Democrats & Liberals Archives

No, Mr. Dershowitz

Alan Dershowitz has come out for the commuting of Libby’s sentence. Although I’ve covered this on my last posting, I thought his line of reasoning to be particularly egregious in how it misses the very point of what made both Libby and Bush’s misdeeds appalling to Democrats, as well as most Americans.

He basically says that the whole case is about poltics. I beg to differ. The whole case involves politics, but it is not merely about politics.

When we get into this mess about what is and is not political, we run into a big potential problem: Anything can be made political. Politics is what you might call a metacategory, a category that can contain others as well as itself. If we buy into arguments like Dershowitz's, there is literally no end, no reduction to what can be justified on political grounds. That, friends and neighbors, is pretty scary.

We have other things than just politics to worry about here. We have the integrity of the courts to deal with. We have national security to deal with. We have the proper function of our government, and the recognition of elected and appointed officials of certain limits to their behavior. I have made a point of condemning Clinton's perjury for just that reason. Despite the fact that I am obviously a committed Democrat, I believe that the good of my party and its members only justifies so much.

When politics becomes the sole determining factor in what we consider right and wrong, then anything that our leaders can convince us of can become morality for us. And taking that road, we are lost.

Libby was prosecuted because he deliberately lied to investigators, using a pre-prepared cover story in an attempt to mislead investigators and deflect their attention from what they were investigating. He was prosecuted by a Republican United States Attorney, Judged by a man Bush himself appointed to the bench, and denied his ability to walk free during his appeal by a appeals court with two-thirds Republican Majority.

Despite this, Republicans claim that his indictment, conviction and denial of freedom were all political, the product of Democrats pushing an agenda. Why? Because making believe that it's all political makes it easier to fold the case into the realm of the subjective, where the facts can be pushed and pulled to suit the conclusions these politicians want to make.

Dershowitz's argument plays into this. The law cannot help but venture into the realms of the political. The question is, what are the central principles behind the actions? What supports them? If the facts support them, then the politics determines likes and dislikes, and little else. For political operatives like Libby to be held to the rule of law, our justice system must be forced into arenas where politics are a major concern.

The only way to ensure fairness and respect for the law is for people to agree that the law takes precedent.

Elsewhere in our government, similar issues apply. We can argue everything there on the basis of politics, but that really won't help things. Policy questions like disaster aid, environmental regulation, taxes, and others have practical sides, whether those in power want to confront them or not. Math does not care whether it's Republicans or Democrats dropping revenues, and a stream doesn't care whether those polluting about whose doing the polluting, or who's becoming a victim of it. Hurricanes and Earthquakes, Floods and Tornadoes- none of these things check party registration, or conveniently fit their damage to party profile and party purpose.

There are a whole mess of things in the real world that politics can comment on, but not determine what is right to do. As much as politics complicate the Libby case, the facts simplify it. That's how Patrick Fitzgerald, a Republican, got a conviction against a member of his own party.

Other facts serve to simplify for us the real world consequences of Libby's offense. If this Military Veteran has to serve 33 months, despite his illness and service to his country, what's Libby doing walking free? Also, according to this article, the average sentence for this crime is more than twice what Libby was going to serve, almost six years.

Dershowitz is taking the President and his supporters at their word on the politicization of the case, taking at face value claims that are poorly supported by the facts. He's ignoring the true character of what politicization really is: ignoring the facts and good practices to lend support to political agendas, individual and party-wide. To support this commutation, especially with the rationale provided, is to aid rather than oppose the politicization of the system.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at July 4, 2007 1:43 PM
Comments
Comment #224795

Bush should have pardoned Libby. It is certainly a political action, as is the whole investigation. Since Fitzgerald knew who the leaker was BEFORE he even began investigating and did nothing about it, the investigation clearly was not about the Plame affair.

Posted by: Jack at July 4, 2007 6:42 PM
Comment #224797

Stephen,

I saw that op-ed myself and also find his reasoning shockingly had. Especially at the end when he claims that Bush was the only one who “acted within his authority”. Huh?

And here’s another great one: “The decision to appoint a special prosecutor was political.” Hello, the prosecutor was appointed by the Bush Justice Department, at the request of the CIA!

Dershowitz is just using the tiresome trick of taking a result you don’t like and labeling it “politics”. Does the word politics even have any meaning in the context of criminal law?

Posted by: Woody Mena at July 4, 2007 6:56 PM
Comment #224800

Jack
Must be that the Rep prosecuter,the Rep judge and all 12 jury members were infected with “Bush Hate”.There is just no other explanation.

Posted by: BillS at July 4, 2007 7:30 PM
Comment #224803

BillS

No. The explanation is very simple. When you start a special proscutor rolling, he finds something. Think about it. You give a smart guy an assignment and a big budget and tell him to look until he finds something or can make something. It happened to Clinton; it happened to Libby.

It is a systemic problem. The special investigation is a political thing. It is like releasing an attack dog. He bites what is in front. In the Clinton case, Republican partisans cheered. In the Libby case Dems cheered, although they were less happy because the whole big investigation caught only one small fish. They had nothing on Rove or Cheney, so they caught Libby in a situation that should never have been created.

