10/31/2005

firedoglake: Memo to Democratic Pundits

You expect [minimizing and spin] from members of the President's party... But I do not expect to see Democrats on shows or in the papers or magazines minimizing this or allowing patently false statements to just be made without taking the person making them to task.

So, consider this my contribution to the would be pundits out there.

When Orrin Hatch or Kay Bailey Hutchinson or any other Republican appear with you on a talk show and say something to the effect of "no underlying crime" or "perjury technicality", you should be ready to respond to them with something other than a "Well, I've known Orrin for a long time," head shake, "and I'm not certain what he's talking about here."

Here's my free suggestion on what you can say. Call it my contribution to the uplifting of American discourse on the law and our country. Or call it "I'm sick of people not knowing what in the hell they are talking about when they represent my party on TV." Whatever. But it's free for the taking -- please just use it.

Here's what you can say:

Oh, I'm sorry. I thought I just heard you say that perjury was a technicality. Is that for everyone? Or only your Republican cronies?

If sarcasm isn't your style, and you want something more erudite, you can try this.

I think I may have misheard you, Senator. I believe you just dismissed the entire notion of the rule of law because one of your Republican cronies was indicted, and I find that appalling. The law applies to every citizen of our great nation. Don't you think that everyone should abide by the laws equally, Senator?

That still doesn't work for you? Well, then, how about something like this.

I'm sorry. I may have missed a recent Supreme Court decision where the rule of law was suspended for Republicans. Are you saying that the serious charge of lying to a criminal investigator or trying to thwart an investigation into a breach of national security matters is only important when it applies to petty criminals -- or especially if you can apply it to a Democrat? So are you saying that anyone who happens to be one of your Republican cronies should not have to follow the law?

See how easy that can be? Here's a good one for someone who has formerly worked as a prosecutor, either in a state position or as attorney general or as a US Attorney.

Well, you've worked as a US Attorney, haven't you _____? (Victoria, Joe, whatever -- name your apologist) How many times did you file perjury or obstruction or false statements against a defendant you were prosecuting, where you felt those charges were trivial and unwarranted? None?


The law applies to everyone. We are a nation of laws, not of kings.

And for those people who keep insisting that this case is a nothing case, and that no one was harmed and it's just being pushed for a partisan agenda because Valerie Wilson wasn't even a CIA operative, she was some sort of desk jockey? Again, I'm going to let Patrick Fitgerald speak for himself.

I can say that for the people who work at the CIA and work at other places, they have to expect that when they do their jobs that classified information will be protected. And they have to expect that when they do their jobs, that information about whether or not they are affiliated with the CIA will be protected.

And they run a risk when they work for the CIA that something bad could happen to them, but they have to make sure that they don't run the risk that something bad is going to happen to them from something done by their own fellow government employees.

I think that is very clear. There are several people working for this Administration -- and a whole lot of people schilling for it -- who have a lot to be ashamed of right now. Not the least of which is their blatant disregard for the rule of law in their public statements about this case.

This nation was founded on a rule of law that applied to everyone, no matter their status or connections -- to throw that away for short term political gain is craven and shameful, and I am disgusted watching people twist themselves into ethical pretzels trying to do just that. For shame.

Update: Looks like we made the NYT.

firedoglake: Memo to Democratic Pundits

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