Saturday, March 24, 2007

Dead Horses and Chickens

Hate to beat a dead horse’s ass, but this Justice Department thing with the U.S. Attorneys keeps getting better and better. After Friday night’s dump of more e-mails, it is clear that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, contrary to his denial that he knew anything, was in a meeting where the plan was discussed.

Again, whatever happened (except for possibly forthcoming obstruction of justice), was entirely legal. The “loyal Bushies” are entirely correct that this is all the proper exercise of political power. And I think that’s fine. I think most things in public policy should be “political,” because that way the people in power are constrained from doing things that will make them look bad and defeat them at the polls. Even rightwing crank columnist Charles Krauthammer agrees, to a point.

The reason these odious firings and cover-ups are important is so everyone can see what kind of J. Worthington Foulfellows populate the Bush administration. The e-mails expose their doings pretty clearly, and so does The New Yorker interview of Tim Griffin, the replacement prosecutor for a perfectly good one in Arkansas. The interview was conducted by one of the keenest journalists around today, Jane Mayer. (Her credentials can be summed up by the fact I was described in one of her books as “abrasive.” In the line of duty, only, of course.)

Griffin, installed at the order of Karl Rove, was heavily involved in the 2000 and 2004 presidential campaigns as a Republican National Committee smear merchant, a specialist at trying to suppress the black vote.

All legal, of course. But politics has chickens -- AWOL National Guardsmen, five-deferment vice presidents, anal cyst commentators -- and the home in which they are choosing to roost temporarily belongs to Alberto Gonzales.

Now that's justice!

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