Posted by: Jack at July 4, 2007 7:47 PM
Comment #224804

Two words seperate this from “partisan” politics:

National Security!

FACT: Plame was “outed”!

People have swung on the end of a rope for less!

Any argument about that is purely partisan!

Posted by: KansasDem at July 4, 2007 7:54 PM
Comment #224805

Jack
Commuting the sentence was a good move. Now when Libby testifies in the Plame civil suit he can still take the 5th. He can get a pardon later.

Of course if it was up to me I would waterboard him since Gonzales says that is ok to protect national security. That way we could get the whole story.After all,if there is nothing to hide etc.

Posted by: BillS at July 4, 2007 8:00 PM
Comment #224811

Kansas

Plame was outed in an article by Robert Novak. Novak told the authorities very early in the investigation that his source was Richard Armitage. The game was over by any legal standard. But they kept on looking AND never charged the leaker. It does not make any legal sense, but it makes a lot of political sense.

We should go after leakers of intelligence. I would like to catch those guys who leaked to the NYTs etc.

Treason (as you imply is a different matter, but let’s take it to its conclusion anyway. What if Washington caught Benedict Arnold, but chose not to even charge him because he was hoping to blame a political opponent? Would that make sense?

BillS

What do you think Libby would be able to tell? We know that Armitage outed Plame. I do not know whether Libby could confirm that or not, but there is no need for it.

Posted by: Jack at July 4, 2007 8:25 PM
Comment #224812

Jack
I guess we will never know seeing that what Libby was found guilty of was obstructing the investigation. Did Armitage act alone? Was he under orders? Is he just taking a bullet for someone else?
What is political is this reprieve. It sends a clear signal to others that if they break the law to defend this administration the cost will not be high if they are caught.Another good move.

Posted by: BillS at July 4, 2007 8:33 PM
Comment #224819

Stephen:

Here we go again. I agree with most of your article, however you show in this article that you are a partisan hack by…..ok …..you made a completely nonpartisan and factually correct arguement. It happens to be a message that I totally agree with and believe that the left/Democrats and right/Republicans should be able to agree with. Both sides should be able to accept the arguement WITHOUT trying to make political points. Personally, I think you have had good posts(even if I have disagreed with your conclusions), however I think this is your best one for that very reason.

Jack:

I believe that you are correct as to the investigation, but I am curious as to your views on the changing emphasis of Kenneth Starr in his investigation.

Woody:
as to” And here’s another great one: “The decision to appoint a special prosecutor was political.” Hello, the prosecutor was appointed by the Bush Justice Department, at the request of the CIA!”, who was Kenneth Starr appointed by? Was he apolitical? What then are your conclusions of a Democratic appointee getting a hybrid plea to lying to a grand jury by a democrat? Are the punnishments comparable and why/why not?

KansasDem:

Same line of questioning to you. You said,”
Two words seperate this from “partisan” politics:

National Security!”

Would you care to compare and contrast your words posted on this site about Scooter and Sandy Berger? Are your stated opinions on these matters consistant or just to score political points?

For anyone that is willing to speak out or remain silent on issues just for political points, what does that say about your beliefs and character? If you were making money off of it, what is your profession? On our Day of Independence, we need the truth spoken, not a bunch of political whores. I deeply respect peoples’ views I disagree with, as so long as they are willing to call what they see as wrong as being wrong. At the very least, one should be able to learn from another that has good character…especially if they have differing viewpoints. If I totally agree with someone on every issue, one of us are NOT needed!! But please, I beg everyone right or left, please at least be consistant and dont be vocal or silent depending on party or just to gain political points. This country CANNOT stand much more of that and too much, WAY TOO MUCH, blood has been spilled in the name of our freedom to allow this partisan point grab to continue.

Of course, the blood, the life, the family and the God has been, still is and I pray will always be sacrificed for the rights of everyone to speak out not just out of beliefs and character, but for only political points. Happy Damned 4th of July everyone!!!!


Posted by: submariner at July 4, 2007 9:34 PM
Comment #224820

“when Libby testifies in the Plame civil suit he can still take the 5th.”

Bill S.

While that’s somewhat true the jury instructions themselves are quite different in a civil case. There’s a huge difference between “reasonable doubt” and “more likely than not” which is quite simply the difference in common terms.

The real fun will come several years from now when the paparazzi starts running photos of GW playing golf with OJ. NOW you can say that someone from the left said something ridiculous.

Posted by: KansasDem at July 4, 2007 9:45 PM
Comment #224822

“Would you care to compare and contrast your words posted on this site about Scooter and Sandy Berger?”

That’ll work as well as anything. Which party was in control when this all went to court? Which Democratic President pardoned him? Do your pants feel full yet?

At the end of the day all of these comparisons are sad. Just because someone else did bad is hardly an excuse for doing bad yourself. Check out the middle column.

