Just since November '06, one crook after another has fallen.
Rumsfeld. Miers. The insufferable Bolton. Bartlett.
Libby was convicted, at long last, in March.
Then an unceasing parade of no-name apparatchiks from DOJ (still in progress, we think). By my count, I think there have been at least 8, including Schlozmann, who was the U.S. Atty for Western MO for a relatively brief period.
Then a big piece fell: Rove. That obnoxious little fuck is still around though, bet on it. His duties always were more unofficial and behind-the-scenes than anything else, so leaving his "official" post was mostly symbolic.
But now, today, out of the blue (although his resignation had to have been planned at the same time as Rove's), Alberto Fucking Gonzales quits.
Why now? No idea. Same as Rove; beats the hell outta me. It's not like Congress was going to impeach the lying bastard. As long as Gonzo was AG, Bush/Cheney had DOJ (and by extension, Congress and the courts as well!) under their thumb.
Now, the lid is off.
Before, when the Democrats in Congress were investigating the countless bad acts of the various arms of the Bush/Cheney mafia, the process worked like this:
- horrible breaking news of Bushie bad act
- Cmte chairman asks Bushie to testify at hearing
- Bushie either refuses altogether, like Miers, or shows up and refuses to remember what color the sky is, like Gonzales
- Followup reporting on initial news reveals even worse actions by Bushie
- Cmte has to vote on authorizing subpoenas
- Cmte authorizes subpoenas
- Cmte threatens to subpoena various Bushies
- Cmte is told to fuck itself
- Cmte finally subpoenas Bushies
- Bushie still hasn't looked up at the sky once since the last time he was there, but makes vague promises to do so at some future date
- Rinse, repeat.
At this point, Congress' options are limited. 1) They can hold the witness in contempt, which has to be referred to the D.C. U.S. Atty, who of course reports to....the A.G. 2) They can use the "inherent contempt" procedure, which is arcane, if powerful. The Sgt-at-Arms of the Senate or House actually arrests the witness themselves, and the Capitol Police detain him. Probably, they have to exhaust option number 1 first. 3) They can impeach the motherfuckers.
That's about it.
If there is one thing I will forever hold against the 110th Congress, it's that all of those people didn't recognize the Bushies for what they were years ago. There has never, ever been a situation where a Bushie didn't act in the best interests of Bush, Cheney, or their superiors, if those interests conflicted with those of the country.
When Congress finally screwed up the courage to demand this or that, the Bushies simply told them to piss up a rope. In almost every case, after initially rattling sabers, Congress has meekly backed down to somebody whose popularity falls roughly between Richard Nixon and Osama bin Laden. The roll-over-and-rub-my-tummy manuever they pulled on the war funding bill earlier this year was outrageous enough. But the FISA capitulation as they attempted to go home for the August recess was simply needless.
Chairman Leahy and the others on the Senate Judiciary Cmte verbally slapped around halfwits like Gonzo, but so far have taken no really concrete steps. The Bushies have dared them to do something, and they haven't. (I'm gonna get back to Schumer here in a second....)
Now that Gonzo isn't there anymore, the entire dynamic in D.C. will change. Congress has to do one simple thing, and the Bush crony bottleneck won't exist at DOJ any longer. The subpoena/contempt threats wielded by the Cmte chairs will have that much more teeth, since they might actually be enforceable. Other officials will probably leave. Etc.
The one simple thing they have to do is not cave on the replacement Atty General.
I saw Schumer saying the following....
New York Sen. Charles E. Schumer, a Democratic member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, also suggested that a Chertoff confirmation hearing would be contentious.
"I would say there are a lot of questions about Michael Chertoff that will have to be answered." Schumer said. "I wouldn't say yes; I wouldn't say no. It's an open book. It's possible, but its hardly a slam dunk. There are some names who could be a slam dunk."
Schumer, one of Gonzales' chief critics, appealed to the administration "to work with us to nominate someone whom Democrats can support and America can be proud of."
Chuck, Chuck, Chuck....there's nothing that says you have to play pattycake with these people. Just go ahead and say no to Chertoff. It's not like he's going to be nominated anyway.
Congress has a chance to make significant amends if they would just simply refuse to confirm anybody who is a Bush loyalist.
Go ahead and let em know, Chuck. Or are you going to cave again, with Arlen nodding in agreement next to you, satisfied with your reasonableness?
There is no reason why Congress should just accept whatever cretin the Bushies finally do nominate. I'd like to see Congress push the White House around a bit, for once, instead of the other way around. How about presenting the WH with a list of acceptable nominees, Chuck? Force the fucking issue, don't just sit back and react. Then if Bush insists on nominating somebody not on the list, then it's Bush who's being unreasonable, right?
I'm just a drummer in a rock and roll band, you'd think somebody smart like Schumer could figure this out.
So if Congress can find their balls, America might have a functional DOJ again soon. And that, my friends, would undoubtedly be a good thing.