Thursday, April 09, 2009

Power Unaccountable Is Absolutely Corrupt

I've been in Old Europe on a top secret mission for the Ministry of Elegance and it seems pretty apparent that they love our new President over there, but that's probably just the favorable contrast with his previous First Vegetable. I can't say as how Obama's rhetoric stirs me much these days, although it's nice that he at least couches his cliches in a reconizable language.

Perhaps one of the reasons I'm not more impressed is because there doesn't seem to be any guts behind any of his actions or his stances. Sure he'll take big gambles with our money, but, like Bush, he's only tough when sticking up for his woeful cronies: Geithner and Summers, and Holder and Pannetta. In the same way that Giethner and Summers don't want any of those Republicans who got rich while bankrupting the banks to be held accountable, Pannetta and Holder don't want any of the other Bushite Republicans who committed war crimes or perverted our Justice Department to be held accountable either. Perhaps emboldened by the mealymouthing of these apologists, the Republicans still at large are apparently blackmailing the President, threatening to block key nominations if he releases the infamous "torture memos." Republicans, it seems to go without saying, think that spooks, cops, turnkeys, and soldiers should be utterly above the law, lest the nation experience some insecurity; they want, in short, a police state. One where it's also verboten to prosecute Republicans. Obama seems to agree with them, that's why his Justice Department is working hard to keep the illegal wiretapping done by the Bushies a state secret. Maybe that's why the unseemly hurry to bounce the case against Ted Stevens (whom everyone admits did the things he was accused of, however badly his prosecution was botched or corrupted) while doing nothing about the cases of Paul Minor or Don Seigelman, who have actually done time as a result of corrupt prosecutions for non-crimes. This is a world where you get prosecuted for prosecuting Republicans, but if you railroad a Democrat you get to keep your U.S. Attorney job indefinitely.

I'm happy to see Steven's corrupt prosecution tossed, if it was that, but why is that a priority, especially when Minor and Siegelman are looking at much more immediate jeopardy on infinitely more dubious cases? I'm afraid the answer is: the President is terrified of the right-wing howling that would go up if he were actually to do something principled. Alas, I'm afraid there's little danger of that.
Can't someone remind Obama of the oath he took twice, the one about defending and upholding the Constitution?


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