(No Vacancy sign photo via smcgee.)
If ever there were a slogan for the loyal Bushies, it would be this: the rules need not apply. In rumbling through the news and the blogs this morning, that theme just keeps on popping up everywhere, at every level of the Bush Administration and beyond. It is beyond appalling, but there you are.
It seems that the Secretary of State can make a round-robin tour of Sunday Talking Head shows and spend valuable time convincing the President of the United States to wear tails and white tie and sip coffee with his pinkie finger extended (H/T to Biodun)…but that being responsive to Congressional questions about whether she aided and abetted a deliberate lie and public relations campaign to drag this nation into an ill-planned FUBAR of an occupation in Iraq? Well, that just takes too much effort.
I'd say start with the emptywheel analysis on the Waxman requests to Condi, and then on to Paul Kiel at The Muck, but it looks like Ms. Rice will continue to flip Congress the bird for so long as that is allowed. I'm sensing that something may be about to hit the fan on this one. (Remember the last scorch mark? Joe Conason tees up a whole new one on Salon today — don't miss it. H/T to Kevster for the link.)
AG Gonzales will be facing even more questions about the DoJ, including but not limited to why he allowed low level political functionaries the abilityto hire and fire career employees at the department based on their political loyalty, his understanding of the Hatch Act, and why he repeatedly lied to the Senate Judiciary Committee and failed to turn over relevent documents including the confidential memo giving Sampson and Goodling this power along with the binder that Sampson had of WH e-mails on the subject.
Perhaps one of the Representatives can get him to explain where centralized control over prosecutors ends and vindictive prosecution of one's political opponents begins. But wait…there's more.
The DoJ has confirmed that it is, indeed, investigating Monica Goodling and the potential that she was hiring career Justice employees (not political appointees, mind you, but the folks on career tenure tracks) based on political affiliation and perceived Bushie loyalty characteristics. From Newsweek via ThinkProgress (H/T twolf1 for the link): "The probe began “after Jeff Taylor, the interim U.S. attorney in D.C., complained that Goodling tried to block the hiring of a prosecutor in his office for being a ‘liberal Democratic type.’”
Meanwhile, Congress is considering broadening its own inquiry into Hatch Act violations and other problems in the politicization of our DoJ. McClatchy has a rundown on the latest — but for the whole scoop, check out Paul Kiel at The Muck. (While you are there, check out the news summary from today — appalling, isn't it?)
Digby points out that while all this has been going on for years, the Commander Guy has been…erm…busy. You know, if I were the descendent of a former GOP President or other conservative leader of the past, I might be thinking about running far, far away from the GOP these days as well.
…The party might even be alien to Barry Goldwater, the 1964 GOP nominee who jolted the party rightward when he said that "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice." Goldwater's youngest daughter, Peggy, who is active in GOP politics in Orange County, Calif., says she is a "moderate conservative," just as her firebrand father became later in life, irked by Republicans in Washington who embrace big government. "The government is taking on more than I feel they can handle," she says.
Granted, these are no ordinary voters. But their unhappiness with the GOP suggests there's a new middle up for grabs in 2008. George W. Bush, of course, campaigned as a "compassionate conservative"; he and Karl Rove dreamed of a new and lasting Republican majority. Theodore Lowi, however, the author of "The End of the Republican Era," says the nation's disaffection over Iraq and Bush is so great that 2008 could resemble 1932, when FDR exploited the collapse of the GOP under Herbert Hoover to create a new Democratic majority. (The return of Congress to the Dems in 2006 is a possible prelude.) Or, 2008 could look like 1968, when Democratic self-destruction after Vietnam led to Richard Nixon's election, and later to a realignment under Ronald Reagan.
Can you blame them for being ashamed to attach the current incarnation of "Republican" to their name?
The rules need not apply to this crowd. Same goes for ethics, decency, and honesty. Heckuva job, Republicans — anyone continuing to prop up these ethically-challenged idiots deserves every bit of electoral and polling disaster that they are currently reaping, and will continue to reap as the Bush Administration drags them and their party down like the big, fat, lying anchor that they are. And then some. Their only hope is to purge the Bush taint once and for all — and to do that, they are going to have to come clean. Once and for all. I know there are a whole lot of disgusted conservatives out there, horrified at what is being done in their name, angered at the level of contempt and overreach and hubris among this crowd of self-serving fetid cronies in the White House. "Mayberry Machiavelli" is the nicest term being thrown around privately these days. "Felonious" is being kind. It's time to clean house, folks.
Integrity — it's the new black. Here's to a whole helluva lot more of it in the days ahead — from a few surprising places, if the rumors that I am hearing prove to be accurate in the days to come. And a whole helluva lot of cleansing sunshine. We desperately need it.