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Prosecuting Bushite Crimes: It's a Genuine Dilemma

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For years, we Americans knew –or should have known—that the Bushite regime was committing crimes of the most serious sort. These were crimes of the very kind that our Founding Fathers were most concerned to enable their descendants to prevent or to punish. Yet while the wrong-doing was exposed, it was never effectively countered. The Bushites violated the law and trampled on the Constitution with impunity, and left office by serving out their terms rather than, as our Founders would certainly have wished, by being impeached and convicted and removed.

In recent weeks, as the transfer of power to a new administration has approach, there’s been a crescendo of calls that the deep stain of these crimes now be addressed. It would be very dangerous for America's future, many say, if the clear crimes of the Bushite regime are not prosecuted. To ignore the systematic violations of law and usurpations of power of the presidency just ended, they argue, would just increase the danger that other thugs and would-be tyrants coming to power in this country, having drawn the inference that an unscrupulous president can get away with doing whatever he wants, will repeat or even extend the frightening practices of Bush's lawless administration.

I agree. All that is true, and of vital importance.

Yet, there is a genuine dilemma here. And only if we understand that dilemma are we likely to be able to help devise and execute the strategy that will best serve the future health of America’s body politic.

THE LARGER PICTURE

Dealing effectively with the terrible precedent of these crimes and usurpations is important, but this vital issue has to be seen in the larger context of the totality of the damage that the evil Bushite forces have inflicted on the nation.


These Bushites have damaged America in almost every way conceivable, but perhaps none of these ways has been more central to their overall destructive project than the fomenting of division and conflict among Americans. As I wrote, in early 2005, in a piece entitled “By Their Fruits” (at http://www.nonesoblind.org/blog/?p=81 ):
This pattern of creating division and strife is no small clue to the moral nature of this leadership. Turning people against each other –rendering the human drama into an Us against a Them—has been the practice of bad rulers throughout history.

When people are focused on their conflicts, they’re unable to build a more whole world based on their common humanity.

Bringing Americans together, then, and reducing our polarization into warring factions is a core part of healing America and protecting our common future. Just as fomenting strife is the evil leader’s way of opening the way for the destructive to prevail over the constructive, so is bringing people together an essential part of the strategy for harnessing the nation’s capacity to create good structures. When people can act on the basis of their shared values to achieve their common purposes, then the best potentialities of the nation can be realized.

Clearly, Barack Obama understands this full well. He spoke to this essential need in his campaign rhetoric. Since winning the presidential election he’s followed a path that is quite manifestly designed to reach out across the very divisions the Bushites sought to widen; he’s worked to bring as many different kinds of Americans as possible behind him to strengthen his efforts to repair and heal our damaged nation. And these efforts are making important progress.

It is this essential need to heal our divisions and to bring Americans together that combines with the need to address the Bushite crimes to create a genuine dilemma.

In an ideal America, there would be no tension between these two vital aspects of healing and repairing America.

In this ideal America, ALL Americans would recognize that the usurpations of power and the violations of law and Constitution are the most fundamental and unacceptable attack on the soul and essence of America. Everyone would recognize that the defense of the Constitution is not a liberal vs. conservative issue, not a Democrat vs. Republican issue, but an American vs. unAmerican issue. We’d all be clamoring that those who’d betrayed the public trust so profoundly be held accountable. Indeed, we’d all recognize that not only are our current public officials entitled to prosecute such crimes, they are OBLIGATED by their oath of office to do so.

But we know that we do not live in this ideal America.

We know that the forces behind the Bushites would make every effort to sell the idea that any prosecution represents some sort of “partisan” warfare, and we know that many millions of Americans are ready to buy that interpretation. We know, in other words, that as things now stand the prosecution of the Bushite crimes --whatever else it would achieve-- would strengthen in America that dark spirit of strife and division that it is so important for this nation to overcome.

What an irony, what a paradox: the very means by which, on the legal plane, we hope to strike a blow against those criminal forces of darkness would also threaten, on the plane of political dynamics, to strengthen those same dark forces.

That is the heart of the dilemma.

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Andy Schmookler, an award-winning author, political commentator, radio talk-show host, and teacher, was the Democratic nominee for Congress from Virginia's 6th District. He is the author of various books including The Parable of the Tribes: The (more...)
 

