A Straight Shot of Politics

A blog from a gentleman of the Liberal political persuasion dedicated to right reason, clear thinking, cogent argument, and the public good.

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Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

I have returned from darkness and quiet. I used to style myself as "Joe Claus", Santa Claus’ younger brother because that is what I still look like. I wrote my heart out about liberal politics until June of 2006, when all that could be said had been said. I wrote until I could write no more and I wrote what I best liked to read when I was young and hopeful: the short familiar essays in Engish and American periodicals of 50 to 100 years ago. The archetype of them were those of G.K. Chesterton, written in newspapers and gathered into numerous small books. I am ready to write them again. I am ready to write about life as seen by the impoverished, by the mentally ill, by the thirty years and more of American Buddhist converts, and by the sharp eyed people [so few now in number] with the watcher's disease, the people who watch and watch and watch. I am all of these.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Lest We Forget

Echoing in my ears today is the sound track of the film of President Franklin Roosevelt asking Congress to declare war against the Empire of Japan, causing all men and women to push partisan differences to one side and to pull together to defeat common enemies of all the things we have and hold dear in America.

We could have had that unity again. After 9/11 we did have that unity again. With real leadership, we could have sustained it and put it to work to defeat our common enemies once again. But it is gone. Below is what those who lead us have been doing instead.

The Valerie Plame affair has settled into it's new indictment and re-investigation phase. But it should not drop off our radar screen entirely. Think Progress has an appalling round-up of twenty-three separate Bush administration officials who are tangled up in the leak scandal one way or another. Some are clearly marginal to it, such as Colin Powell, others are central to it, such as Karl Rove. It might be questioned why figures such as Powell are included at all, but, obviously, Think Progress has a partisan axe to grind.

That admitted, however, the facts listed in the post about each of the 23 individuals, when taken in total, paint an abysmal picture of the paranoia, smallness, mendacity, deceptiveness, and vengefulness of all the President's men and women:

Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, Condoleezza Rice, Stephen Hadley, Andrew Card, Alberto Gonzales, Mary Matalin, Ari Fleicher, Susan Ralston, Israel Hernandez, John Hannah, Scott McClellan, Dan Barlett, Claire Buchan, Cathrine Martin, Jennifer Millerwise, David Wurmster, Colin Powell, Karen Hughes, Adam Levine, Bob Joseph, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush.

We can get a taste of this by merely examining the case of Presidential Press Secretary Scott McClellan:

  • MCCLELLAN WAS NOT ON AFRICA TRIP: “Fleischer and Bartlett were with Bush on a July 7-12 trip to Africa just prior to publication of Novak’s column, and McClellan, then Fleischer’s deputy, was on vacation.” [Associated Press, 2/11/04]

  • MCCLELLAN SAID THE PRESIDENT “KNOWS” KARL WASN’T INVOLVED: “Q All right. Let me just follow up. You said this morning, ‘The President knows’ that Karl Rove wasn’t involved. How does he know that? MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I’ve made it very clear that it was a ridiculous suggestion in the first place. I saw some comments this morning from the person who made that suggestion, backing away from that. And I said it is simply not true. So, I mean, it’s public knowledge. I’ve said that it’s not true. And I have spoken with Karl Rove…” [White House, 9/29/03]

  • MCCLELLAN SAID THERE WAS NO EVIDENCE ANYONE IN THE WHITE HOUSE OR VICE PRESIDENT’S OFFICE WAS INVOLVED: “There’s been nothing, absolutely nothing, brought to our attention to suggest any White House involvement, and that includes the vice president’s office as well.” [White House, 9/29/03]

  • MCCLELLAN SAID IF ANYONE IN THE ADMINISTRATION WAS INVOLVED THEY’D BE FIRED: “If anyone in this administration was involved in it, they would no longer be in this administration.” [White House, 9/29/03]

  • MCCLELLAN SAID ROVE, LIBBY AND ABRAMS WERE NOT INVOLVED: “Q Scott, earlier this week you told us that neither Karl Rove, Elliot Abrams nor Lewis Libby disclosed any classified information with regard to the leak. I wondered if you could tell us more specifically whether any of them told any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA? A: Those individuals — I talked — I spoke with those individuals, as I pointed out, and those individuals assured me they were not involved in this. And that’s where it stands.” [White House, 10/10/03]

  • MCCLELLAN INTERVIEWED BY FBI: Time magazine revealed in mid-October 2003 that “the FBI has interviewed more than two dozen officials in several Washington offices, including White House press secretary Scott McClellan and Bush political adviser Karl Rove as well as other West Wing aides.” [Time, 10/27/03]

  • MCCLELLAN REFUSES TO COMMENT FURTHER BECAUSE “THE INVESTIGATION IS ONGOING”: Even though he made his previous comments while the investigation was ongoing. [White House, 7/11/05]

Since the Plame outing they have all been writhing, twisting, squirming every which way, and approaching the issue with everything but the straightforwardness and decency of honest men and women, acting in the best interest of the public and the country.


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