Things to stop saying: Republicans should stop repeating that Federal Attorneys serve at the pleasure of the president; administration employees should stop claiming executive privilege; Hillary and her staff need to stop explaining why she’s still in the race and people in general should stop saying they’ve been quoted out of context when they make incredibly stupid, insensitive or inflammatory remarks.
We’ve all been instructed that Federal Attorneys serve at the president’s pleasure. But that his pleasure included turning the Justice Department into a political arm of the Republican Party was a disturbingly convoluted interpretation of executive power that has destabilized our form of government and undermined the separation of powers as stipulated in the Constitution. By allowing political influence to determine the course of prosecutions against opposing party members the function of an office that should have dealt in judicial absolutes became a tool for the implementation of political goals – – a subversion that, it was hoped, would deliver perpetual power into the hands of this president and the Republican Party.
In its arrogance, and a sense that no-one was paying attention attorneys were dismissed, and cases prosecuted. And in his delusional, self-congratulatory mode Carl Rove predicted Republicans would hold both houses of Congress, thus tamping down concerns over Justice Department machinations. However, Congress turned Democratic despite Rove’s carryings-on, although getting key players up on the hill to testify has met with resistance and repeated claims of executive privilege – – a defiance that suggests secretive, corrupt government is its own reward. But Congress has cards yet to play.
On the other side of the political spectrum the bizarre Democratic primary moves along with much greater transparency but hardly more clarity, as the campaign continues its never-ending explanations of why Senator Clinton continues to run. Insisting she has more popular votes due to the disallowed Florida and Michigan primaries Hillary and her supporters use that as one rationale for her going forward.
She spoke in Florida as a self-proclaimed civil rights champion of voters there – – an insult to those beleaguered activists who fought the bloody battles for voting rights in the past. And her campaign managers find amazing ways to parse delegate issues. Terry McAuliffe, for example, says the Florida and Michigan results should stand despite the obvious problems with that position. In addition he submits Michigan’s “uncommitted” votes do not belong to Obama (whose name did not appear on the ballot) because they were, after all, uncommitted.
McAuliffe also asserts that Clinton was simply defining a “time line” when she made her remarks about Robert Kennedy’s assassination and that Robert Kennedy Jr., who had previously endorsed her, has given her a pass regarding the remarks. That’s Kennedy’s business, but it isn’t only his call to make, and the time-line argument is patently absurd. Meanwhile campaign director Wolfson talks about Clinton “winning” the nomination and “unifying” the party, two highly unlikely, equally absurdist projections.
There’s something almost surrealistic about the attempts to ratify a profoundly damaged and increasingly irrational candidate and her campaign. Simply ignoring what seems obvious to most observers, certainly not just the media, Senator Clinton is down in Puerto Rico still talking about a debate with Barack Obama. Perhaps it’s just a campaign tactic to attract votes there, but it borders on the delusional. And blaming a misogynistic media and electorate for her troubled campaign belies her argument that she would be the most electable candidate in the fall.
Many actors on the national scene often say they’ve been quoted out of context, misunderstood or, in Hillary’s case, are the victim of extreme bias. Pastor Hagee tried to make the out-of-context argument about comments regarding the Catholic Church, Hitler and the Jews and Katrina as God’s punishment for an immoral New Orleans. But the full text of his remarks made his outrageous positions even clearer.
And Hillary’s assassination reference was just too painful for a nation that has endured far too much violence and longs for straight talk and a new political dynamic.