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In general Andy is right.  When the big pictu... by Mark Sashine on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 9:13:37 AM
Yes, it would be absolutely important to show that... by Andrew Bard Schmookler on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 9:24:47 AM
If you think ANYTHING is more important than the r... by William Whitten on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 2:38:41 PM
Some people see things in terms of absolutes. ... by Andrew Bard Schmookler on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 7:14:38 PM
......call me anything you want. We’re we ag... by Nick van Nes on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 9:35:02 PM
"Is there anyone here who would say that the ... by William Whitten on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 10:45:18 PM
Clinton chose not to prosecute those in the Bush 1... by Joel Myron on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 8:13:50 AM
Clinton chose not to prosecute those in the Bush 1... by Joel Myron on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 9:03:08 AM
What was Bush's approval rating when he left o... by jersey girl on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 5:08:24 PM
As I see it, the 30 percenters who stuck by Bush t... by Andrew Bard Schmookler on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 7:03:19 PM
... reading and thinking the same thing, "scr... by Mr M on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 8:09:25 PM
They always get off.  If only we had hung the... by John Hanks on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 9:26:47 AM
I saw it was irrelevant. There have been a fair nu... by richard on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 9:57:23 PM
if we do not prosecute these crimes what does that... by Dr. C Pen on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 9:51:23 AM
Yes, it must be very difficult, when you know that... by Flak Stopper on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 10:32:24 AM
I'm not sure I know what you mean about their ... by Andrew Bard Schmookler on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 7:18:43 PM
... crew would be nice, but they'd only be mid... by Mr M on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 8:24:11 PM
No, those who give the Bilderbergers their orders,... by Flak Stopper on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 2:03:09 AM
People who post on this webiste are pathetic, wimp... by Edge on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 10:50:41 AM
elephant droppings!Bush and his gang committed tre... by G.E. Nordell on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 10:59:03 AM
"anyone who concerns themselves for whether t... by Andrew Bard Schmookler on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 7:22:51 PM
Well, yes and no. The key signals to me are whethe... by John Tinker on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 11:14:07 AM
What we have here is a Congress and population wil... by Kevin Gosztola on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 2:00:44 PM
it already has, in Pakistan. It is interesting tha... by richard on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 10:25:06 PM
Did our Nation’s Founders foolishly leave us... by Mark Adams on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 2:02:55 PM
Excuses excuses!...enough of this baby diaper pudd... by William Whitten on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 2:04:33 PM
When the crimes are well-explained by a media more... by Steve Windisch (jibbguy) on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 2:14:48 PM
If the media does its job...Yes, well, sure. ... by Andrew Bard Schmookler on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 7:28:38 PM
The thing about the media is this: They will be fo... by Steve Windisch (jibbguy) on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 9:33:17 PM
There is no dilemma or confustion.  Bush and ... by Joel Myron on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 2:50:52 PM
but that said....  an accurate understanding ... by richard on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 9:48:22 PM
It is true there is much blame to go around in bot... by Joel Myron on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 7:24:25 AM
Catch 22........ by Ned A. Delaney on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 2:57:14 PM
I have had occasion to argue with the fanatical ri... by Charlie L on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 2:57:45 PM
Our Founding Fathers would be mortified by the tho... by Jade P. on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 3:21:46 PM
It is jumping the gun to talk of prosecution befor... by Paula Sayles on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 3:28:52 PM
See my above comment. Watch and listen to Turley. ... by Kevin Gosztola on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 3:34:05 PM
Both Bush and Cheney admitted on MSM that they con... by William Whitten on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 4:14:36 PM
Impeachment is an investigation, not an indictment... by Nick van Nes on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 9:38:12 AM
Andrew, with all of your brainpower you're con... by boomerang on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 3:34:12 PM
Partisanship, poop. bipartisanship double poop. Wh... by robert braunstein on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 3:54:30 PM
 .... at ..... "I think we should termin... by richard on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 10:32:22 PM
and terribly irresponsible, I might add. I can'... by Nick van Nes on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 3:57:06 PM
"If they want to start a civil war over it, l... by Andrew Bard Schmookler on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 7:37:15 PM
... he doesn't want the fight, but there is no... by Mr M on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 8:48:16 PM
