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November 11, 2007

NY Times Goes Stark Raving Bonkers!

Between their lead editorial and Frank Rich's commentary, it is clear that their Bush Derangement Syndrome has metastasized. It's a pity that there is no option for euthanizing the once-great Grey Lady. I mean, they shoot horses, don't they?

Let's start with the editorial.

It is extraordinary how President Bush has streamlined the Senate confirmation process. As we have seen most recently with the vote to confirm Michael Mukasey as attorney general, about all that is left of “advice and consent” is the “consent” part.

Once upon a time, the confirmation of major presidential appointments played out on several levels — starting, of course, with politics. It was assumed that a president would choose like-minded people as cabinet members and for other jobs requiring Senate approval. There was a presumption that he should be allowed his choices, all other things being equal.

Before George W. Bush’s presidency, those other things actually counted. Was the nominee truly qualified, with a professional background worthy of the job? Would he discharge his duties fairly and honorably, upholding his oath to protect the Constitution? Even though she answers to the president, would the nominee represent all Americans? Would he or she respect the power of Congress to supervise the executive branch, and the power of the courts to enforce the rule of law?

In less than seven years, Mr. Bush has managed to boil that list down to its least common denominator: the president should get his choices. At first, Mr. Bush was abetted by a slavish Republican majority that balked at only one major appointment — Harriet Miers for Supreme Court justice, and then only because of doubts that she was far enough to the right.

* * *

We are not suggesting the Democrats reject every presidential appointee, or that the president’s preferences not be taken into account. But Democrats have done precious little to avoid the kind of spectacle the world saw last week: the Senate giving the job of attorney general, chief law enforcement officer in the world’s oldest democracy, to a man who does not even have the integrity to take a stand against torture.

Which, of course, all comes down to a single question -- is waterboarding torture? The New York Times has decreed ex cathedra that it is. The Bush administration disagrees. Refusal to subscribe to the position taken by the Times is considered to be heresy, and indication of unfitness for office, according to the editors of the NY Times, and therefore a nominee that they supported initially ought to be rejected. Frightening, isn't it, that the President might have nominated an attorney general who agrees with him, isn't it?

And then there is Frank Rich. Scary as it may seem, he makes the editorial look moderate and rational!

AS Gen. Pervez Musharraf arrested judges, lawyers and human-rights activists in Pakistan last week, our Senate was busy demonstrating its own civic mettle. Chuck Schumer and Dianne Feinstein, liberal Democrats from America’s two most highly populated blue states, gave the thumbs up to Michael B. Mukasey, ensuring his confirmation as attorney general.

So what if America’s chief law enforcement official won’t say that waterboarding is illegal? A state of emergency is a state of emergency. You’re either willing to sacrifice principles to head off the next ticking bomb, or you’re with the terrorists. Constitutional corners were cut in Washington in impressive synchronicity with General Musharraf’s crackdown in Islamabad.

* * *

To believe that this corruption will simply evaporate when the Bush presidency is done is to underestimate the permanent erosion inflicted over the past six years. What was once shocking and unacceptable in America has now been internalized as the new normal.

This is most apparent in the Republican presidential race, where most of the candidates seem to be running for dictator and make no apologies for it. They’re falling over each other to expand Gitmo, see who can promise the most torture and abridge the largest number of constitutional rights. The front-runner, Rudy Giuliani, boasts a proven record in extralegal executive power grabs, Musharraf-style: After 9/11 he tried to mount a coup, floating the idea that he stay on as mayor in defiance of New York’s term-limits law.

What makes the Democrats’ Mukasey cave-in so depressing is that it shows how far even exemplary sticklers for the law like Senators Feinstein and Schumer have lowered democracy’s bar. When they argued that Mr. Mukasey should be confirmed because he’s not as horrifying as Mr. Gonzales or as the acting attorney general who might get the job otherwise, they sounded whipped. After all these years of Bush-Cheney torture, they’ll say things they know are false just to move on.

So got that -- George W. Bush = General Musharraf. Deviation from that point of view is to demolish the Constitution and support dictatorship. To the barricades, comrades, to overthrow the fascist oppressor!

See what happens when you let the theater critic pretend to know something about politics and world affairs? Drama queen commentary!

Earlier I asked about euthanizing the New York Times. I was not, of course, serious. After all, the continued publication of this subversive rag is the surest proof that our constitutionally protected liberties are secure.

OPEN TRACKBACKING AT Outside the Beltway, Stop the ACLU, Perri Nelson's Website, Rosemary's Thoughts, Stix Blog, Right Truth, The Populist, Shadowscope, Stuck On Stupid, Leaning Straight Up, Adeline and Hazel, third world county, The Uncooperative Radio Show!, Pirate's Cove, The Pink Flamingo, CommonSenseAmerica, Right Voices, Church and State, Blog @ MoreWhat.com, A Blog For All, 123beta, Adam's Blog, Grizzly Groundswell, The Bullwinkle Blog, Big Dog's Weblog, Cao's Blog, , Nuke's, Diary of the Mad Pigeon, Faultline USA, The Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns, The World According to Carl, Walls of the City, Blue Star Chronicles, Wolf Pangloss, Gone Hollywood, and The Yankee Sailor, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.





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