Saturday :: May 23, 2009

How Far We Have Fallen

by eriposte

Dengre is a diarist at Daily Kos whose main claim to fame are diaries on the Jack Abramoff scandal. During the 2008 Democratic Primary, Dengre, who was a strong Obama supporter, came up with this BrilliantTM diary whose main message was the following:

This was a powerful issue for Democrats in 2006. It will be a powerful issue in 2008. In 2006 only Republicans were connected to the Abramoff Web of Corruption. That is still mostly true, but one Democrat has become the exception. Her name is Hillary Clinton.

After I read that diary I knew I had to take everything Dengre claimed with a sack of salt.

In my previous post I mentioned the fact that Citizens for Responsibility & Ethics in Washington (CREW), who are attorneys representing Joe and Valerie Wilson, posted a note earlier this week on their blog (via Corrente):

Agreeing with the Bush administration, the Obama Justice Department argues the Wilsons have no legitimate grounds to sue. It is surprising that the first time the Obama administration has been required to take a public position on this matter, the administration is so closely aligning itself with the Bush administration’s views.

In fact, the Obama administration has gone one step further, suggesting Mr. Wilson failed to provide any evidence that Mr. Cheney, Mr. Rove or Mr. Libby harmed him. This is particularly ironic because the government had moved to have the case dismissed before the Wilsons had the opportunity to uncover the details of how Ms. Wilson’s covert identity was revealed.

I naturally found this to be extremely disturbing. As it turns out, in response to a Daily Kos diary criticizing Obama for this, Dengre had these pearls of wisdom to offer in a comment:

A CREW press release is often a fundraising letter in disguise. They are designed to get headlines and put CREW in the spotlight. Nothing wrong with that unless you start believing everything that their latest attention seeking PR blast claims. It seems the Diarist (and Huffington Post) have bought the hype hook, line and sinker.

It is better to be a bit skeptical. CREW has taken the side of lobbyists and corruptionist over the years--especially when it helps to bring them attention. Other times they stopped pursuing the truth of a scandal once the story no longer generated free media for the organization. I tend to take their work with a grain of salt. They have done some good work but only as a by-product of their self-promotion. I find that it is best to do some research and wait for more facts before I jump on their bandwagon. They are often wrong.

This line from their press release told me most of what I needed to know (emphasis added):

Obama administration is opposing our request that the Supreme Court reconsider the dismissal of the lawsuit, Wilson v. Libby, et al.

Legally, CREW does not have standing in the case. To take their side would to be to embrace the Bush era tactic of a Unitary Executive using the powers of the Executive branch to stretch the law and take legal shortcuts in the pursuit of a desired outcome. Sometimes respect for the law means not embracing shortcuts that would violate precedent.

I am glad that Obama did not use his office to embrace this latest CREW fundraising effort. There are ways to deal with the crimes of the Bush era, but advocating that Obama become a Unitary Executive from the Left is not a good idea. I'm glad the President is not wasting his time with this one.


Now I know I can ignore all of Dengre's diaries in the future.

P.S. The most hilarious portion of Dengre's comment is the complete ignorance reflected in the claim that CREW has no standing in this case, given that CREW is legally representing the Wilsons. Not to mention, Dengre's characterization of CREW having taken the side of lobbyists and "corruptionist" is fascinating since CREW has been one of the most aggressive pursuers of political corruption in Washington regardless of political party.

eriposte :: 10:18 AM :: Comments (20) :: Digg It!