Democrats & Liberals Archives

Witch Hunt, Eh.

Dick Cheney seems to think the controversy over the fired attorneys is a witch hunt. Well, I got a nice, short response to that: yes, it is. But it’s not about a witch hunt of Republicans by Democrats. No, instead, it’s the other way around.

What this case is about is not the firings themselves half as much as why these US Attorneys were fired. If you look at this timeline, you'll find a pattern of politicians asking inappropriate questions about issues the Attorneys were dealing with. You'll find the President's top political apparatchik working with other officials of the Justice Department to decide who among the US Attorney's is allowed to keep their job, which is rather strange for an office traditionally kept clear of politics.

You'll find Senator Domenici and Heather Wilson making inquiries to David Iglesias about indictments that might help them politically. You'll find Republicans across the board complaining about the rate of voter fraud prosecutions, when these attorneys, Bush administration appointees all, are saying that there's not enough evidence to go forward with most such cases.

You'll find that going forward when evidence was too thin to support the caseis exactly what the Republicans wanted out of the US Attorneys. Even when Investigations turn up completely innocent explanations for supposed Voter Fraud, they wanted prosecutions. For some reason, this particular prosecutor's woes ended when he started getting tougher, but even then, out of the fourteen individuals they prosecuted, nine were acquitted, and Georgia Thompson's case was thrown out on appeal, with one judge describing the case as beyond thin.

Now, I don't know whether the Republicans all honestly believed that voter fraud was a real problem, but the fact that they weren't ready to take no for an answer when they wanted folks in the docket says something about why the US Attorneys were supposed to be above politics. When the standard that a prosecutor uses is not the preponderance of the evidence, but the opinion of political operatives and politicians about what's going on, then our justice system can become enslaved to the whims and the will of our political party, and the promise of equal justice for all, blind justice, can become hollow.

The real witch hunt, over the past few years, has been by the Republicans. For many of them, the definition of loyalty to this country has been loyalty to Bush and his party. Even loyalty to our soldiers is measured by loyalty to the Republicans supposedly fearless leader. The interests of one man or one party do not constitute the interests of the nation as a whole, though, and never will. In one important document, the question was whether the US Attorneys were "loyal Bushies" or not. Why should that be the determining factor of who prosecutes the government's cases? It's the constitution that all public officials swear loyalty to, a constitution that tells prosecutors that they can't just file cases however they like, and that conviction of a crime requires evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. It gives people equal protection before the law, not protection gauged by the identity of the party of the majority.

The scandal here is that the Republican Party seems to believe that the government is their personal political machine, that those who are supposed to be the lead law enforcers for the states and cities they're in should instead be enforcers of the will of the party. If Dick Cheney wants to know who the grand high inquisitors are of this witch hunt, he ought to look among the president's staff, look among his own, or maybe just look at himself in a mirror.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at July 31, 2007 6:00 PM
Comment #227992

The President can dismiss the attorneys for any reason, good or bad. They are political offices. Dems certainly have a right to attack it politically, but they are getting up on their hind legs and trying to elevate it to a legal issue, which it is not.

The president made a mistake. When asked about the decision, he should have just said it was his decision and told the Dems to jump in the lake. He should not have tried to explain, he should dismiss their complaints and he should never appolgize.

Re evidence being too thin - think of the Plame case.

Posted by: Jack at July 31, 2007 8:22 PM
Comment #228002

Why is it the Republicans are so eager to turn the justice system over to the executive branch. The US Attorneys may be appointed by the president but that is as far as his controll over them goes. After that it is the Attorney General to whom they answer to and contrary to what some believe the Attorney General doesn’t work for the president either, he works for the people. Thier job is suppose to be to uphold the laws of this country not the will of any political party or branch of government.
As for the Plame case being so thin, that must be why Libby was convicted for perjury and obstruction of justice.

Posted by: Lil Sue at July 31, 2007 9:16 PM
Comment #228003


Libby was convicted of perjury. This is serious, but nobody was convicted of the “orginal” crime. As in the Clinton perjury case, the perjury came in search of a something that was not a crime.

