March 18, 2007
Quote of the Scandal
I know you're more used to seeing "Quote of the Week" or "Quote of the Year;" but I am oriented more towards substance than calendar... so allow me to call this the Quote of the Fired-Attorneys Scandal. And you're not going to budge me; I am adamant!
The Drudge Report linked Politico.com -- how can I get him to link Big Lizards? and would Hosting Matters explode into flinders if he did? -- about the continuing saga of eight U.S. Attorneys fired from the Bush administration for having their own set of priorities that did not match those of the White House. And let's lay one talking point to rest right away: Of course the firing was political!
It was political because policy itself is necessarily political: The administration has a set of principles of governance during time of war; those principles lead to a set of priorities of law enforcement. For example, Bush believes that controlling immigration is critcal to national security; therefore, he believes that the U.S. Attorneys should "privilege" immigration cases.
Democrats and some liberal Republicans by and large believe the opposite, that there is no connection between uncontrolled immigration and national security. Therefore, they tend to "deprivilege" immigration cases. This is a very deep, very consistent political split.
Thus, when several U.S. Attorneys (two or three of the eight) refused to prosecute or focus on immigration cases, they did so for political reasons: because their political priorities conflicted with those of the administration. And when they were subsequently fired, that too was political. However, those particular political differences form a perfectly valid basis for discharge.
Likewise anent the attorneys fired for refusing to take seriously allegations of Democratic electoral corruption: They were let go for political reasons, but those reasons were nevertheless perfectly proper.
This by way of prologue; now to the Quote of the Scandal...
The Democrats are clearly fanning the flames of scandal here -- you're way ahead of me -- for partisan political purposes: They want to make Republicans appear corrupt so they can beat them in 2008. As a prime example, here, from the Politico.com story, is Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL, 90%) on the subject of Republican corruption:
"Every time you get more memos, or more communications between the White House and the Justice Department, you get more facts that don't look good," said Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. "The White House either hired a bunch of incompetent U.S. attorneys to start with, or hired a bunch of competent U.S attorneys that were incompetently fired...."
[Emanuel fails to consider a more plausible alternative: Eight of the 93 U.S. Attorneys the White House hired were competent, but they had their own agendas that prevented them from earning the pleasure of the president. So they were canned.]
Emanuel said his party would continue to focus on the corruption cases that several of the prosecutors had under way when they were fired. "One operative theory, and that doesn't mean that it's right," Emanuel said, "is that if you believe corruption was at the root of the election results, one way to handle that is to get rid of the U.S. attorneys who were pursuing corruption cases."
Why does this statement take top honors, in my opinion?
- It conveys the implication that Republicans are somehow corrupt without actually coming out and making a specific, rebuttable accusation;
- It looks vague but is in fact meaningless;
- It will likely be picked up and recycled by the media, as if it were some crushing argument to which there can be no response... which is true, in a way, as you cannot respond sensibly to absolute nonsense.
Thus, Rahm Emanuel's summation is the Platonic ideal of a political statement in the midst of this entirely political non-scandal.
Is Emanuel saying that this is only one theory among many? If it may not be right, yet he offers no criteria by which to judge, then why bother saying it at all? (One operative theory, and that doesn't means that it's right, is that Howard Dean is a centipede.)
Is he saying that the Bush administration believed that corruption was at the root of the 2004 election results? Does he mean Democratic corruption or Republican corruption? Does Emanuel imply that the Bush administration believes that they, themselves only won by corruption?
Or is he saying that the Democrats believe that Bush only won by corruption? Which states does he believe were so corrupted that they wrongly cast their electoral votes for Bush?
And in any event, does "you," the subject of the primary verb "believe," persist as the implied actor of the infinitive "to get rid of" in the final clause? If so, that would mean it was the Democrats who "got rid of" the attorneys -- so that can't be right! But then, who is the implied actor... the Bush administration? How many separate and contradictory subjects is a sentence allowed to have?
So what in the hell is he actually saying? I don't see any hands raised, except for the grammarians in the back... and I suspect theirs are raised, not to answer the question, but in unconditional surrender.
Thus I dub this quotation the synecdoche of the Democratic response to this firing, and to the Bush administration in general: They know (in a Gnostic sense) that there is some horrific, Lovecraftian corruption in there somewhere, but they just can't quite wrap their tentacles around it.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, March 18, 2007, at the time of 5:53 PM
TrackBack URL for this hissing: http://biglizards.net/mt3.36/earendiltrack.cgi/1913
The following hissed in response by: snochasr
Aren't these 8 part of the *93* partisan political flaks installed by Bill Clinton after sacking EVERY ONE of the US attorneys in his first month in office? Is there something beyond selective outrage or a double standard that applies to this situation?
The following hissed in response by: hunter
The only scandal in this is that the MSM is allowing the dhimmies to pretend there is a 'there' there.
The MSM simply reported the facts when the 93 were fired for purely political reasons by clinton.
This is a complete non-event, only given legs by Gonzalez' incredibly naive behavior.
The following hissed in response by: charlotte
Does Emanuel imply that the Bush administration believes that they, themselves, only won by corruption?
Yes. And that, therefore, they don't wish for election irregularities and illegalities to come to light through investigation and prosecution.
The only question left to ask is whether the Dems have gone mental, as in complete projection in the case of election fraud, or whether these kind of innuendo-corrupt statements are intended to smear. My best guess is both.
Enjoyed looking up "synecdoche" :)
The following hissed in response by: nk
Getting a little personal, with your indulgence: Dan Rostenkowski was my Congressman for the longest time. He spoke in public only in platitudes and cliches. His reelection was guaranteed by the Daley machine so he never needed to make any impact on the electorate. With a two-year interregnum, Rostenkowski was succeeded by Blagojevic, the son-in-law of the most powerful of the Daley boyars. He likewise only needed to make sure the pork kept getting delivered and never subjected us to his rhetorical brilliance. Then we got Emmanuel, who learned at the foot of the man who questioned what the meaning of "is" is. I moved out of that district (and out of the city). There's only so much a person can take.
The above hissed in response by: nk at March 19, 2007 5:07 AM
The following hissed in response by: LTCTed
Okay, this is now sailing brightly, brightly 'way over my head.
In my darkest ignorance, I thought the Prez was the Chief Magistrate; that the Justice Department (and for that matter the FAA and DHS that "let the Bin Laden's leave after 9-11")were creatures of the Executive branch, and thus subject to the (legal) whim of the Prez.
Where did Castelar Elementary school steer me wrong; and can I sue them?
The following hissed in response by: Mr. Michael
Dafydd, that quote is wrong on so many levels I have to question whether you transcribed it correctly... but there it is at Politico. The part that boggles MY mind the most is this:
...one way to handle that is to get rid of the U.S. attorneys who were pursuing corruption cases.That may indeed be useful advice, but in THIS case, the allegation is that the Justices were let go because they WEREN'T pursuing corruption, and specifically Vote Fraud cases.
We should hook his spin up to a Generator; it would be a fantastic opportunity to harness an Alternative Energy source!
The following hissed in response by: Big D
So the Democrats are upset that Bush fired U.S. attorneys that weren't pursuing charges of electoral fraud against Democrats? Why are they so upset? Why isan't THAT the story here?
I think we need to have a special prosecutor look into these unprosecuted cases of electoral fraud.
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