Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Relative Stupidity

I may have mentioned before that we get CBS International as part of our cable service. It´s not full time, however, and we really only have it for primetime and sporting events. When it´s not on, we have VOA TV on the same channel. VOA (Voice of America) TV is of low picture and sound quality, but can be interesting. You see things like congressional hearings, think tank meetings, interviews, and, like last night, White House press conferences.

You can learn a lot watching a press conference. For example, the young, blonde woman answering questions yesterday clearly thought that it was cool to be in "press" yet obviously has an intellectual challenge that is unlikely to be overcome. Of course, I don´t know how much I blame her, I mean, her President has taken wholly indefensible positions, so it´s pretty hard to provide a reasonable sounding explanations.

Still, last night she adamently declared that "there is no Congressional oversight of the Presidency" in the Constitution or historically. I was a bit flabbergasted by that but even more troubling was that the reporters at hand did not immediately follow up with a Watergate question or five. Nor did they ask about the Clinton years where a rabid Republican Congress went after the President for purely personal reasons. This is not to say this pretty blonde had anything more than bluff and bluster on this issue. She attempted to reference history but then just gave up and said something like, "I´m not going to cite precedent after precedent here" and moved on. Bully for her using 3-syllable words.

At any rate, one thing that the press did nail her on, and I doubt will be reported, is that she repeatedly made assertions about AG Gonzalez but then told a reporter that the President and Gonzalez hadn´t spoken in over a week. The immediate response was, "well, if they haven´t spoken, then how does the President know what Gonzalez thinks or that he is telling the truth?" Ouch. She didn´t have much of an answer to that either.

It was also fairly egregious when this young presser argued that the President had been very generous in offering to allow his advisors to "speak" with Congress, since, according to her, he has no obligation to do so. When a reporter not-so subtly implied that there was a difference between having a quiet chat and testifying, she brushed him off with yet another wild eyed appeal to a history that doesn´t exist vis-a-vis executive privilege.

Ultimately, the bullshit was so thick I was forced to change the channel. I just couldn´t stomach it in an unpaid capacity. It really is shocking that these people think there is no check and/or balance between the Presidency and the Congress. I mean, they have some serious juevos. So far, they´ve gotten away with it, but if the Dems step up and show a few stones of their own, they´ll win this one. It should start with the Justice official who invoked the 5th amendement yesterday. The Dems should request a hearing to determine if it´s a legitimate usage of the 5th. Because it´s not legit to invoke the 5th to avoid perjury or obstruction of justice.

After that, they need to go on the offensive with the whole executive privilege issue. Even if they don´t want to fight an extended court battle (which they should to prevent this type of nonsense in the future), they should take this battle to the streets. America doesn´t need an unchecked Presidency. We had that once. He was called King George III. And our entire system was founded to prevent that type of abuse.


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