Posted by: KansasDem at July 4, 2007 10:10 PM
Comment #224825

KansasDem:

In my response to you, I did not justify the actions of President Bush in reguards to Scooter Libby, nor did I compare his actions to President Clintons. I did not compare the actions of Scooter Libby to Sandy Berger. I asked you to show by acts omission or commisssion your motives and views on two similar cases, one involving a Democrat, the other involving a Republican to show political bias. I did not ask you to compare the actions of two Presidents, just your stated views on them. In absence of a reply to the direct question I asked, I will borrow your question,”ARE YOUR PANTS FULL YET”?

WITH RIGHTS COMES RESPONSIBILITY. Take care of both or accept neither

Posted by: submariner at July 4, 2007 10:37 PM
Comment #224826

Jack-
First, Fitzgerald isn’t aligned with the left. He just got done prosecuting A Democratic Governor, I believe, before they made him special prosecutor on this. So just whose political agenda is he serving? It’s become the standard talking point whenever Republicans get in trouble.

I mean, if politics dominated the Libby Prosecution, why weren’t Armitage and Rove in Docket beside him? The Partisan action would be to push this to the limit, to bring these people to trial, and just bash the living hell out of them and leave it to the jury. Instead, what does this Democratic Sleeper Operative do? He lets two of the leakers go free!

And why? Because the law was written to handle enemy agents. Nobody imagined that anybody would be so stupid as to do this kind of thing from the inside for these purposes. The way a law is written affects the way it is carried out. There are standards and tests that Fitzgerald had to meet, and part of what screwed it up was our boy Libby lying his ass off to screw up the chronology.

One of the big signs that somebody has something to hide, is of course the act of hiding something. Maybe Libby’s lying is simply the act of a desperate, put-upon target of an investigation. But is that a fact, or just the most favorable speculation one might venture into the situation? The whole point of an investigation is to find out, not simply assume what the truth is. It’s awful hard to find things out, though, if people can lie their asses off to you with impunity.

What justifies that, Jack? Why would innocent men need to deceive and divert an investigation into a matter like this, if nobody did anything wrong? What would motivate such patently illegal behavior? I don’t know what would be worse, the stupidity and/or foolishness it would take to do that when you’ve done nothing wrong, or the probability that they believed they were doing something illegal, and therefore lied to avoid punishment for their acts.

Moreover, how the hell can you ask for the prosecution of low-level leakers when those who leaked this sensitive information at high levels not only went free, but were treated by the right as heroes doing good? Once you start that kind of politicization, then there is less motivation for people below to keep these secrets.

The Bush administration has devalued our nation’s secrets by playing political games with our nation’s security. How do you tell folks below not to leak when they feel it necessary, when they do so above at a political whim?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 4, 2007 10:50 PM
Comment #224827

Submariner

I think Starr went too far. But I also think that is the nature of that sort of position. When you give someone a mandate to find a crime a lot of leeway to do it and a big budget, they will find a crime. Imagine Starr or Fitzgerald after spending so much time and energy just admitting they were on a wild goose chase. Add to this the manure of politics and you have a fertile mix to find someone to blame for something.

BillS

There was nothing to find out. We know who leaked to Novak and we know that Novak’s article is was outed Plame. We can speculate that someone else wanted to, would have or could have done it, but it is like speculating that AFTER we caught a bank robber that someone else might have wanted to rob the bank too, but didn’t. In our country we do not have a category for speculative thought crimes, i.e. you cannot invent a crime just for the people you do not like.

My Dem friends

It is pretty weak beer you all have to drink anyway. I remember all the talk about Fitzmas a coming. It turns out that Fitz took down a guy who most people had not heard of before the investigation and he couldn’t even reel in this small fish for anything directly relating to the putative crime.

As Starr did with Clinton, Fitzgerald could only prove that his subject lied about something that was not a crime. AND you cannot blame any cover up for this NOT being a crime. We KNOW who leaked and since Fitzgerald did not go after him at all, we can only conclude that Fitzgerald does not think Armitage committed any crime when he outed Plame. I know Dems think that if they could only tag Rove or Cheney with that same act, I WOULD be a crime, but in our country we do not create expostfacto laws aimed at particular individuals.

Posted by: Jack at July 4, 2007 10:55 PM
Comment #224829

Submariner, KansasDem-
The trouble I see here is that many independents are taking a much too evenhanded approach than either the facts or the state of events merit.

Whatever Clinton did, it’s in the past, while Bush’s actions are ongoing. That alone makes it worse; that alone makes it more urgent to condemn it in no uncertain terms. We should bring up past condemnations by the opposition part that’s now trying to protect the wrongdoers as a way of shaming them into ending their acceptance, not bring up past wrong doing as a means to shame current accusers into letting something slide.

I am fully willing to let this criticism be turned against us when we’re too chickens*** to confront our own people. That’s the whole point of Democracy. Not mutual apathy and learned helplessness in the face of common corruption, but mutual accountability, or better yet, common accountability, the recognition that we’re living in one society, legally speaking, not two, that those in power had to remain accountable, and those out of it had to remain committed to the system, despite the disadvantages of being a minority.

