Friday, December 23, 2005

He Own'd the Soft Impeachment

This is so delicious, the Slangwhanger-in-Chief can hardly stand it. Like the Brothers Grimm's Rumplestiltskin giving away knowledge of his name in an ecstacy of gloating, the echt-neocon columnist Charles Krauthammer today reveals that the White House fears impeachment enough that it has to have an anti-impeachment strategy.

Strategy summary: "Fraudulently inducing a war and performing warrantless US surveillance aren't really crimes and, anyway, even if they were, you can't do anything about them, nyah,yah, nyah." That's their story and they're sticking to it. Thank God. Because it isn't going to work. Anyway, the Slangwhanger-in-Chief could not forbear replying:

Mr Charles Krauthammer
The Washington Post Company
via e-mail

Dear Mr Krauthammer-

Happy to have your blessing on the growing presidential investigation/ censure/ impeachment movement. Once again your December 23rd column illustrates the law of counter-intuition that you have so capably sustained throughout your interminable, though intellectually undistinguished, career. Anything you denigrate must be admirable, just as anything you praise must be execrable. Never seen it fail, really.

"Demagoguery" in defense of unfettered presidential power was, naturally, far more prevalent in 2005 than the pitifully few, though totally correct, assertions by elected officials that the president lied us into war. The two emotive, plentifully-evidenced presidential lies were, of course, that 9/11=Saddam, and WMD=nukes.

Possibly even you have ceased promulgating these contemptible deceptions. Certainly the American people no longer draw their corollary that the war was either justified or properly sold to us by the administration. You’ll just have to get over that. No number of speeches and PR campaigns is going to change the public’s reluctantly arrived-at view that this president is egomaniacal, untrustworthy and well-nigh incompetent, or the growing suspicion that he may well be trembling on the brink of a psychotic episode every time somebody disagrees with him.

Aside from the original lies, the impeachment deal is this. Surveillance in the United States is permitted only when FISA is complied with. If, as the Hamdi v. Rumsfeld court ruled, the president's actions are subject to Congressional acts and judicial review, it is unfathomable that his violations of FISA somehow escape these checks. Being commander-in-chief doesn’t overrule being under the constitution and therefore, in matters great and small, under the legislature and the judiciary. It definitely takes a “superior mix of partisanship, animus and ignorance” on your part to deny that.

See, the president isn’t the one who gets to decide what’s constitutional and what’s not. The courts do that. It is part of the poison of Johnson-Nixonism that presidents feel able to avow their position as being above the law. But the assertion does not make the fact, either as to the propriety of lying, spying and torture nor as to the invisible, evanescent, and delusional “progress” in Iraq. The real “nonsense” is pretending that impeachment is improper, ludicrous, or disproportionate to Bush’s defiantly-proclaimed US surveillance crimes.

His dilemma is that he outed himself on national TV for doing something that it says right there in words duly passed by Congress that he can’t do. He can’t just declare the law inoperative. If he’s impeached and gets off, well, that’s a decision that commander-in-chief trumps Congress. But he can’t just act like it’s going to come out that way, because he can’t know how it’s going to come out.

All in all, that was a pretty good final sentence of yours, except you had two extra words and left one out. It should have read, “And only the most brazen and reckless partisan could pretend it is [not] a high crime and misdemeanor.”

Faithfully yours,
The Slangwhanger-in-Chief


Blogger Tate said...

Very good letter. I usually cut and paste part of an article or post and say I agree with the following or else have a few declarative sentences.

I am trying to get back in the habit of email but I have sent so many angry letters and emails to WaPo I don't know if it will do any good.

My political ideas were formed by WaPo and though they left out things like MK-ULTRA, I have to admit that I skimmed though or ignored the SOA and torture in South America but felt haunted by it and had picked up the meme "I don't believe in conspiracy theories" from somewhere every time there was an article on the many deaths around the murder of JFK and WaPo articles esp. on Dorothy Killigan, the beginning of the killing and intimidation of the press.

I learned some interesting things about the online WaPo writers and the print version from FireDogLake who has also been commenting on Charles K.

More petitions to sign and emails to read and write, when do I get to return to art?

Saturday, December 24, 2005 6:17:00 AM  

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