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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Special Comment


Anonymous said...

Keith is the man! Where are all the other journalists hiding? Philip

dr-nitro said...

Mind you, this is commentary, not journalism.

Not that I disagree with KO, but I'm left with the feeling that the language promotes the very problem he is talking about, the inability to bridge political divides.

Plus, I just think that this is small potatoes. Cheney's subversion of our fundamental value of checks and balances, accountability, representation, etc. is what should illicit the greatest ire from the public and commentators.

Of course, no one is speaking about why the heck we have let the chief administrator become the chief legislator (not just this one).

This administration administrates poorly. Period. The Libby affair is an example of that. If the public fails to evaluate the president based on what is is supposed to be doing (executing laws past by Congress), then we get what we deserve.

Viva democracy.

Ah, commentary.

Anonymous said...

This commentary is on the commission of high crimes and misdemeanors while serving in office, willfully breaking the law and then attempting to cover it up by protecting a foot soldier.

Perhaps this IS "small potatoes" after all. Perhaps we should excuse away the disdain shown for a jury verdict in the name of "bridging political divides". And apply the same plan to any future FELONY CONVICTIONS that might arise out of this cabal.

Bridging party divides being far more important than the legal system, after all.

dr-nitro said...

The president did not dismiss the jury decision, however judges do on a regular basis. The president dismissed part of the the judges sentence.

His conviction stands. His sentence was commuted. I don't agree with the president. I think that he is further discrediting himself. But given the other decisions he has made have far greater impact this this commutation of a sentence, I still think that it is small potatoes. In this case, he was exercising his constitutionally given power. He did it poorly.

Again, this is a power he has, and we should evaluate him on that. What concerns me more is when he executes powers that are not his, which again have far greater impacts.

As for bridging political divides, this is what KO set up as the foundation of his argument. And I do believe that dialog and discourse is crucial for a democracy. Maybe I should have phrased it differently, but I did not mean that every body comes to an agreement on policy, but it is important that we can agree that our system works even if we do not agree on policy.

Once again, the president's execution of one of his few policy tools (at least few that is explicitly stated in the Constitution) was poor, but it is part of the system in which I generally agree with. However, I am truly concerned, if not angered, by the administration using powers that are not provided and not checked.

Jeremy T. Arnold said...

Does anyone remember when KO was on SportsCenter? With Dan Patrick on the Big Show? He was great.

Talk about making a jump. I love that he has taken that sports jouranlism stance of just calling people out though. As a fan of this country, it would be nice if politicians had the level of accountability that athletes do. If there was a drug test for morality Dick Pound would have field day in Washington.

GW and this administration would have been benched a long time ago if this were a sporting event where you are judged on merit and performance alone. Instead of name-recognition and a group of Machiavellian henchmen.

Oooops. My bad.

If people cared as much about politics as they do about sports, we may actually get somewhere. I wouldn't count on it though.

At least not until a Democratic former Nascar-driver runs for office. Ricky Bobby? Jeff Gordon is from Napa though so...maybe there's a chance.

On second thought...

Anonymous said...

Libby's commutation is a de facto pardon. His legal bills and fine will be paid for by others, he'll no doubt be working as a consultant at a fat salary in no time. And the president has yet to rule out a pardon. Take the fall, land quite nicely on your feet. As long as you keep your mouth shut.

There's is no place where the citizens of this country are held more accountable than in front of a judge and jury.

This has to do with accepting, condoning, and most of all protecting criminal behavior within the White House. There is no political divide here.

dr-nitro said...

Any time a presidents or a governors execute power pardon or commuting powers they are overruling judges and juries. And the reason why those powers are there are because the courts are less than perfect. The courts have a long history of not holding people accountable, or holding the wrong people accountable. If you think that the courts are the only place for these kinds of decisions, and they should have the final say, then argue to do away with pardon and commuting powers.

Only the president can know whether he did this because he felt that the sentence was excessive, or if he is using his power to give a wink to his friends that it is okay to circumvent the rule of law. If it is the former, then it is his call. There is no way to know with certainty if it is the later.

And let me make this clear, I don't approve of this action, but I won't conflate it with a pardon, and it is not an action where I would say that he is not my president. This action was within the rule of law as defined by our Constitution. As soon as people start saying that he is not my president, or she is not my representative because they make decisions within the rule of law that go against their policy preferences, then our system falls apart.

We should have discussions, and lively ones at that, over policy actions. But just because my team does not win, it does not mean that I give up on the sport.

When the president thumbs his nose at congressional oversight, I get angry. When the vice president defines a new branch of government for himself, I want to shoot through the roof. Those are the kind of actions that would lead me to say that he is not my president.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

i think the point is, not that he is no longer acting as "my president" ...

but that his is no longer acting as "a president."

dr-nitro said...

KO used J. Wayne's words "my president."

He's a poor president using almost any evaluative criteria.

And again, in this regard, he is acting as a president, in that he is executing one of his powers.

When he acts beyond his power, then is is not a president.

But enough of this, I'm off to get dirty.

Jeremy T. Arnold said...

Dude, you've been talking politics. You're already dirty.

Sorry Nitro, that was like a batting practice fastball.

Also...back a ways there was word of a difference between commentary and journalism. Didn't that line become a gray smudge a long time ago?

dr-nitro said...

It is the practice of politics that can make one dirty. Talking about politics keeps democracy alive.