We have to keep our heads above water on this one, not let past corruption become the reason to soften our response to it in the present.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 4, 2007 11:07 PM
Comment #224831

Jack-
The fact that they only sent Al Capone up on Tax Evasion charges doesn’t mean they didn’t think he committed other crimes. In a nation where the standard for successful prosecution is guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, there will be many times where prosecutors believe a crime has been committed, but do not feel that there’s enough evidence to convict the person of it.

This is a legal system based on thresholds. The absence of indictment is not evidence of the absence of a crime.

One last thing: if this was a partisan prosecution, why not push things further than that, why not abuse the prosecutorial power and push these cases beyond the rather painstaking factual picture that Fitzgerald put forward? Why aren’t Rove and Armitage there (especially Rove!) if this is a Democratic Witchhunt?

Isn’t it troublesome that most of the players in this Democratic conspiracy are Republicans? The unfortunate fact here seems to be that the Republicans have gotten into some pretty standard habits when accused of wrong doing. One of them is alleging a partisan witchhunt, and pretending everybody involved is a far left liberal.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 4, 2007 11:24 PM
Comment #224837

Stephen:

We are so close to agreeing. So damn close. You said”The trouble I see here is that many independents are taking a much too evenhanded approach than either the facts or the state of events merit.”

How can anoyne…conservative or liberal, hell even moderate be too evenhanded in calling right and wrong? I am not saying that their opinions have to be agreeable, but at least consistant. Reguardless of political leaning, reguardless of a value set, right is right and wrong is wrong. We can…we SHOULD debate what is right and wrong, but our values should dictate what is right/wrong…..not the party affiliation of the right/wrong doer in question.

I do not accept the justification of President Bush’s commutation of Scooter Libby as being that President Clinton pardoned Mr. Rich, or the punnishment of Mr. Berger, but because the commutation happened less than 8 years after the pardon(less than that on the Berger case), does NOT give any moral relevency due to timing. IMHO it would be different if you were comparing it to say, President Jefferson owning slaves.

You said,” I am fully willing to let this criticism be turned against us when we’re too chickens***to confront our own people. That’s the whole point of Democracy. Not mutual apathy and learned helplessness in the face of common corruption, but mutual accountability, or better yet, common accountability, the recognition that we’re living in one society, legally speaking, not two, that those in power had to remain accountable, and those out of it had to remain committed to the system, despite the disadvantages of being a minority. ” That is so well said. I cannot disagree with your ideal there. But IMHO, as so long as we allow ourselves to divide along party lines, we have two societies and therefore, equal justice and rights are NOT possible. so it follows that as so long as there are apologists and people that accept moral relevance along party lines, people that do not hold their own accountable, equality CANNOT be achieved. The 20% that do not vote party lines have to hold both parties accountable, and must be too evenhanded. That is like being too fair. In politics, imagine that.

Posted by: submariner at July 5, 2007 12:25 AM
Comment #224836

Stephen:

We are so close to agreeing. So damn close. You said”The trouble I see here is that many independents are taking a much too evenhanded approach than either the facts or the state of events merit.”

How can anoyne…conservative or liberal, hell even moderate be too evenhanded in calling right and wrong? I am not saying that their opinions have to be agreeable, but at least consistant. Reguardless of political leaning, reguardless of a value set, right is right and wrong is wrong. We can…we SHOULD debate what is right and wrong, but our values should dictate what is right/wrong…..not the party affiliation of the right/wrong doer in question.

I do not accept the justification of President Bush’s commutation of Scooter Libby as being that President Clinton pardoned Mr. Rich, or the punnishment of Mr. Berger, but because the commutation happened less than 8 years after the pardon(less than that on the Berger case), does NOT give any moral relevency due to timing. IMHO it would be different if you were comparing it to say, President Jefferson owning slaves.

You said,” I am fully willing to let this criticism be turned against us when we’re too chickens***to confront our own people. That’s the whole point of Democracy. Not mutual apathy and learned helplessness in the face of common corruption, but mutual accountability, or better yet, common accountability, the recognition that we’re living in one society, legally speaking, not two, that those in power had to remain accountable, and those out of it had to remain committed to the system, despite the disadvantages of being a minority. ” That is so well said. I cannot disagree with your ideal there. But IMHO, as so long as we allow ourselves to divide along party lines, we have two societies and therefore, equal justice and rights are NOT possible. so it follows that as so long as there are apologists and people that accept moral relevance along party lines, people that do not hold their own accountable, equality CANNOT be achieved. The 20% that do not vote party lines have to hold both parties accountable, and must be too evenhanded. That is like being too fair. In politics, imagine that.

Posted by: submariner at July 5, 2007 12:25 AM
Comment #224838

Stephen

We KNOW who outed Plame. Fitzgerald KNEW who outed her from the day he took the job. The fact that he did not act on that knowledge at all indicates that he did not consider it a crime.

You extrapolate from the KNOW outer (Armatage) to the people you want to be guilty. You can do that, although w/o any particular justification. BUT in order to follow the path of the “crime” you at least have to start with the first guy you KNOW did it.