The president does not controll the attorneys, but he can fire them at will. The Dems have a political case if they want to make it. They are dishonest when they try to make it a legal case.

Read what ">Senator Leahy said about such things.

Posted by: Jack at July 31, 2007 9:38 PM
Comment #228004

Sorry ">link.

Posted by: Jack at July 31, 2007 9:40 PM
Comment #228006

Sorry, one more time for the link.

Posted by: Jack at July 31, 2007 9:42 PM
Comment #228013

He also was convicted of obstruction of justice. Meaning aside from perjury he also made it impossible to investigate the crime of treason. Then the President commuted his sentence hence decreasing the possibility that he would ever stop obstructing justice in the Plame case.

Posted by: Lil Sue at July 31, 2007 10:17 PM
Comment #228014
I spent more than 35 years in the department enforcing federal civil rights laws - particularly voting rights. Before leaving in 2005, I worked for attorneys general with dramatically different political philosophies - from John Mitchell to Ed Meese to Janet Reno. Regardless of the administration, the political appointees had respect for the experience and judgment of longtime civil servants.

Under the Bush administration, however, all that changed. Over the last six years, this Justice Department has ignored the advice of its staff and skewed aspects of law enforcement in ways that clearly were intended to influence the outcome of elections.

Joseph Rich

Posted by: Cube at July 31, 2007 10:26 PM
Comment #228016

You are correct Stephen in your analysis. I would be greatly disappointed if the dems were to suddenly drop their investigations. I do not see this as a witch hunt by any means. In lieu of the amount of shady dealings, suspicions and questionable actions surrounding this last legislature and our current executive branch I feel that these investigations are imperative in searching out corruption in government. For the last twelve years these people laughed in the face of accountability, refusing to allow independent investigations when necessary and giving themselves a slap on the hand as a form of punishment for wrong doing. There was no accountability under their leadership as they simply changed the rules to suit their agenda when necessary. The fact that they are now claiming foul in light of past actions is laughable and pretty amazing when one considers how transparent they were in their not so scrupulous dealings. Yet they continue to openly fight ethics reform while at the same time refusing to admit that they were and still are pursuing a party first agenda. They are their own worst enemy in this regard. What they need is to regain integrity, credibility, and most of all trust. So long as they continue in denial none of the previous will be regained.

So far as I am concerned they are more than welcome to call it a witchhunt. It is a witchhunt that is six years behind schedule. And it is a witchunt that is necessary for the good of government and the good of this country.

Posted by: RickIL at July 31, 2007 10:36 PM
Comment #228017

That the New York Times and some lefty bloggers have assured us that voter fraud “isn’t a problem” is no reason for the rest of us to turn a blind eye to the almost daily evidence of voter fraud that keeps popping up. It’s an issue which ought to enjoy bipartisan support because it goes to the very heart of our democracy. Don’t think that voter fraud is just something with a potential only to hurt Republicans.

Here are just some developments over the past week.

• California’s Secretary of State Debra Bowen, a Democrat, reported that state-approved hackers had been “able to bypass physical and software security in every [voting] machine they tested,” although she admitted that the hackers had access to internal security information and source codes that vote thieves wouldn’t normally have.

• The Florida secretary of state’s office reported it had found “legally sufficient” evidence that some 60 people in Palm Beach County had committed voter fraud by voting both there and in New York state. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has launched a formal probe. In 2004, New York’s Daily News found that 46,000 people were illegally registered to vote in both New York and Florida.

• Prosecutors in Hoboken, N.J., last week announced they are investigating a vagrant who was part of a group of voters observed to be acting suspiciously outside a polling place in an election last month. After he signed a voting register in the name of another man, he was confronted by a campaign worker and fled the scene. He later admitted to cops that he had been paid $10 to vote.

• Last week the U.S. Department of Justice recommended that an outside party be appointed to oversee Democratic primary elections in Noxubee County, Miss. In June, federal district judge Tom Lee found that Ike Brown, the Democratic political boss of Noxubee, had paid notaries public to visit voters and illegally mark their absentee ballots, imported illegal candidates to run for county office and manipulated the registration rolls.

