Democrats & Liberals Archives

Contempt

The Republicans say it’s a matter of executive privilege. But that gets them only so far. Harriet Miers and Josh Bolton are not allowed to simply skip out. Oversight is a basic constitutional responsibility and right of Congress. After all, they’re footing the executive Branch’s bill, and writing the laws that this President and those under him are supposed to enforce.

I invite whichever Republicans think a subpeona is a light matter to defy one from a court. A Congressional Subpeona carries the same weight. Congress is not asking people to show up, they're telling them to, and that is part of their powers.

Executive privilege relates to facts in files, and testimony in progress, not butts in seats. Taking that, or taking the fifth is no shield for not showing up. People like James Sensenbrenner want you to believe that this merely about those privileges. At the end of the day, though, it's not about that. It's about respecting the constitutional powers of Congress. If Congress backs down on this, it's not being sensible, or affirming the powers of Congress (yes, they're actually saying that), they're capitulating on a matter where the the law is on their side.

The Bush Administration seems to think that the laws of this country can be bent and broken at it's will. It seems to think that it's appointees and officials can stonewall, make up stuff, violate American's constitutional rights, and take policy in any direction they want, despite their promise to uphold and execute the laws of their country.

Now I can understand an occasional breaking or bending of the rules, but this is ridiculous. We are not a military dictatorship, or a monarchy of any kind. Bush can't simply make things up as he goes along.

The constitution was written to create these kinds of political conflicts. Part of Madison's approach was to set different political groups and different branches at odds to encourage compromise and in the best of times, cooperation. This is part of the secret of how America has survived for well over two centuries, while so many Democracies have failed. By making it difficult for anybody to consolidate unquestionable power, the Founding Fathers prevented our government from becoming a competition between those ruthless enough to grab for that power. In this way, we have avoided the fate of so many Republics, where one faction or party overruns everything.

Unfortunately, the Republicans, driven by the partisan belief that their beliefs should and need to reign supreme, have made it their business over the last few decades to try and consolidate that kind of power, and they have taught their members, including Bush, that this is only right, that the alternative is America's destruction or diminishment. Fortunately, the system did what it was intended to do, and Americans let off steam in 2006, in what most consider a generational shift. All their power-grabbing has left them weaker than they've been in a long time.

But what a mess they've left behind. They did next to no oversight on Bush, next to no examination of what was really going on with the war, with everything else. They let Bush get away with just about everything. That's part of why they're gone, but Bush hasn't gone with them, and he continues to believe that it's either his right, or worse, his duty, to defy the laws, defy the Congress, and govern as he sees fit.

That's what Republicans are defending: absolute power on their side. They should consider, though, that these powers are unlikely to remain in Republican hands for long. Both, no, all parties should recognize that limits were put in place for the sake of everybody, to make sure that one branch's powers wouldn't overwhelm the others, and start us on the course towards tyranny and civil strife.

And yes, that means that these people should show up to testify, even if that means they just show up and say, I'm afraid I can't answer that question. What makes this even worse is that our president has effectively ordered the Justice Department not to enforce the law, should Congress make that citation.

Mr. President, I'm afraid enforcing the law is in your job description. Why should Congress not require you to do your job?

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at July 26, 2007 7:50 AM
Comments
Comment #227430

Aw, law isn’t for good ole Texas boys and oilmen…it’s just for whomever these boys wanna grapple with…and ordnary hicks like most Muricans…

Posted by: Rachel at July 26, 2007 8:40 AM
Comment #227434

Stephen,

“Oversight is a basic constitutional responsibility and right of Congress.”

Congress has oversight over things they can legislate about, not blanket oversight. If they had that, there would be no separation of powers. The Executive branch would become subservient to the Legislative branch. This is not what our Founding Fathers intended.

Congress doesn’t legislate the firing practices of the Executive branch. Nor should they. They can grandstand all they want. They can puff up their feathers and put on a good show. They can act grave and solemn and talk about the subversion of the Constitution to their little hearts content. In the end, they do little for this country. We are all worse for it.

You think President Bush abuses his office. Isn’t this show another abuse from Congress? Let’s get some work done. Their are real problems that could be solved.

Posted by: wolf at July 26, 2007 9:18 AM
Comment #227437

Rachel-
David R. Remer and I are Texans.