In your Capone example, yes we believe he was responsible for many crimes. But you would not be able to say he committed a crime that you KNOW someone else did w/o at least charging the other guy.

If you thought Capone had ordered a hit and you KNEW who had pulled the trigger, you would at least have to go after the trigger man, don’t you think? If you did not even do that, we might suspect you did not have a case.

Re a witchhunt - I explained in other posts that the problem is systemic with a special prosecutor. If even after all that investigation he could not find anything, you might have to conclude there is not much there.

Starr & Fitzgerald did not act in partisan ways. But the very fact that they were put in the postion to look for a crime and given a big budget to do it invites problems. Give a man a hammer, and lots of things start looking like nails. Give him a big budget too and he will find things to pound.

The fact that in both the Clinton & Libby cases all they could get was lying about something where no crime was charged indicates the weakness of those cases.

Posted by: Jack at July 5, 2007 12:25 AM
Comment #224840

submariner-
The kind of evenhandedness I’m talking about is something like when a reporter prints quotes from both parties, but fails to do the work to see whose actually telling something approaching the truth. Not everything is open for debate, establishable by rhetoric alone. We should debate what is right and wrong, but we should be guided by more than just artificial notions of abstract fairness.

With respect to timing, here’s my take: What’s done is done. If people don’t have authority unless they believed rightly the first time to complain this time, well who has the right to complain? Where’s the room for disillusionment and regret? Where’s the room to reconsider it all and decide the political advantage isnt’ worth it?

As far dividing ourselves along party lines? We’re going to do that. It’s human nature. The question is how much weight we give to party politics, and how much we fight for it. There’ll never be complete purification of the system. We fight for what we we want out of our government

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 5, 2007 12:50 AM
Comment #224859

Jack-
His original mandate was to investigate a breach of national security. Libby, when asked, lied to cover up his own involvement in that breach, an involvement which, until Bob Woodward’s revelation, made him and not Armitage the earliest known leaker. He spent less than a million dollars, as I understand it, too about two or three years to do his job, and actually landed a conviction.

You talk about his failure to charge anybody int he leak. I believe I already told you that as a prosecutor, he must feel that he can prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. The current laws regarding exposing agents are not tuned to dealing with politically motivated insiders who believe they’re doing what’s best for the country.

Now you say, the investigation should have stopped when they found out who the leaker was. A number of things are wrong with that assertion.

First, even if he is going to prosecute, Fitzgerald has to meet the standard of proving the case beyond a reasonable doubt. He has to eliminate other factors, get his ducks lined up in a row. He can’t simply assume the facts surround the case.

Secondly, Armitage picked the information up from somebody else. There was a context to the revelation made to him, that had to be investigated. As it turns out, others leaked too, and if Judith Miller had run with the story Libby gave her, he, not Armitage, would have been the leaker.

It’s important to point out that the leak to the public came as a result of a leak to the press, to reporters without the clearance for classified information. Rove and Libby’s leaks might have been criminal in nature, despite the fact that they weren’t disclosed to the public by the Reporters in question.

Third, the question is whether the leakers acted alone, or whether they were told and instructed to do these things by others. By your logic, people would stop short of Al Capone, and simply send his gunman up the river.

You’re employing a hindsight argument to justify calling Fitzgerald’s investigation excessive, his prosecution overzealous, yet at the same time are arguing that nothing was done wrong because this excessive investigator and overzealous prosecutor did not prosecute everybody involved, just the guy that lied to him. So what is Fitzgerald to you, a bulldog, or a good dog? One argument requires that you make the case that he overstepped his authority, the other that he acted properly within it. Which is it?

You see, Democrats like myself understand the imperfect nature of criminal prosecution and investigations. We obviously wanted people prosecuted, but if you’ll note, we accepted that laws, poorly written, could make it difficult to successfully prosecute the offense. Nonetheless, Fitzgerald’s investigation did vindicate us on the facts. Where your side claimed that the White House had nothing to do with it, and even went so far as to blame the victims, Fitzgerald’s investigation clearly implicates Rove and others in the White House in this security breach, even if the decision was made not to prosecute them. The facts have Matt Cooper being told about Valerie Wilson’s identity before it was common knowledge by Rove.

In the end, the facts were closer to what we claimed was happening, than what you claim.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 5, 2007 9:57 AM
Comment #224860

Submariner,

You asked:

“Would you care to compare and contrast your words posted on this site about Scooter and Sandy Berger?”

That’s a direct quote (in fact a cut-n-paste)

Berger’s violations took place in 2003. So the entire investigation, which concluded in 2005, took place during a period of time that Republicans held the reins in the House, Senate, and the White House. The investigation ran the full course and the DOJ determined that only “copies” were destroyed, but I’ve never bought that.

IMO Berger certainly should have received a stiffer sentence. His actions were indefensible.

However my point is that no Democrat pardoned him or commuted his sentence. As I stated previously the entire investigation took place while Republicans were at the helm. Any failure in the Berger case was a failure of the Ashcroft / Gonzalez DOJ.