• But the most interesting news came out of Seattle, where on Thursday local prosecutors indicted seven workers for Acorn, a union-backed activist group that last year registered more than 540,000 low-income and minority voters nationwide and deployed more than 4,000 get-out-the-vote workers. The Acorn defendants stand accused of submitting phony forms in what Secretary of State Sam Reed says is the “worst case of voter-registration fraud in the history” of the state.

No problem? Sounds like some very serious problems to me. Stephen points to the difficulty of securing prosecutions over voter fraud as a reason to just ignore the problem, citing how one prosecuter only managed to get five convictions out of 14 cases. But isn’t stopping and punishing five people who are attacking the very core of our democratic system a GOOD thing? Or should they just be turned loose because nine were found innocent?

The fact is that voter fraud will ALWAYS be difficult to prosecute because it’s a very thorny area of law with a lot of vested interests involved, including the interests of many, many career beaurocrats who oversee and know how to game the system. And perhaps more significantly, the ready-made accusation that you are trying to “disenfranchise” voters if you insist on following voting laws. If you so much as suggest that a felon, an illegal immigrant, or even somebody without ID which proves who they say they are, should be turned away from the voting booth, you’ll be accused of racism and/or xenophobia. It’s NOT easy to get convictions for voter fraud, but that doesn’t mean that voter fraud is not a problem. Those who tell us otherwise are clearly invested in reaping the benefits of just that kind of fraud. Interesting, isn’t it, that one party in particular is so adamant about our turning a blind eye?

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at July 31, 2007 10:58 PM
Comment #228018
As in the Clinton perjury case, the perjury came in search of a something that was not a crime.

Jack, sexual harassment is a crime, that was what he was being questioned about when he committed perjury.

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 31, 2007 11:04 PM
Comment #228022


The ACORN voters in Washington NEVER VOTED. The system WORKED in my state. And it had NOTHING to do with the Republican accusations of fraud perpetrated by the King County election workers in 2006.

So what’s your point?

Posted by: ElliottBay at July 31, 2007 11:44 PM
Comment #228025

He can’t fire them for an illegal reason, namely to obstruct justice. What other motivation can we see for going after Carol Lam, besides the bogus immigration law claim?

No other President in the last century has dismissed US Attorneys this way, if for no other reason than it tends to look bad, and introduce politics into things, which defense lawyers can use to dispute convictions.

The reason Bush gave his reasons is plain: things look bad otherwise. When you call for the resignation of somebody who’s investigating your party’s corruption, when you have Senators and Reps asking questions they’re not allowed by law or ethics rules to ask of US Attorneys, it looks bad. When the whole motivation, it seems, is to push Voter Fraud investigations, whether they can be supported on the facts or not, it looks bad, especially when the cases overwhelmingly favor the President’s party. Legally, he could tell them to take a hike. Politically, it would be a tacit admission of the impropriety of the whole thing. Unfortunately, they had to make stuff up to justify firing most of these attorneys.

As for Libby? From a legal standpoint, the underlying crime was that he lied to a grand jury, to federal investigators, and purposefully misled the investigation overall. What he was convicted of is a crime regardless of the situation.

But was no underlying crime? Legally speaking, we can’t say there was, but in the eyes of the law, everybody’s innocent until proven guilty. Judging events outside a court of law by those standards is a fallacy of legalism. We can pretty much confirm on the facts, as presented by reporters, by the media, that there was underlying misbehavior by the administration, which while not proesecuted, certainly reflects poorly on the administration’s handling of Valerie Wilson’s identity, and their attitude towards national security.

Libby had no motivation to lie, unless he felt that telling investigators the truth would get him or somebody he supported in trouble with the law.

Let’s flashforward to a few months later, with Gonzalez speaking before a committee, having been sworn in. Tell me, what’s this allergy that administration figures have for testifying under oath? You guy talk about perjury traps, but that’s bull. There’s a such thing as preparing for such testimony, as testifying to the best of your knowledge. Gonzalez is answering that he’s forgotten on many issues that he shouldn’t be forgetting, and giving answers that contradict that of administration figures. Politics is no excuse for lying under oath, for not respecting the institutions the constitution has set up.