Wolf-
Congress legislated the whole existence and structure of the Justice Department into existence, approves and authorizes their budgets, and, might I add, gives them the laws they are supposed to enforce. Oversight is part of their mandate. The President makes decisions, congress can respond to those decisions. Checks and balances.

Congress does legislate hiring practices. There’s also laws about not interfering with investigations. That’s what Scooter Libby ran afoul of, and Richard Nixon, among others, before him. He fired a number of Attorneys that were working on cases that targeted Republicans in crucial races.

This is part of what the American people elected the Democrats to do. The corruption that some of these investigators were pursuing when they got fired was part of what doomed the Republicans to minority status. Is it not significant that attorneys involved in these investigations were fired? Is it also not significant that there was pressure on these people to carry out prosecutions that they thought were frivilous in cases where the results or even the suspicions created could benefit the party?

The Republicans and right-wingers need to stop making excuses for this. They cannot exorcize the demons of 2006 until they realize that most of the wounds that brought them down were self-inflicted.

Among the worst of these wounds have been those inflicted by the Bush administration. By making nearly every decision a political one, they have both crippled practical governance in many parts, and undermined the credibility of those who are given the job to carry out the laws of this country.

But regardless of all this, even if everything you said was true, one thing would remain: no matter whether the whole thing is partisan or not, these people cannot legally defy a subpeona, not on executive privilege grounds. Let them come to the congress to stonewall, not sit comfortably at home.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 26, 2007 9:53 AM
Comment #227438

Stephen:

But are you a “good old boy”?? When Texans elect people like Bush and Delay, they lose respect…best wishes in earning it back…

Posted by: Rachel at July 26, 2007 9:56 AM
Comment #227439

stephen,

It’s useless. Go ahead with the witchunt. I have no use for this.

Posted by: wolf at July 26, 2007 10:02 AM
Comment #227440

Stephen,

I agree with you that the investigations are legitimate, but there is a real danger of the Dems enjoying there investigative power so much that they forgot to pass legislation. As I wrote a couple of months ago in my “Open Letter to Harry Reid”

From one point of view, you folks in the Senate have been doing a smashing job. You managed to get an Iraq bill through that sent a message that this isn’t an indefinite commitment. The Senate investigation of the prosecutor firings has shown how the “Mayberry Machiavellis” in the White House don’t see any distinction between policy and politics. I’ve got to ask though: Could you pass some meaningful legislation while you are holding that gavel?
Posted by: Woody Mena at July 26, 2007 10:32 AM
Comment #227443

Wolf,
“Witch hunt?” It is called the Constitution and the responsibilities of the 3 branches under that document. It also call federal laws that this Administration may have violated. Wolf you might want to do something that this Administration has not done, read and follow the Constitution. I do understand that the few Bush supporters left either do not understand what is happening or just get their news from Fox Noise or from ultra-right radio talk shows or both.

Rachel,
“Good old boys?” The voters of the U.S. elected the Occupant of the White House not just Texas. Yes Texas elected Bush a Governor and DeLay to the House. These “Good Old Boys” also elected L.B.J., Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn and gave us the wonderful writter Molly Ivins. Blaiming all Texans for Bush is like blaiming all Kansans for Brownback and Tiahrt.

Posted by: C.T.Rich at July 26, 2007 11:50 AM
Comment #227446

It seems a bit ridiculous at this point to keep complaining that this gang of thugs doesn’t respect the Constitution, and is choosing not to uphold it. We all know this is the case. Gonzales just perjured himself before Congress — repeatedly. They can and should impeach him. Same goes for this entire lawless administration.

I’m with Woody — farting around with umpteen investigations seems a waste of time and will only distract from the passage of much needed legislation. We’ve got the goods on this entire group to impeach, and an example needs to be set for the future of our country. No more excuses, please. With almost two years to go, there is still plenty of time to do what needs doing.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 26, 2007 1:37 PM
Comment #227450

“Blaiming all Texans for Bush is like blaiming all Kansans for Brownback and Tiahrt.”

Watch it now :^)

Posted by: KansasDem at July 26, 2007 2:17 PM
Comment #227454

“They should consider, though, that these powers are unlikely to remain in Republican hands for long.”

Stephen,

Very, very true and the pendulum’s not yet swung that far left. Now, whether it’s politically popular or not we have some very divisive issues to deal with. Oversight can never be taken lightly.