Posted by: KansasDem at July 5, 2007 10:02 AM
Comment #224862

Democrats Come out Against tough school standards.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/07/03/dems.nea.ap/index.html

The Democrat candidates say it’s a terrible thing to test a child or to hold teachers accountable if they fail to teach.

Yes, now we know what democrats stand against, tough standards in education. Yup, they all voted for it, now they all oppose it.

Posted by: Stephend at July 5, 2007 10:08 AM
Comment #224864

Jack,

Remember this chart?

http://oversight.house.gov/documents/20070316173308-19288.pdf

Everybody and their pet goat was spilling the beans about Plame-Wilson!

Posted by: KansasDem at July 5, 2007 10:30 AM
Comment #224866

I guess this is what you call pandering to a special interest group.

Democrats SUPPORT inferior public school education because it’s so “politically correct” to pander to the teachers union.

Posted by: Stephen at July 5, 2007 10:39 AM
Comment #224870

Stephen,

As usual, this is a very interesting article. You wrote:

When politics becomes the sole determining factor in what we consider right and wrong, then anything that our leaders can convince us of can become morality for us. And taking that road, we are lost.

This is political “cultural relativism.” Cultural relativism is a liberal principal. While, as a liberal, I believe in using cultural relativism to understand another culture, this Republican use of cultural relativism is cultural relativism at its worst. It is not using cultural relativism to understand another culture, rather it is using it to rationalize and trivialize the degeneration of our own culture. The ethnocentric Republicans supposedly hate cultural relativism. They are “all about” the judgment of God and absolute right and wrong, good and “evil doers” until it suits their purpose to talk out of the other side of their mouth.


Posted by: Ray Guest at July 5, 2007 10:54 AM
Comment #224877

It simply comes down to this: If you don’t have anything to hide, you don’t need to lie…

Posted by: Rachel at July 5, 2007 11:55 AM
Comment #224878

I just have three words to add to this discussion:

Armitage AND ROVE.

Let me say that again:

Armitage AND ROVE.

Republicans seem to be incapable of remembering that Robert Novak had two sources. They were, again, Armitage AND ROVE.

I’m not angry or anything, I’m just trying to use some basic psychology. If you repeat something enough even the most feeble person has a chance of remembering.

Posted by: Woody Mena at July 5, 2007 12:07 PM
Comment #224879

Look at how FOX News spins this story. Even with an opposing point of view on the case is dismissed as overblown, Bush’s decision is appropriate and the only ones upset over this whole thing are liberals like nancy pelosi and harry reid.

http://beta.redlasso.com/Community/ClipPlayer.aspx?i=e48546ad-eb5d-4762-b1c3-da5f601edf04

Posted by: PaulD at July 5, 2007 12:13 PM
Comment #224889

Just an FYI….MSNBC has reported that Libby has written a check and presented it to pay his quarter million dollar fine. That defense fund that was raised for him, I’m sure, has come in handy.
Just as an aside, hasn’t anyone else wondered what Bushco might be shuffling around while we’re all enmeshed in the Libby fiasco???? Betcha he’s pulling some slick shit somewhere.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at July 5, 2007 1:47 PM
Comment #224897

I would have liked it better if Novak had been prosecuted, but I guess that is not possible since he is technically a member of the press, if you stretch the definition to include political propagandists.

GWBush becomes more monarchical as time goes by. He has always had a Mussolini complex, and does not like our form of government.

People who believe that the law takes precedence over politics are more likely to be found at universities rather than in Washington DC.

Posted by: ohrealy at July 5, 2007 2:15 PM
Comment #224905

Woody,

Nice try to put Rove in this but you might want to get into detail…

Armatige told Novak, Novak looking for ‘confirmation’ says to Rove “So, I’ve heard that Plame is Wilson’s wife.” Rove answers “Yeah, I’ve haerd that too.”

If you still want to hang him out to dry for that (I expect you do since most liberals have a longstanding hatred of Rove) then so be it. But at least be more intellectually honest than that…

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 5, 2007 2:39 PM
Comment #224909

Rhinehold,

I am not being dishonest. We all know that reporters are supposed to have at least two sources. One as Armitage and the other was Rove. Armitage was first, but Rove was still a source. Nove has always said he two sources (“two senior administration officials”), and he eventually identified Rove as one of them.

If you think that’s a lie, you should take it up with Mr. Novak. Maybe he is making things up about Rove because he “hates” him…

Posted by: Woody Mena at July 5, 2007 2:59 PM
Comment #224912

Kansas Dem…I put this on another post for you, but you’ve been on here more recently, so here it is again.
http://tinyurl.com/

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at July 5, 2007 3:11 PM
Comment #224931

Novak is also a democrat, Ironic isn’t it.

I hear Obama’s wife got caught taking a huge payoff at work. If it had been Fred Thompson the libs and their press would be demanding that she go to prison.

But since it’s Obama, the press and the libs want him and the corrupt Hillary to go to the Whitehouse….there will be no cry of outrage on this board tonight over Obama’s wife and her influence peddling.

Posted by: Stephen at July 5, 2007 5:28 PM
Comment #224938

Thanks Sandra!