It sounds serious, but is it? That’s the problem with relying on such reports, and why US Attorneys are given the leeway they are, typically. Do you know what years worth of Voter Fraud Crackdowns has yielded? No more than a few hundred convictions. And tell me: what’s legally sufficient? Enough to get indictments, or enough to get convictions?

Many supposed violations turn out to be innocuous, the result of typos, of similar names. Sometimes its people who just moved down some place. For the most part, though, the big vote fraud cases aren’t materializing, despite six years of heavy investigation. However, their political convenience seems to be all too great a temptation for those in your party.

Do me a favor: find out just how many of these voting fraud cases have proven to be what they’re supposed to be. Then talk about an epidemic. I don’t point out this as a reason to ignore the problem. I point this out because people have not ignored the problem, yet have come up with so little results. And it’s not like Bush hired a flotilla of Marxists to run his US Attorneys office. He hired good old Republicans.

And all they can get is penny ante crap, and thin stuff at that. But so long as these things can be brought up to embarrass us, it’s all well and good.

And you’re right, it is a very thorny section of the law, and for good reason: to keep the politicians mitts off of our right to vote. It is better to let a few false votes be cast than to deprive a few of their ability to cast a vote. A right should not be revoked without good cause. I don’t mind cleaning up rolls, and going after real offenders, but what Bush was doing was playing politics with the enforcement of the law. These were not folks conspiring with Democrats to win them elections, these were folks who felt the cases weren’t worth pursuing, or weren’t anything to begin with. I provided you with the Biskupic letter, where he knocks down in pretty good factual detail why the nine cases inquired about weren’t followed up.

This isn’t about turning a blind eye, it’s about not letting zealous politics take us where a good look at the evidence will not let us follow. What the Republicans wanted was not justice, but for the Attorneys to run the kind of cases and back the kinds of accusations that would hurt Democratic chances for office.

It’s funny that you guys label our behavior a witch hunt. It’s you who are so sure that the system is rife with Voting fraud, despite the evidence to the contrary. It’s you who feel compelled to hunt down every case, no matter how minor, so the system can be absolutely pure. It’s you who seem intent on treating every voter as a criminal first, in the name of protecting their right to vote.

The defining quality of a witch-hunt is the way judgment is stacked in the favor of the authorities, rather than the accused, the way that any moderation of the pursuit of the perceived evil is seen as acceptance, denial, or collusion with that evil, rather than as skepticism in the face of insufficient evidence. Evidence itself is seen as merely the support for the truth that is already known.

I’d say Witch Hunt describes your approach to voter fraud better than it describes our approach to investigating the firing of the attorneys.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 1, 2007 12:06 AM
Comment #228028

ElliotBay, the question is whether or not ACORN should be prosecuted and punished for fraudulent voter registrations, not whether this illegal activity effected the election. The system worked because they were caught.

Or is it your position that if criminals are caught in the act, they should be let off because “the system worked.”

I hope you’ll agree that what they did is WRONG and illegal and that in a case like this, the culprits should be punished—thus adding to the list of prosecutions which Stephen thinks should never take place. THAT is my point. In fact, the system in Washington State has only begun to work. They headed off the attempt at fraud, but now they need to punish those who attempted it.

For the record, I never brought up the accusations of fraud against King County election workers in the 04 elections (you said 06, but I assume you meant 04).

But since you mention it, I did find it interesting that after a Republican candidate for governor won the election on voting night, we were treated to a long month of more and more votes being “found” stuffed in bags and basements in the state’s most liberal county until the Democratic candidate finally received a razor-thin edge. I also recall that members of the military serving overseas claimed that liberal King County never sent them ballots, as they were required to. Now, I didn’t follow the case that closely, but I’m quite sure if such mysterious and questionable dealings had resulted in the election of Republican, we’d have heard no end of it to this day.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at August 1, 2007 12:18 AM
Comment #228029
Do you know what years worth of Voter Fraud Crackdowns has yielded? No more than a few hundred convictions.

