothing on television in the afternoons but the Watergate Hearings.

Lew, you and I must be about the same age. My first "political" memory was the Watergate hearings. I remember sitting on the floor at my grandparents, staring at the television fascinated by the idea of SCANDAL!

My grandfather, on the other hand, was not amused and snapped the television off muttering something about "damn Democrats". Shaped my political beliefs for a lifetime.

glenda said...

Yup, I remember Watergate and the Kent State massacre, raising money for McGovern, getting tear-gassed in the riots on campus against Viet Nam, thinking we won't have to go through this again, ever again...and here we are.

enigma4ever said...

Last April I was in the midst of a family crisis- and got way behind blogging- and I never knew you wrote this Lew. Wow...And I just read that I like many others was indeed effected by that infamous Watergate Summer, it was a pivotal crossroads of our Countyr's History and yeah- I am waiting for the Tipping Point of Corruption to bring about that kind of Change again- and yet it hasn't happened and the Corruption Cowpies are now atleast knee deep- and we all will need taller Hip Waders when this is over. I have even been thinking of changing the name of the Blog- because I am so tired of waiting for OUR Watergate Summer...thanks again.