Posted by: KansasDem at July 5, 2007 6:15 PM
Comment #224950

KD…you’re welcome!

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at July 5, 2007 8:05 PM
Comment #224958

Woody Mena- You are right, I have shown the time line an dated material from the Prosecutors memo,
an they will continue to spin the truth. Guess
people wanting facts, must search for them, but
we know the three of four here that will not tell
the whole truth, an sometimes not at all!

Posted by: -DAVID- at July 5, 2007 9:35 PM
Comment #224988

I see they studied the results of the Cox firing. They must be sweating bullets right now.


Stephen

Novak a Dem? You must be joking.

Posted by: BillS at July 6, 2007 12:26 AM
Comment #225009
Just as an aside, hasn’t anyone else wondered what Bushco might be shuffling around while we’re all enmeshed in the Libby fiasco???? Betcha he’s pulling some slick shit somewhere.

Sandra, that was the first thought that came to my mind…while we’re busy watching the filthy hands moving the shells around, what’s going on that we should really be watching and knowing??? Bait and switch is the entire legacy of the Bush administration…wonder if they all studied at Sears, Roebuck????

Posted by: Rachel at July 6, 2007 9:20 AM
Comment #225063

Stephen-
This is not the thread to discuss this, but let me offer my opinion of NCLB: We have far too much reductionism in education nowadays as it is.

Standardized testing is a bit of an illusion. It gives people the impression that they can reduce student performance to a number.

Yet somebody like me, who scored high on many tests, even aced some parts of standardized testing, doesn’t necessarily succeed because of that.

The beauty of it is that you can show objective results. the ugly side of it, is that those “objective results” do not necessarily mean that the material is well learned or well understood. At the end of the day, of course, that’s the important question. What good is it to slavishly follow these results if they are a poor guide to real potential, to actual education?

Teaching to the tests only make things worse, letting the more intuitive and instinctive parts of learning fall by the wayside to take care of the easily rationalizeable stuff that you can build multiple choice tests out of.

If there is a major flaw to education nowadays in general, it’s the tendency to focus on rote material, rather than teaching people how to deal with the complex matters that are really going to kick their ass later. The real world doesn’t reduce itself to clear choices. It doesn’t even tell you the question you need to answer half the time. Any education that does not help children anticipate this, private or public, doesn’t prepared them for real life.

As for Obama’s wife? To call her promotion bribery, you must first have somebody in a position to gain something from it. She worked for a non-profit hospital. Second, there must be something given in return. He favors universal healthcare. The folks there have nothing to gain, and don’t seem to have gotten anything for the benefit they’ve provided Barack’s family. Additionally, there’s no evidence that for this promotion they payed her anything out of line for her services as a Vice President in the company.

One last thing: she’s quit the job to help her husband run the campaign, as of May.

It takes more than timing to make a promotion a bribe.

On the subject of Novak? If what you’re saying is right, then I’d say with Democrats like him, who needs Republicans?

Rhinehold-
The proper response to any question concerning classified information is “I can neither confirm nor deny that.” If that at all. Rove’s answer should have been “Sorry, no comment.”, not “Yeah, I heard that, too”

By that standard, What Rove told Matt Cooper is way over the line.

Why are these people discussing these matters? One of the ironies of all this is that with such a secrecy-obsessed presidency, they can’t keep the secrets that matter to themselves.

I guess it’s like McGeorge Bundy said: if you protect your toothbrushes and your diamonds with equal zeal, you’ll lose few toothbrushes and quite a few diamonds.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 6, 2007 2:58 PM
Comment #225094

Stephen:

Sorry it has taken me a couple of days to respond. I work a lot of hours from to time and this week was one of those times. I thank all here for the understanding of time issues.

You said,”With respect to timing, here’s my take: What’s done is done. If people don’t have authority unless they believed rightly the first time to complain this time, well who has the right to complain? Where’s the room for disillusionment and regret? Where’s the room to reconsider it all and decide the political advantage isnt’ worth it?” I am not saying that if someone did not stand up against a Democrat that committed a crime(or wrong)5, 10, or 15 years ago can or should not speak out now. The same holds true for the other side. But what I am saying is that right now most bloggers are committed more to their party than their own ideals. And that compromises the integrity of their ideals. Currently a Democrat is under indictment for bribery related charges. I just made a quick scan of the archives at watchblog and did not see one Democrat/Liberal article denouncing him(it was a quick scan of the headlines for the last 3 months…if I am incorrect or did not go back far enough, please correct me). Also a senior House member has a husband that has made millions off of defense related contracts and not one headline on the Democratic/Liberal side of the website. These are not ancient history, we cant do anything types of problems, they are happening right now!! But every call of treason, every call of reform, every call for someone to be ridden out of town on a rail and every head wanted on a platter by the Democrats is against a Republican, no matter the crime/issue. Again the Republicans/Conservatives are NO better and need to be held accountable just as much. It is my hope that people of a party or affiliation of any political leaning/group would actually hold their own members and especially their leaders to a higher standard. Unless a person believes that morality matters more in their own party than their opponents, true reform will never happen. IMHO the current situation is that both sides are willing to place that aside for political gain and as long as people are not willing to stand up against corruption of ALL kinds, our nation can be lost ……probably WILL be lost.