And that’s exactly where we differ. Only a few hundred convictions? Should there have been zero convictions—is that what you think should be our goal? Or would it be necessary to have thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of convictions before you’d admit that this is a crime worth prosecuting?

I happen to think it’s wonderful that there have been hundreds of convictions related to a crime which strips away the very heart of a representative democracy, and that we should try to add to that total.

Again, the question that needs to be asked is this: why does one party, and only one party, believe that voter fraud or potential voter fraud should not be investigated or prosecuted? It’s worth thinking about.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at August 1, 2007 12:32 AM
Comment #228037

I sincerely enjoy all the information every one
comes back with on this thread. The only problem is
that folks are letting a jack in a box play you
like a fiddle an offering nothing but spin. Someone
should turn the handle and close the lid of
the spinster, jack in box.

Posted by: -DAVID- at August 1, 2007 1:27 AM
Comment #228038

Joseph Rich worked in the Depart of Justice Civil Rights Division; he was Chief of the Division’s Voting Section. In his recent testimony before a House Judiciary Subcommittee, he claims he was ordered to change the evaluations of attorney’s under him, to include “critical comments of those who had made recommendations that were counter to the political will of the front office, and improve evaluations of those who were politically favored.” He says in his 32 years in management in the division, this is the first administration to order him to do so.

He goes on to say: “Most disturbing has been the brazen insertion of partisan politics into the decision-making under Section 5 of the Voting rights Act… While the recent dismissal of the U.S. Attorneys is grapping the headlines, I thank the Committee for shinning a light on similarly unacceptable behavior in a different, yet critical part of the Justice Department.”

My previous post was an LA Times article he wrote, describing how this administration is undermining the Justice Department, specifically the Civil Rights Division that protects the rights of minority voters.

If you are interested in reading his testimony in front of the House Judiciary Subcommittee, you can follow this
link. It is just another example of how this administration has sought to politicize the Justice Department, and placed people in position that would allow the Republican Party to interfere with the people’s right to vote.

Posted by: Cube at August 1, 2007 1:35 AM
Comment #228040

DAVID, I think you’re right about Jack. Sometimes I think that his greatest pleasure comes from f***ing with us… ;) But you gotta admit, that he is good at it, and we get sucked into him every time.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at August 1, 2007 1:40 AM
Comment #228041


You better check your facts, Clinton was charged for perjury over his statements pertaining to Monica. I wasn’t aware of a law that states that sexual relations between two consenting adults is a crime.

Posted by: Cube at August 1, 2007 1:48 AM
Comment #228057

One more peace of evidence that the Attorney firing scandal represents deeper corruption.

According to this article, John Brownlee was put on a list after he ignored suggestions, routed from the defense attorney in the case to the Justice Department higher-ups, to slow down on the recent Oxycontin case, a case that the Criminal Division had already signed off on. Not only was the relaying of this request unorthodox, but its denial landed Brownlee on the infamous firing list. It seems that the Justice Department heads wanted US Attorneys working for the defense, rather than doing their jobs.

Look, you’re only proving my point further, taking the tack you are. You seem to be intent on proving that there’s some massive conspiracy by Democrats, which I’m willingly supporting, to commit election fraud. There’s not. They have had six years of concentration on this issue, by people as zealous on the issue as you are. People have been punished, but the most part, all that effort has yield few actual violations. People can allege these things all they want to, but there’s a difference between somebody saying or believing something happened, and something actually happened.

You say I want this kind of thing? I know my own mind. I don’t. I don’t like cheating, and I think its a liability to anybody who employs it. I want them to take down those Democrats who employ it, to purge them out of the system and the party.

These people who are politicizing the prosecution of criminals are no better than anybody committing election fraud. They’re politicizing offices that shouldn’t be favoring certain cases over others on the basis of partisan politics.

But hey, voter fraud, which has hardly proved to be the epidemic you call it, is more important than preserving the independent and impartial course of justice, right?