Whether intentional or not the Republicans set a potential precedent in allowing nearly unfettered Presidential power from 2003 thru 2007 the likes of which I’ve not witnessed in my lifetime. One issue I worry about that’s yet to be addressed is the increased use of “signing statements” not only by Bush but also by previous Presidents.

Regarding Gonzales………..sheesh, I’m glad I never had a lawyer like him!

Posted by: KansasDem at July 26, 2007 2:44 PM
Comment #227455

Rachel-
I’m not a good ol’ boy, but it might interest you to know that Texas is 80% urban, and about 40-something percent Democrat.

Wolf-
We have Senators and representatives phoning up US Attorneys with concerns about prosecutions, when by ethical standards they shouldn’t be discussing crap with them. We have a hyperselective process for firing, with every official pointing to every other official as to who choose them. We have attorneys with sterling records, who are noted for their expertise in these fields being dissed as having dissatisfactory results. Witch-hunt? There’s plenty of evidence that there was a process, and there’s plenty of evidence that they were pushing competent, even excellent US Attorneys to file cases they didn’t believe they had enough evidence of wrongdoing to prosecute.

What’s the definition of a Witch-Hunt? Look up the McCarthy Red Scare. That’s a witch-hunt. That’s people being pursued on little evidence and forced to name names to show themselves not guilty. We got a f***ing document trail here.

Why can’t we get a straight answer here? Why is the Attorney General apparently so forgetful, he can’t remember as single meeting he’s been in? Why is it so easy for Justice Department officials to suddenly develop foggy memories? If your theory is that these people did nothing wrong, why are they courting perjury charges and looking like idiots to dance around the facts on this?

Woody Mena-
We have what’s shaping up to be one of the most obstructive minorities in history. I’m not kidding. You look at a chart of their filibusters, and the projection of what they get at this pace is more than double the number of any Congress before it. But I do agree that we need to get the legislation moving, I just don’t think our investigations are the cause of the delay.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 26, 2007 3:12 PM
Comment #227456

I agree with Stephen
When they cannot garner enough votes to override a veto (or even to overcome a filibuster — and THAT is a good one considering the whinning the Repubs were doing re: filibusters by the Dems)then it still does little good to pass legislation to only have it vetoed — unless it is done with the intent to show that the Repubs really do not care about the American People (health care, the environment, etc)

Currently it could be viewed as passing legislation is “political” — or “partisen” — as “they know it will only be vetoed and hence make the Prez look bad”

Posted by: russ at July 26, 2007 3:32 PM
Comment #227458

Further to the point
Defense of the Constitution (to me) ranks as a much higher priority than the passage of any other legislation
What good is any of the legislation if we have allowed an authoritarian executive branch (unfettered, unaccountable, and “above the law”) to not only develop, but firmly anchored.
We are already seeing past legislation being stomped on (Clean air act, endangered species act, Domestic Spying act, etc) by this administration — If the proper executive powers and privilages are not restored, then the legislature might as well pack it up and go home.
As no matter what they do, the executive now feels he has the authority to dictate what he feels is the “right way” regardless of legislation, nor judicial precendence.
Nope
What they are doing now is much more important
it is the foundation upon which any future legislation will rest — and without a proper foundation, the building will collapse.

Posted by: russ at July 26, 2007 3:37 PM
Comment #227462

Here’s another example of a REAL witch-hunt:

DEA raids LA medical marijuana clinics
http://tinyurl.com/2kvazl

Sure, they found what they were looking for, but where are the “witches”? Didn’t mind trampling on states rights there did they?

We HAVE NOT “come a long way baby”! From “Red’s under the bed” back to “Reefer Madness” and around and around we go!

Posted by: KansasDem at July 26, 2007 4:02 PM
Comment #227479

Former FBI Head Robert Mueller contradicts Gonzales’ sworn testimony.

The Bush White House can’t possibly have anything to hide, can it?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 26, 2007 8:45 PM
Comment #227480

In my personal opinion I think congress has a lot more things to do than worry about why 8 attorneys were fired. Also I think the democrats better watch themselves because this thing might backfire on them especially if the republicans get back control of congress and we have a democrat in the White House. Democrats are just as corrupt as the Republicans are and you might be opening up one big can of worms.

