Wednesday :: Mar 14, 2007

Democrats Need To Keep Up The Pressure


by Steve

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We’re used to seeing meaningless quotes from GOP senators expressing concern about the Bush Administration, only to see these same senators then get pistol-whipped into submission later. This may very well happen again with regards to the fired federal prosecutor mess, but for the record note the “get your sh*t together” quote by John Sununu:

"I think that the White House Counsel's Office, and the leadership at Justice and the leadership at the FBI all deserve part of the blame for the unacceptable way these issues have been handled," Sen. John E. Sununu (R-N.H.) said about the prosecutors and FBI abuses. "The president is ultimately responsible for making these appointments. One of the real disappointments in each of these examples is there were real failings at many different levels."

Note the narrative being established in this Post story wherein a Bush team unaccustomed to oversight is being contrasted with the performance of more experienced hands.

Bush has faced tough political moments before, including the uproar over abuse at Abu Ghraib, the original CIA leak scandal and the revelation of secret warrantless eavesdropping. The difference now is that Democrats are in charge on Capitol Hill and the Bush team is not used to the jousting with another branch, which was commonplace for Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
That has been evident in the disparate responses to recent issues by different players in the administration. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, a veteran of President George H.W. Bush's administration, responded to Walter Reed disclosures in a traditional and predictable Washington manner by firing the Army secretary and two generals, and vowing to fix the problem. By contrast, Gonzales, who had no Washington experience before coming from Texas with Bush, through his office provided shifting accounts of what happened with the U.S. attorneys before finally resorting to the more familiar "mistakes were made" news conference Tuesday and accepting the resignation of his top aide the day before.

The New York Times’ lead editorial today points out that the attorney firings are another example of the Bush Administration using 9/11 once again not to improve national security but to harness increasing executive power in service of Dick Cheney and Karl Rove’s aims.

As the debate about an endgame in Iraq continues over the coming months, Democrats will probably find themselves repeatedly frustrated with the obstruction by GOP senators over the summer who will still try and protect the president, hoping that the surge will magically work and allow for a retreat from Iraq that won’t blow back on the GOP next year. The key point for Democrats is to keep up the heat in these coming months on the variety of scandals and problems facing the administration, so that it makes it more and more politically difficult for these GOP senators to defend Bush and this record of negligence and incompetence.

Steve :: 8:13 AM :: Comments (9) :: Digg It!