We each have an ability to promote positive change under the circumstances in which we find ourselves. This is one place to find your drive, voice, and outlet.

7.25.2007

Why this Matters

George Bush's administration is building to a climax of their confrontation with congress. Congress has approved a contempt citation for Bolton and Miers and the media has plenty to talk about. Some might think that this is a waste of everybody's time. So what if he did fire some of his attorneys? It was just a couple anyway. If he can stuff his whole cabinet and supreme court with whoever he wants, what does it matter if 8 or 9 measly federal attorneys get canned?


I would have to agree that congress has wasted a lot of time. With all the bills that they could have passed and the problems that they could have solved but didn't with the time that they have had, it does seem like they are being stubborn about something that just doesn't look to benefit anybody that much.

But it does matter. A lot.

Its not the fact that the attorneys were fired that matters, its the process that has ensued since they were fired. In the United States, as opposed to many other would-be great nations, we have a tradition of accountability. When we have honored that tradition, it has served us well. When we have relented, we have suffered the consequence of wasting money and resources, acting in the worst interest of Americans and foreign neighbors, and weakening public confidence and the nation as a whole.

Congress wanted to know why the attorneys were fired. I think that it is legitimate to monitor possible politicization of the justice department, however small. So in a normal world, congress would have asked the president, or the attorney general, or whoever, what happened. Gonzales or whoever would be accountable would say something like: "political considerations were involved in the firing of so and so, but its not that big a deal, and we had a right to do it." Congress would have gotten all huffy and made demands, accusations, and threats-none of which would have actually amounted to anything- and everyone would have gone along their way.

In the real world, however, something terrible has happened: The president and the attorney general have effectively flipped off the congress and said: "screw you!" Now, this is fine and well for candidates in a political debate to say to each other. It's even all right for congressmen on different sides of the isle to say to each other. It is sometimes all right for the president to say when vetoing a bill, but it is definitely NOT all right when the Congress has issued a subpoena for an arguably legitimate reason after a lengthy investigation and multiple unheeded requests for information.

So what is at stake?

If the president can skate by when the highest authority that the world can muster against him, (a majority of congress elected by the people of this nation,) then he is truly moving toward the realm of dictatorship. Perhaps he wishes that everybody would like him, maybe he tries to do things so that people agree with him, perhaps in his own way he thinks he is making the world a better place, but nevertheless, this is the realm of dictatorship.

On the other hand, If the congress can succeed in bringing the people Bush has ordered not to testify to testify and stand accountable for what has happened (even though what has happened is not that big of a deal,) the justice department will refuse to acknowledge and enforce that act of Congress, therefore the matter will end up in the Supreme Court that says that Bush is out of his mind and not in the right. At that point accountability and justice be forced upon Bush, Gonzales, Rove, or whoever else might be involved. Sure, by that time the din from the upcoming elections will have reached fever pitch in the ears of the public and media, but it will leave an imprint on our future leaders' mind of how things work in the country. By the people!

1 comment:

mr said...

Funny how the Bush administration started in the Supreme Court and appears to be ending there; reminiscent of that kid in school who always whined to the teacher.

The problem I've got with the whole circus is that I'm not convinced the Dems would be doing much better. It seemed like there was plenty of whacky stuff happening in the Clinton administration and that congress occupied their time with that rather than fixin' stuff.

Frankly, the only thing that I'm looking forward to is Hillary's election. I'm getting ready to apply to be an intern. Rock on!