Posted by: KAP at July 26, 2007 9:00 PM
Comment #227481

KAP
“Democrats are just as corrupt as the Republicans are…” No they are not. Are they saints ?No. Are they as corrupt,also no. Just because you want to believe they are,even if you want to really,really hard,does not make it so.
Concern about the politization of the Justice Dept. is no trivial matter.The concerns of one or two Committees does not keep Congress from conducting other business. Stonewalling by the Reps in the Senate is far more obstructive but even dispite that the minimum wage has gone up for the first time in decades.

Posted by: BillS at July 26, 2007 9:44 PM
Comment #227484

KAP Just where do you think we should draw the line at corruption in this administration? When is enough enough for you? If it is truely just 8 lawyers why fight it and then perjure yourself as Gonzales apparently has done. If you were not demanding the same of the repubs leaders in the Congress when they were attacking Clinton those 8 years why do you think things should change now?

Posted by: j2t2 at July 26, 2007 10:12 PM
Comment #227485

Bills
Corruption is on every corner in DC. I’m glad you think your boys and girls aren’t corrupt, and probably there are some Republicans out there that can make that same statement, but lets get real both parties are corrupt, it’s part of the political game of how much can I get away with without getting caught.

Posted by: KAP at July 26, 2007 10:20 PM
Comment #227486

j2t2
Where do you draw the line in any of the administrations? Name one that was truly honest? Name one that never lied?

Posted by: KAP at July 26, 2007 10:26 PM
Comment #227487

KAP-
You should be worried about whether these firings set a precedent for majority parties to pressure US Attorneys into prosecuting or not prosecuting cases based on Partisan gain.

It should not be the implicit or explicit culture of our US Attorneys that they should be partisan hacks. These firings were intended to encourage such hackery. Moreover, if anybody firing an attorney can be proved to have done so to interfere with an politically sensitive investigation, that’s obstruction of justice. Kind of coincidental, is it, that the US Attorney who went after Duke Cunningham and others was fired just after the elections those corruption cases helped the Republicans lose?

Fact of the matter is, I don’t corruption in my party’s hands, either. On a moral level, I like to think of my party as the good guys, and I’m not so naive as to think going into denial will make that so. On a cold-blooded partisan level, I recognize that corruption is ammunition for the other side. On a practical level, I believe it easier, and better in the long run to let the truth be known, and the sunshine do its job of decontamination.

I want this can of worms opened, emptied out, and the contents promptly stomped upon and ground into the dirt. I see these kinds of political movements in terms of the creation of critical thresholds. When we build up our political power on lies and deceptions, we create these tipping points past which unlucky events can push our party, causing a quick and violent slide from public approval, and possibly precipitating a real backlash against us by voters.

It’s time to stop letting partisan defensiveness blind us to the need to clean house generally. The Republicans are hardly doing themselves any good by clinging onto the hopes that they can keep up what they’ve been doing for any longer. The Democrats won’t do themselves any favors by mirroring the Republican’s approach. It’s to everybody’s advantage to either quietly retire or openly kick out the corrupt and the incompetent.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 26, 2007 10:33 PM
Comment #227489

Stephen
The last sentence of your last post is right on. You see I don’t claim any party affiliation. So I don’t care if a candidate is Rep or Dem. I vote for the person who I think could do the best job. So far none of the presidential candidates so far have my vote.

Posted by: KAP at July 26, 2007 10:44 PM
Comment #227514

KAP So its game over because a previous administration was corrupt. Just let these guys go cause it was that way in the past? Why dont we do the same with all people in our society, car thieves, druggies, gangs etc cause.. well its been that way forever. Why should anyone be spending time in prision for perjury when Libby gets pardoned for it, lets just pardon them all?

Our leaders in Congress on both sides of the aisle owe us more than that, its their duty to weed out the corruption, unfortunatly the repubs do not seem to have the moral backbone to do the right thing when it comes to this Administration. What is particularly upsetting is the repub platform was all about the moral highground they claimed yet they do nothing.We should expect more from both parties and not rail at the dems for taking action to root out the corruption in DC.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 27, 2007 1:56 AM
Comment #227553

Correct me if I am wrong, but as I recall in 1993 when he took power, President Clinton cleaned house and nearly all of the federal prosecutors. I don’t remember the Republicans raising any big stink over that because federal prosecutors serve at the president’s discretion, no matter which party that president is from. And it’s all political … so all of this hand-wringing about partisanship is simply spitting into the wind. Every president cleans house when he comes into office — those appointed by previous administrations lose their jobs as part of the status quo. This has been how the federal government (and most likely a lot of state governments) has worked since Jefferson and the Democratic Republicans took over control from Adams’ Federalists. It will happen again in the next administration. All this crap about morality and corruption just ain’t there, folks, no matter how much grandstanding Shumer et al tries to do to gain political points. For the Democrats to call the Republicans partisan is just the pot calling the kettle black. Gonzales will finish his term as attorney general and there is nothing the Democrats can do about it, except to keep beating a dead horse.

