When will Republicans learn to stop apologizing?
The Bush administration is embroiled in the most ridiculous non-scandal scandal in human history -- set off when the administration stupidly apologized for firing its own employees.
U.S. attorneys are political appointees who serve at the pleasure of the president. The president may fire them for any reason at all. That includes not implementing the president's policy about criminal prosecutions. It also includes being in the way of someone else whom the president wants to appoint for patronage reasons.
Why wasn't a fuss made when Bush fired Donald Rumsfeld? He is every bit as much a political appointee as the U.S. attorneys are.
Democrats have the breathtaking audacity to claim that Bush's replacing his own political appointees is "politicizing prosecutions."
They say this as Sandy Berger walks free after stealing and destroying top-secret national security documents -- but Lewis "Scooter" Libby faces decades in prison for not outing a covert agent. (Let's hope he's learned his lesson!)
They say this as Rep. William "The Refrigerator" Jefferson sits on the Homeland Security Committee while waiting for the $100,000 found in his freezer to thaw -- but Tom DeLay remains under an indictment by some hick prosecutor in Texas for an alleged accounting violation.
They say this as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid draws interest on the sale of a property he sold in a complicated land swindle -- but American hero Randy "Duke" Cunningham rots in prison.
They say this while Sen. Chuck Schumer pays no price whatsoever for his Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee having illegally obtained a copy of Republican Lt. Gov. Michael Steele's credit report, for which one employee, Lauren Weiner, pleaded guilty, but served no prison time.
They say this while Sen. Teddy Kennedy is still at large (and getting larger).
Democrats have created a world in which a DNC card is a "get out of jail free" card, and "guilt beyond a reasonable doubt" means "no doubt the defendant is Republican." (If Democrats keep this up, they'll have to rethink their push to give inmates the right to vote.)
Then they turn around and say Republicans are "politicizing prosecutions" by firing their own employees. And all Republicans can do is apologize.
I refuse to parse the inane allegations the Democrats are making, to point out that Clinton's wholesale firing of Republican U.S. attorneys was worse, or to mention that some of these U.S. attorneys should have been fired a long time ago (Carol Lam).
Bush should say: "We did it, it was political, and there's nothing you can do about it."
Then he should start holding hearings on Congress' obstruction of the war effort. Members of Congress should be asked to come before the administration's hearings and testify under oath about their commitment to victory. If they are not traitors, what do they have to hide? Surely they will be willing to state under oath that they are not undermining the war effort for partisan political gain.
The hearings could be televised in prime time: "Traitor or No Traitor?"
The president's investigatory power is better grounded than is Congress'. There is no "hearings and investigations" clause in Article I, describing Congress' powers, but the Recommendation Clause of Article II, Section 3 obligates the president to "from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union."
If the State of the Union is that we have a treasonous majority in Congress that is affirmatively undermining American national security, the president is constitutionally obliged to give Congress information to that effect. How can he make that judgment without gathering the necessary data?
While he's at it, the Bush hearings should look into the Democrats' hiring and firing practices. Were the dedicated staffers who worked on various committees while the Republicans were in control retained by the incoming Democrats? Or were some of those staffers fired because of their (gasp!) partisan affiliation?
Finally, just for the Democrats' mentioning Randy "Duke" Cunningham's name, Bush should pardon him immediately.
Admittedly, in this one case, the Republican was actually guilty of something. Cunningham took bribes -- he didn't kill a girl at Chappaquiddick. To put it another way, the only thing Duke Cunningham ever sank was his own career.
And in one glorious afternoon over North Vietnam, Duke Cunningham did more for his county than the entire Democratic caucus will do in a lifetime.
The president has absolute authority to fire U.S. attorneys, hold investigative hearings and grant pardons. What's he worried about? That the media will be hysterical and Democrats will call him names? Constantly apologizing doesn't seem to have worked out too well for him either. How about doing something for the Americans who elected him?
Ah, but I see he has! As we go to press, news comes across the transom that Bush has withdrawn the nomination of Sam Fox as ambassador to Belgium because Democrats are upset that Fox gave a donation to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.
There's no hope.