Thursday, July 26, 2007


Get yourselves ready, children! The fat lady's about to sing!

Do mine eyes deceive me - or are the Democrats FINALLY starting to show some long, lost courage? Is this but a dream from which I have yet to awaken? Can it be? Can it really be? Oh, heart of mine, be still!!

The decision last week by White House chief of staff Josh Bolten and former White House Council Harriet Miers to ignore a congressional subpoena (they were ordered by Bush to do so) is utterly, without precedent. If you'll be kind enough to remember, during the Watergate Hearings in the long ago summer of 1973, when summoned to appear before that very same committee, the Nixon Gang (for all their faults) honored that summons. Maybe it was pure arrogance on their part; maybe they actually believed that they could pull one over on the Ervin Committee. Who knows? The key players in that drama took their secrets with them to their graves. Like Ms. Miers, John Ehrlichman and H.R. "Bob" Halderman were former employees of the White House - having left the administration in disgrace the previous April. As cunning and devious as Dick Nixon was, I'm sure it never even occurred to the old bastard that he could simply order two ex-aides to ignore something as serious as a congressional subpoena. And even had he done so, it is an absolute certainty that Halderman and Ehrlichman - unlike Harriet Miers - would not have been stupid enough to comply with his demands. Say what you may about Bobby and Johnny, they were two fairly astute guys.

Late last year, in an OP-ED piece in the New York Times, Paul Krugman stated that in the final two years of the Bush presidency, the American people should expect, "a rolling constitutional crisis." Talk about understatement! What you have here is George W. Bush vs The Founding Fathers: a battle between the selfish whims of a disgusting, inarticulate, half-witted frat boy who somehow (as a result of his father's connections) managed to get himself elected president - against the philosophy of checks and balances put forward as the law of the land over two hundred years ago by the men who founded this country - men like Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin. Question: who are YOU rooting for??

"White House Council Fred Fielding has said Miers, Bolten and other top presidential aides are immune from congressional subpoenas. The Justice Department [umm, that would be the Gonzalez Justice Department] told the committee that any House-passed contempt citation that might be forwarded to the U.S. attorney would not be allowed to proceed."

In other words,

Here's what we're gonna do about it:

We are going to make sure that George W. Bush and the the tidal wave of walking excrement that comprises this nightmare of an administration are punished for the crimes they have committed against the people (That's "people" as in, "WE THE..."). We are going to make sure that a dangerous precedent is not set wherein those at the pinnacle of power are immune from being punished and imprisoned for breaking the law. We (you and I) are going to make damned good and sure that justice is done, baby!

That's what we're gonna do about it.

Do those words sound like the insane ramblings of a dangerous, left wing extremist? It's a fair question. I always tell people in "the movement", "If you only knew how conservative I really am, you'd be surprised and maybe even even a little appalled." The best way to describe myself would be as a meat and potatoes, New Deal Progressive (We can't use the term "Liberal" anymore. In the last twenty-five years, we've allowed the right wing to turn that once-honored word into an expletive). In other words, by the standards of today, I am an ever-so-slightly, left-of-center Moderate. One does not have to be a Nation-subscribing Lefty to be outraged and offended at the crimes that have been committed by the most corrupt administration in the history of human stupidity. (FULL DISCLOSURE: My favorite singer is Bing Crosby. Now honestly, how dangerous can I really be?)

In the mean time, the performance of Alberto Gonzalez during his July 24th testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee was nothing short of pathetic. In a poignant effort to correct the obvious contradictions with reality that his previous testimony had revealed, the Attorney General merely succeeded in creating more doubt and distrust of his corrupt management of the Department of Justice. It is obvious to everyone paying attention (including, I might add, a number of Republicans) that he perjured himself on several occasions and there is now serious talk of bringing him up on charges of lying to Congress. Are there any loose cannons at Justice who have the courage and fortitude to buck the system and prosecute the hideous little twit solely on the constitutional merits of the case? It could very well happen - only time will tell. Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont was brutally frank, telling Gonzalez, "I am not willing to accept a simple statement of 'trust us'. I don't trust you."