There will never be zero convictions. As long as there’s something at stake, people are going to try things. I don’t mind getting in their way. But there is a degree to which we can get so zealous about screening out illegitimate voters and voting that we begin to subject voters to onerous restrictions that get in the way of their fundamental right to vote. They, not the process, are the heart of the system. The system should consider voters innocent of voting fraud before it declares them guilty. People should not be disenfranchised in the service of perfect security which will never come to pass.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 1, 2007 9:35 AM
Comment #228066

Stephen, good article and links.
Cube thanks for your info and links also. I’d like to read that transcript of Rich’s testimony since I haven’t been watching it.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 1, 2007 10:56 AM
Comment #228068


Good article. While I share your view on the “witch-hunt” I’d also like to remind those on the right that one of the things that set this whole ball rolling was a provision “slipped into” the USA PATRIOT Act Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 by Arlen Specter staffer Brett Tolman which gives attorneys general power to fill US Attorney vacancies for an indefinite period of time. Previously such appointment was for only 120 days.

Senator Specter even admitted, “The first I found out about the change in the PATRIOT Act occurred a few weeks ago when Senator Feinstein approached me on the floor and made a comment about two U.S. Attorneys who were replaced under the authority of the change in law in the PATRIOT Act which altered the way U.S. Attorneys are replaced.” Although in fairness he also pointed out that, “Well, the Conference Report wasn’t acted on for months and at that time this provision was subject to review.”

So basically no one, Republican or Democrat, had noticed that the Senate was surrendering their right to the confirmation process. Since then the provision was rescinded with the Senate and House approval of S-214 which was signed into law by the President on June 14, 2007.

So what’s the “rub”? Well it’s that darn trail of breadcrumbs! Everywhere Alberto goes he leaves a mess behind. There certainly seems to be every indication that some, if not all, of these “firings” were part of a process to pursue a sort of “political gerrymandering”. If in fact there was an attempt, whether successful or not, to influence criminal investigations and/or prosecutions based on pure partisan politics, ie: to influence the outcome of elections then a crime may well have been committed.

It’s no big surprise that other questionable actions by the DOJ and the White House keep cropping up, but at the end of the day it all boils down to one thing: Bush’s refusal to accept Congress as a co-equal branch of government. He is after all the decider!

Posted by: KansasDem at August 1, 2007 12:57 PM
Comment #228074


…sexual harassment is a crime, that was what he was being questioned about when he committed perjury.”

I wasn’t aware that consenting adults qualified as sexual harassment. As I remember it, She was over 21, as was he.Ans she was a really Participant.
And no one every indicated that she did not go along as a willing .

Better to say he used poor judgment.


Posted by: Linda H. at August 1, 2007 3:57 PM
Comment #228078

Linda H

We can thank Bill Clinton for stopping some of that sexual harassment silliness. Clarence Thomas got in trouble for allegedly talking about dirty movies and asking for dates. When Clinton actually propositioned women who worked for him and engaged in sex with subordinates, the women’s movement defended his actions as boys will be boys and killed their credibility. Thank Clinton. I do.

Posted by: Jack at August 1, 2007 4:34 PM
Comment #228079


For once I’m not really disagreeing with you. I had a government job from about 1975 to 1985 and when I was hired I signed an agreement (the equivalent of an oath) that contained a lot of “dos and don’ts”.

One of the major no-nos was MORAL TURPITUDE. As defined by Wikipedia: Moral Turpitude is a legal concept in the USA, which refers to “conduct that is considered contrary to community standards of justice, honesty, or good morals”.

Clinton (and many other politicians, both before and since) engaged in moral turpitude if anyone ever did. I’d love to see a moral turpitude clause restored to ALL public offices, whether they’re elected or appointed positions.

I’ll grant you that the legal concept would probably need some redefining (perhaps it already has been) since I’m sure such things as gay, lesbian, and even inter-racial relationships would once have been considered moral turpitude but we, the taxpayer, should be able to expect those who work for us to follow our “community standards of justice, honesty, or good morals”.

That would certainly do a lot in itself to restore integrity to public office.

Posted by: KansasDem at August 1, 2007 4:58 PM
Comment #228096

Where can I get some of that turpitude. I could use abut 2 gallons right about now.

Public employees are like anybody else. What they do on their own time is none of my business or anybodiy elses so long as the are not doing it on my dime.If it interferes with their job performance or violates the law then it is my business but that is a steep threshold.