Posted by: Goomba at July 27, 2007 2:09 PM
Comment #227555

j2t2’s comments regarding corruption cracks me up. All this stuff about pardoning people like Scooter Libby (who wasn’t pardoned, by the way — his conviction for prejury still stands. Bush commuted his jail sentence). Presidents have used their right to pardon since Washington, and some people who have received pardons are a great deal more onerous than Libby (i.e., Marc Rich).
Also, it is not the duty of Congress to “weed out corruption.” It is their duty to enact laws, which they don’t seem to do particularly well, and to provide advice and consent to the executive branch. What exactly is the corruption to which j2t2 refers? Libby’s conviction for prejury will likely be overturned on appeal, and he is the only administration official convicted of any offense related to his performance of duty.
Where is the corruption of this administration? Just because liberals dislike it does not inherently make it corrupt. Unlike Clinton, who was a passive, poll-following politician who allowed the Republicans to call the shots for his administration, Bush has preferred to exercise a strong executive office in the manner practiced by Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson. Their administrations were also controversial and in many respects, deeply disliked. That is the nature of governing.
The fact of the matter is, the Democrats are not trying to root out corruption: they are creating images of corruption where it doesn’t exist for political purposes. This has occurred countless times in the past. A similar example occurred during the McCarthy Hearings in the early 1950s.

Posted by: Goomba at July 27, 2007 3:00 PM
Comment #227557

That’s what the right is continuously trying to do about the whole slimy administration, and their activities and flagrant abuse of the law…….minimalize it.!! It’s about the oversight issues and someone finally activating the powers to enforce laws. What you’re referring to Goomba, has nothing to do with what Bush has done and Gonzo is furiuosly trying to dig enough dirt fast enough to cover the shit.
Nobody has ever argued that a President doesn’t have the right,legally, to replace attorneys, but not because they aren’t playing the right political games. They aren’t in place to play that way, but to uphold the freakin’ laws, which this bunch of goons has long since abandoned for “higher” goals and ideals.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at July 27, 2007 3:04 PM
Comment #227558

Goomba- Most newly elected Presidents make any
changes they deem necessary in the White House,
other long term employees are just like any
other workers who are guaranteed certain (workers
rights.) Gonzales an his Justice Dept. are not meant
to become political tools or a means for retaliation
for any one, they used the IRS in years past an most likely still do.

Posted by: -DAVID- at July 27, 2007 3:13 PM
Comment #227562

Goomba-
“Nearly all” is the operative phrase. Clinton did what every President of modern times has done. Bush did not. He also violated tradition in other ways.

No other President has fired attorneys midway through a term for anything other than gross misconduct.

Also complicating things is the degree to which partisan interests of the GOP have been wrapped up in this. Attorneys were punished for not pursuing GOP friendly investigations they believed unfounded, or fired in the midst of damaging investigations to the party, despite excellent records. Iglesias in particular was fired after having recieved a phone call from a NM member of Congress who was interested in a case that might affect his opponent.

US Attorneys are supposed to be above this fray, allowed to administrate their offices how they see fit. They are also supposed to disregard party affiliations in prosecuting the law, going after Democrats or Republicans, no matter who appointed them to their position.

Politicizing justice means making justice a matter of partisan interests, and that betrays the very principle of equality before the law. Is this the dead horse you speak of? Should prosecutors pursue voting fraud allegations where they don’t believe sufficient evidence exists that a crime was committed, much less to convict somebody of it? Should U.S. Attorneys go easy on their fellow partisans? This is only a dead horse for those who want a culture of permissiveness for this kind of abuse of power.

