* Wrong. Dead wrong!\n* Right on George!\n* Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn\n
At the outset of the CIA-leak investigation, President Bush sternly warned that if any person in his administration “has violated the law, the person will be taken care of.” The person was taken care of, all right, just not the way we were led to believe.
Late Monday afternoon, the White House announced that Bush had commuted the pending prison sentence of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the influential vice-presidential chief of staff found guilty of four felony counts of lying to the FBI and a grand jury about the outing of a CIA agent’s identity.
The Fourth of July celebrates community, local as well as national. Parades featuring people in uniform — scouts, firefighters and police as well as the military and others — traditionally are a fixture. Military uniforms remind us of the role of war in our history — and our present.
From ancient times, parades have been vital to the reintegration of warriors into society. War is profoundly disruptive and disturbing as well as dangerous. Even the rare man who finds combat invigorating and rewarding is in severe need of an honoring welcome after the killing ends.
On the night he became president of the United States under the most unprecedented of circumstances, Gerald Ford stood in the East Room of what was officially his new home and nailed the essence of governance in a single sentence: “I believe that truth is the glue that holds government together …” By that standard, the government of President Bush and Vice President Cheney came unglued long ago.
These are hectic times at the U.S. Secret Service, which faces a big-time security strain as the 2008 presidential campaign heats up.
The agency is planning to hire and train 103 agents to protect President Bush when he leaves office Jan. 20, 2009. And the scramble to replace him is expected to put an unprecedented burden on the Secret Service, which is already spending $44,000 a day on around-the-clock security for Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.
In past election years, Republican candidate could always depend on the deep pockets of loyalists to give them a financial edge.
Leading Democratic Presidential contenders are outraising Republican hopefuls and the shortfall in campaign cash is affecting other GOP campaigns as well.
Public dissatisfaction over the failed war in Iraq and other dismal policies of the faltering GOP is blamed for most of the dropoff in contributions but others point to the Internet as a Democratic cash cow.
Like twin Jacques Cousteaus of the political world, President Bush and Congress are probing the depths of public opinion polling as voters exasperated over Iraq, immigration and other issues give them strikingly low grades.
In a remarkable span, the approval that people voice for the job Bush is doing has sunk to record lows for his presidency in the AP-Ipsos and other polls in recent weeks, dipping within sight of President Nixon’s levels during Watergate. Ominously for Republicans hoping to hold the White House and recapture Congress next year, Bush’s support has plunged among core GOP groups like evangelicals, and pivotal independent swing voters.
Congress is doing about the same. Like Bush, lawmakers are winning approval by roughly three in 10. Such levels are significantly low for a president, and poor but less unusual for Congress.
Call it the great Blackberry hack caper or just another case of political dirty tricks.
Whatever you call it, the campaign season must be in full swing because the tricksters are hard at work and so are those who file lawsuits.
A former employee of the political consulting firm that works the Presidential campaign of Hillary Rodham Clinton claims Hillary’s chief campaign strategists approved hacking into his Blackberry and monitoring his email.
The other side, of course, claims it did nothing wrong.
Most of America may be shocked and dismayed by President George W. Bush’s decision to commute the prison sentence of convicted White House aide Lewis “Scooter” Libby but the rabid right wing of the Republican Party, the staunch minority of Presidential loyalists, are cheering the President as loudly as they can.
The unfettered glee from the ultra-conservatives is a rare show of support for Bush. The rabid right has never fully trusted Bush and his decision on Libby has put some life into the GOP’s dwindling base.