Posted by: BillS at August 1, 2007 8:23 PM
Comment #228100

“Public employees are like anybody else. What they do on their own time is none of my business or anybodiy elses so long as the are not doing it on my dime.”

Bill S,

Clinton’s Lewinsky moment was on our dime! His lie was on our dime. The impeachment was on our dime.

If an employee of a private company finds themselves indicted for a crime, whether it’s perjury, robbery, or DUI, if it effects that companies bottom line they’re gone. Look at Michael Vick. He’s only been indicted but his corporate sponsors are scattering like sheep come shearing time.

Public service should have NO advantage over private service. The only difference is that every voter and taxpayer is the true employer. I’d love to see an option like “recall” or “lack of confidence” applied to ALL elected officials.

Posted by: KansasDem at August 1, 2007 9:10 PM
Comment #228127

Whether or not ACORN should be punished for the activities of a few of its workers, who apparently filed false registrations without ACORN’s knowledge is the issue.

I did find it interesting that after a Republican candidate for governor won the election on voting night, we were treated to a long month of more and more votes being “found” stuffed in bags and basements in the state’s most liberal county until the Democratic candidate finally received a razor-thin edge.
You don’t know what you’re talking about. The error margin in King County was LOWER than seven or eight other counties in the state, and the majority of THOSE errors favored the Republican. When the Republicans took it to court, their own hand-picked judge basically laughed them out of court. He dismissed EVERY ONE of their accusations.

Posted by: ElliottBay at August 1, 2007 11:56 PM
Comment #228161
He can’t fire them for an illegal reason, namely to obstruct justice. What other motivation can we see for going after Carol Lam, besides the bogus immigration law claim?

I think that’s the whole problem with this argument. Basically what you are saying is that if you do something legal (firing of Carol Lam) for illegal motives then it’s a crime. I just can’t see where that holds up in our criminal justice system (I sure hope it doesn’t). If Ms. Lam desires she might be able to make a civil case of wrongful termination, but I’ll wager she took the job under the agreement that she served at the pleasure of the President.

As Jack said, this connect the dots to deduce a crime works politically but not criminally. What you are left with is the “gotcha” game with the perjury and obstruction charges (those are crimes) coming against those who are called to testify. That too has been a pretty fruitful political tactic but in the end no one goes to jail for the original crime.

Posted by: George in SC at August 2, 2007 10:13 AM
Comment #228175

People seem to forget that one of Rove’s goals was to create a permanent Republican Majority.
It is now apparent just exactly how he hoped to achieve that goal.
Not by the superiority of their vision, plans, ideas and efforts for the country, but by cheating, plain and simple.
And if their goal of a permanent majority was not to be based on the supremacy of their ideas and policies, then for what purpose did they wish to achieve this “permanent majority”??
I think most of us can make pretty accurate guesses.
It is apparent from their other shady activities that the purpose of a permanent majority is to maintain the power to funnel money and benefits to their “buds” and shaft the rest of us.

Posted by: Russ at August 2, 2007 1:16 PM
Comment #228189

George in SC-
You’re splitting hairs too finely. It’s not doing something legal for illegal motives. It’s just plain doing something illegal: interfering with an investigation. The question is, has the Bush administration intentionally been using its power to obstruct justice?

If so, then any claim that there was no underlying crime becomes much more untenable. A person doesn’t throw sand in the umpire’s eyes, typically, if they’re doing something that could stand the scrutiny of the officials in question.

Even if no classic obstruction of justice occured, it seems odd that Carol Lam, the US Attorney who brought proceeding against Duke Cunningham, that Dusty Foggo guy, and the Wilkes fellow, should be one of the folks fired, given how much her investigations embarrassed the Republicans, and contributed to their downfall.

The real tough question here is whether we should wait for illegality to pop up its head before we consider an action inappropriate. I think it’s long past time that we raise our standards. As long as you defend Bush and his folks, though, who gladly court the appearance of impropriety just to show they can, the culture of corruption will hang on the right like a wet towel.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 2, 2007 5:18 PM
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