The 110th Congress has seen a record setting pace for the filibustering from the Republicans. If you think we’re a do nothing Congress, you obviously haven’t paid attention to how many times Senate Republicans have used their power to impeded legislation supported by the majority of Senators. We’ve been doing our best to pass legislation, and they’ve been doing their best to make sure most of it never sees the light of day.

As for FDR and LBJ? Good heavens, man, FDR was a much better president, both in war and peace, than either of those two. The only thing that really redeems LBJ is Civil Rights.

LBJ fractured his party, just like Bush. Lost a war, just like Bush. Introduced expensive new plans and deficit spent the economy into a tailspin, just like Bush. He didn’t sacrifice or call for sacrifice, he simply asked to be left alone to do things his way, which was both never going to happen, and shouldn’t have been asked of the American people. Read David Halberstam’s The Best and the Brightest, and you’ll find the similarities in the leadership style of these two people are downright chilling, the basic mistakes, pretty similar.

Clinton was not without his flaws, but both he and the American public knew that he was what he was. Poll-follower or not, at least he cared what the nation who elected him thought. Bush seems pathologically resistant to any negative impression of himself and his policy, and that pathological approach to politics has been passed to the Right-Wing below, who mistake it for strength of character. In reality, it’s brittleness. It’s weak, unpopular positions armored by rhetoric and oblivious disregard for the beliefs of those who elected the president.

Bush could be held accountable for good policy and remain unscathed. He isn’t serious enough about policy to formulate it well, so that he could be both bold and transparent in his boldness. No, his approach is not a strong one at all. We have to let him do as he pleases, and then let him do it some more, even if it doesn’t go right. We have to let him make mistake after mistake, from his point of view, until he gets it right.

What you and him don’t realize is that there’s always a mess made in the meantime, and that interferes with getting anything right. It’s always best to get things right the first time, and have back-up plans and competent managers in place to take up the slack for inevitable mistakes.

Democracy does not allow leaders to be both bold and unaccountable. You must hold yourself to account, and fix your mistakes, or Americans are going to want you on a very tight leash. Bush hasn’t faced up to that reality, and that is why his presidency has been one of the most painful of modern times, for him, his party, and the country in general.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 27, 2007 4:44 PM
Comment #227566

Maybe this is a dumb question but did you democrats ever think about subpeona the 8 attorneys to question them? It might make it easier to get a case against this administration, if in fact there was any wrong doing.

Posted by: KAP at July 27, 2007 6:27 PM
Comment #227580

KAP-
It’s not a dumb question, but it is an unnecessary one. The Attorneys themselves showed up and testified of their own free will. A subpeona is issued mainly when people aren’t cooperating voluntarily.

Which is what makes the cotempt issue so crucial. If Congress is limited to only gathering testimony from the willing, then naturally oversight becomes a joke, since those who are unwilling to testify are often those with the most to hide. If this Congress is to do its job, it must be able to compel truthful testimony from those in the executive branch.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 27, 2007 9:26 PM
Comment #227684

Stephen, for a Democrat, that was a very unbiased and rational account of LBJ. I protested that sucka in the 1960’s and I protest his flawed presidency today. He had the heart and desire to be a good president. He lacked the education and depth of understanding like the so called Texan in the White House today.

Chilling how history repeats itself when history is not taught well, nor learned well. Is it even possible to teach objective American history anymore in the U.S. without law suits flying in every direction? We’re in deep trouble as a nation if the answer is no.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 28, 2007 6:56 PM
Comment #227702

They took a different lesson, one about the loss of will and stomach. They made it about a hostile media, a traitorous left-wing, and a culture decayed beyond help in need of total remaking.

They felt that propping the country up was a moral obligation; it didn’t occur to them that propping it up was simply prolonging, and even making worse what the strategy hadn’t succeeded in doing: getting the South Vietnamese in a position where they were ready and willing to make South Vietnam their nation, their cause, all the way through.

It’s not a random or cyclical event that has the Republicans making the exact same mistakes. These are the lessons they refused to learn, the lessons they in fact wanted to invalidate, so they could vindicate their position on the war.

The unfortunate fact is, for all that, that the lessons the Republicans and most Americans should have learned from Vietnam were real, had real significance and weight, so trying to vindicate the opposite results were only going to lead to the same errors.

David Halberstam’s The Best and the Brightest ought to be required reading for the GOP hawks.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 29, 2007 12:06 AM
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