KansasDem:

In keeping with my theme, you said,”IMO Berger certainly should have received a stiffer sentence. His actions were indefensible.”(all I am capable of doing is copy and paste…I am too old for a keyboarding class and do not care for html either lol). I am asking again how many times did you write an article or post about that? If it had been Rush Limbaugh, would you have spoken out louder and more often? WHY?

You said,”However my point is that no Democrat pardoned him or commuted his sentence. As I stated previously the entire investigation took place while Republicans were at the helm. Any failure in the Berger case was a failure of the Ashcroft / Gonzalez DOJ”. I agree with you, but have you been willing to speak out in the same manner about any pardons handed out by a Democrat? This is the heart of my very point. We are willing to hold “government” accountable as so long as it is the others’ side of government.

As to this matter, I do not believe that I used “party” to justify or condemn either side of the criminal issues, yet your response was to try to blame BOTH cases on the Republicans. Yet I have not seen a headline nor response to one where any Democrat proclaimed “ANOTHER FAILURE BY AG GONZALEZ AND PRESIDENT BUSH!!!!” or “ANOTHER POLITICAL HACK SPARED PRISON!!” in which the left claimed that Sandy Berger was let off easy. Using our freedoms of speech and press are great, and are very effective tools to change public preception and therefore public policy, but are you willing to cede these rights so that only Republicans look bad? If the people of our country do not take off their party blinders and start living up to the responsibilities of their freedoms, that is precisely what we will all do.

Posted by: submariner at July 6, 2007 7:30 PM
Comment #225125

Submariner-
Look at our archives, and find how many people actually support William Jefferson. Not very many. If you look at blogs like Talking Points Memo or Washington Monthly’s Political Animal, you’ll find that they don’t much like him. Nobody does. He’s an embarrassment. The difference, I’d say, is that the Republicans have a bad habit of rallying around their embarrassments and making excuses for them, while Democrats prefer to clear the area.

Even then, of course, we’re not immune to corruption. Here’s what I believe though: this is a system designed to pit the ambitious against each other in such a way that people become cautious about their behavior to avoid unwanted trouble. Of course, this requires two things: public vigilance, and a sense of shame on the part of the party and its supporters. If nothing embarrasses or outrages you about revelations from your own party, then behavior can deteriorate endlessly.

When Democratic sites humorously label Jefferson as (D- Icebox), you can understand we know his behavior’s an embarassment.

Unfortunately, the Republicans have taken a tack of circling the wagons defensively around anybody caught or accused of doing something bad. Conzalez, Libby, are just two of a long list of Bush adminstration folks who have been apologized for. What’s surprised me with this administration is the level of loose cannon behavior, and the uncompromising defense that is always given. I would think that these people would just give up on these people and admit that some of them have seriously misbehaved, but that sort of admission or decision seems to be strongly discouraged.

The question, ultimately, is about the facts. Sometimes, it’s the facts that bring things off balance, which support a bias.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 6, 2007 11:58 PM
Comment #225251

Stephen Daugherty - Excellent posts

Posted by: -DAVID- at July 7, 2007 10:27 PM
Comment #225320

Stephen:
I agree with everything you said in your last response.I did not claim to see support for Rep. Jefferson but my point entirely was that there were no Democrats/Liberals writing articles opposing him either. Allowing corruption to go unchallanged encourages more of the same. IMHO no one is better at letting a scandle go under the radar than the Democrats.

As to the Republicans, you could not be more correct. They are as good as any at defending the undefensible and for the life of me, I cannot understand why the Republicans would allow that to continue.

IMHO the danger of losing power is more important to party politics than the dangers of allowing corruption go unchecked. I would love to see you get with an editor that you trust from the Republican side, each write an article of corruption in your own parties, review each others work for integrity, and post them simulneously in the respective columns. Just a thought.

Posted by: submariner at July 8, 2007 3:03 PM
Comment #225342

submariner-
The guy was caught red-handed, was disowned by his own party openly. there was no circling the wagons. What could I add to condemn this guy that he hasn’t already done to himself?

As for corruption? That’s often been a concern of mine, though honestly, I’ve rarely addressed it directly. That said, it’s always been my position that our dominance could be as temporary as the Republican’s was if we don’t watch our behavior. Americans didn’t put us in place to enact our version of Washington Corruption, but rather to clean house of the bitter disappointments of the Republican majority that was supposed to do that.

I guess I can look for stuff on the Democrats to post. It’s not been my natural habit, I’ll admit, but I’d just as soon not see my part commit the same mistakes as their rivals.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 8, 2007 8:56 PM
Comment #225355

Dershowitz standing up for Lying Libby,whats new about that.He stood by O.J,the slimball who killed two people in cold blood.I think Libby will be out with a book sooon.It will be called,(If i Lied).

Posted by: the libertine at July 8, 2007 10:51 PM
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