I hope everybody had a great fourth of July! I did. It’s a great opportunity to blow stuff up in celebration of what is ostensibly a democracy!
“Ostensibly,” of course, because our president has apparently given up even trying to make it seem like there’s a functional system of checks and balances still in place. In case it’s not obvious, I’m talking about Bush’s using his get-out-of-jail-free card on Scooter Libby on Monday, commuting Libby’s sentence for perjury for his involvement in the Valerie Plame case.
I didn’t particularly feel like complaining about it on here at the time, since it just seemed superfluous and futile. The liberal outrage was pretty well covered on the internets, described by people much more eloquent and knowledgeable than I am. Plus, every time I think that there’s absolutely nothing that Bush could do that’s a more blatant “fuck you” to the American people, he surprises me by topping himself. So I was afraid to jinx it.
There’s been a tremendous furor over Bush’s move, from Congress, the press, and the people, so naturally the White House responded today in the best way it knows how: by pointing fingers at the Clintons. Bill Clinton summed up what a lot of people — excuse me, of course, I mean a lot of liberals — are saying: this is standard practice for the Bush administration, acting as if they answer to no one.
White House spokesman Tony Snow’s response? “You started it!”
That’s right. Instead of actually responding to the allegations or providing any logical and coherent attempt at making the decision sound valid, they brought up Whitewater. That’s not just bad politics, that’s bad humanity. It’s what cranks on message boards and comment threads do, whenever the Bush administration is asked to justify its actions — they go straight to mentioning cigars and BJs. If Mr. Snow gets asked about the issue again, I’d recommend the ever-useful “Nuh-uh!”, “Says you!”, and the indefeasible “I don’t make trash, I burn it!”
Again, this is entirely expected of the administration at this point. This is, after all, the president who defended his decision earlier by saying: “The consequences of [Libby’s] felony conviction on his former life as a lawyer, public servant, and private citizen will be long-lasting.” Which has got to be ample consolation for Plame, seeing as how her former life in the CIA suffered the consequences of a ridiculously brazen case of petty political payback. Maybe she can save Libby a place in the unemployment line.
But look, there’s only about a year and a half left in this administration. Could you guys please, for our sake, at least do us the courtesy of pretending that there’s a working government and effective political system in place? And could the congressional majority take some time away from their busy schedule of bending over, and make a show of restoring the balance of government, like they’d promised? And could I impose on Mr. Snow to put a little effort into political rhetoric that at least touches on the issue of hand, before he resorts to “yo mama” jokes?