We do live in interesting times, don't we? We really do! Watching these despicable people literally self-destruct right before my very eyes is a joy that I can't even adequately put into words! Somebody pinch me! I must be dreaming!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


At 9:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom, if wishing and hoping and pl......oh my God, I sound like a Dusty Springfield song! But if wishing and hoping can bring this about, then it's sure thing, because I've been wishing and hoping these thugs would be removed from office for years. Good article, by the way.....

Mary Eman

At 12:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you are right Tom.

The White House has seized power from other branches of government. If its not taken back now - the other branches are permanently weakened. This will provoke a showdown between power-junkies. Impeachment is imminent.

A Harriet Miers testimony must have been too much of a problem - one that in itself would have provoked impeachment (maybe it would have been like putting George on a debate podium without a wire in his ear), otherwise the administration would not have choosen to put themselves on this collision course. The advantage to the 'executive privilege' route is it delays damning evidence.

At 9:20 AM, Blogger Todd said...

Yet another good post, Tom. And I hope you're right that the Bush administration is about to crumble. The sooner the freakin' better!

At 3:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Tom, I found your Rant by total accident... I've sent you a couple of comments. I enjoy your Rant so much--you are so good with words/emotion...
I look forward to your 'refreshing' Rants.
Keep it up Man,
We need you.
Greg, Class of 1968

At 8:57 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Thank you for the kind words, Greg! They really mean a lot.
All the best,
Tom Degan

At 9:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good "rant" as usual.
I just don't see the "justice department" (LOL!) doing any justice on this one.
Like, for sure, they're going to go after the head honcho Gonzo.
Don't think so...
Might be time to have a patriot crew capture him in the dark of night, bring him to the town square, and hang him by the testitcles. Now wouldn't THAT be justice?
No torture here!
Bring 'em on! By the nuts!

At 1:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Latest "buzz" is the prediction that Gonzo will resign during the recess and that the Chimp-in-Chief will make a recess appointment.
Darth Dick is shopping for sock puppets on e-bay.
Stay tuned.

At 1:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If only it were true, Tom.

I don't see anything befalling the Bushco and friends since the system is rigged to protect them. Time will run out on them before any prosecution can go forward and even if there's legal contest, the Supreme Court would be involved ... and where do you suppose it would come down?

The problem is deeper.

Democracy requires a loyal opposition and when one half of the equation doesn't abide that rule, democracy starts to freeze or fail.

What does surprise is that Republicans are so cowed by this bunch of White House roughnecks. What puzzles is why they are thus far willing to fall on their swords. That complacency worries the hell out of me.

The Administration is out of control and is going for broke. What's to lose at this point. Screw the process, get all you can get.

January 2008 can't come too soon.

Jan Marfyak

At 3:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The current Supreme Court would
rubberstamp a coup by the Bush Administration. Roberts, Alito, Scalia, and Thomas are right-wing nutters. Breyer is on the fence and has few convictions. So, if defying Congressional subpoenas goes to court, it wont get past the D.C. Court of Appeals(another right-wing nutter). If it does, the Supremes will rule in favor of any travesty Bush trots out. At present, the Dems are hamstrung by the Senate. They do not have a clear majority, and traitors like Lieberman, plus centrists like that fence-straddling idiot Evan Bayh and Nelson of Nebraska, make it unlikely that much more than hot air is going to be generated. I am all for the hot air, mind you, but the real work wont occur until a clear majority can be had in the Senate. The Dems also need to improve their majority in the House. The Republicans seem bent on self-destruction. Perhaps, they are confident they can steal yet another election. Or, they think Bush/Cheney are so uncontrollable at this point, that they want to stay on their good-side before the Delusional Duo declare martial law and shut down Democracy entirely. Hubris, arrogance, and refusing to admit error play a big role in their miserable behavior. They have become so addicted to absolute power with no checks and balances in the last 7 years, that they can't beat their addiction. Many of them have benefited personally from these last horrific years of Hell. They have careened so far to the right, that they have fallen over the edge. They do not give a rat's ass about the good of the country. Power and Money are their gods. My prayer is that they are destroyed almost entirely as a party, and must re-organize. That would be a blessing for the country. Let the far-right, the Neoconservatives, and the Christian Right flap off into infamy, and be regarded as fringe groups like the KKK, John Birch Society, and the Neo-Nazis. They act like a cult now. They might as well be viewed as such.


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