certainly in the sense of what it implies regardin... by richard on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 10:38:11 PM
I think you make a good point about sex with kids ... by Nick van Nes on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 9:17:34 AM
Mr. Schoomkler,I have studied Intelligence analysi... by William Whitten on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 11:03:24 PM
Andy, The problem is that we Americans are delusi... by Herbert Calhoun on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 4:05:35 PM
I happened to hear Blago on the radio this morning... by Nick van Nes on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 4:15:39 PM
all the comments and get back to you. Insist they ... by Nick van Nes on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 4:28:06 PM
It is still shocking to read that apparently well ... by harold burbank on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 4:36:37 PM
Sorry Andrew.  There is NO dilemma.  The... by jersey girl on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 4:51:59 PM
(Quite an overwhelming response above, BTW) If Am... by Oh on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 7:59:46 PM
has a large tract of land in Paraguay... over one ... by richard on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 10:42:52 PM
locked up behind bars in some Federal pen.This wil... by Nick van Nes on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 9:27:47 AM
Anything, and I mean ANYTHING these World Elites t... by boomerang on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 3:36:51 PM
Apparently forgetting that they are mere puppets t... by Perry Logan on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 9:03:49 PM
C'mon Perry, how many "investigations&quo... by William Whitten on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 11:16:16 PM
 Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you our f... by jersey girl on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 4:51:46 AM
harold burbank says:  'It is still s... by Katrin R. on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 9:09:41 PM
These feel good comments are meaningless unless pi... by Nick van Nes on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 10:10:28 PM
I will be the only one on this list to defend the ... by David Salaam Goldstein on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 10:34:48 PM
I found at least two others.... by Katrin R. on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 11:42:38 PM
I used to be a big fan of Randi's back in her ... by jersey girl on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 5:07:20 AM
Randi is just a front for the Democrats.  Som... by Joel Myron on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 9:09:53 AM
it sounds like you should be working for Obama. It... by Nick van Nes on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 10:04:10 AM
I would like to see the criminals convicted, but I... by David Salaam Goldstein on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 2:16:14 PM
manipulated. However, this discussion has dev... by richard on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 10:56:40 PM
Richard what do you believe in?  Do you see a... by David Salaam Goldstein on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 11:44:21 PM
[1] Submit and remain in line for serfdom and feud... by William Whitten on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 12:14:20 AM
Those are indeed the only two options. Else to run... by richard on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 8:00:56 AM
Eveyone here who thinks prosecuting war crimes is ... by jersey girl on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 6:25:26 AM
Eveyone here who thinks prosecuting war crimes is ... by jersey girl on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 6:36:25 AM
My friends as uncle Johny would say. Wake up! The ... by robert braunstein on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 8:55:09 AM
I needed a laugh!The LAW is OUR NOOSE -- use IT!... by boomerang on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 6:15:57 PM
If Obama just went straight in for the kill both r... by David Salaam Goldstein on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 9:24:09 AM
If the president wanted to do any such thing he wo... by robert braunstein on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 10:03:57 AM
Robert, You attack "tactics" and "s... by David Salaam Goldstein on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 10:46:48 AM
The tactics and strategies have to be outside the ... by robert braunstein on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 11:10:11 AM
You say we should prosecute the bastards.  Ar... by David Salaam Goldstein on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 12:41:35 PM
Because their people threw a "sh*t-fit" ... by boomerang on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 6:26:32 PM
After Kennedy they, the Elite, will never let that... by William Whitten on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 10:58:46 AM
Could you explain more, please?... by Katrin R. on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 11:10:47 AM
I'm no coincidence theorist.  I believe t... by David Salaam Goldstein on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 11:13:32 AM
I feel like you about conspiracy. I know you didn&... by Katrin R. on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 11:18:22 AM
Not just feel, but know.... by Katrin R. on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 11:19:34 AM
Katrin, I appreciate the support, but I'm... by David Salaam Goldstein on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 11:30:25 AM
'I'm no coincidence theorist.  I beli... by Katrin R. on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 1:53:38 PM
Thanks KatDavid ... by David Salaam Goldstein on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 2:02:48 PM
I haven't investigated Obama's past as dee... by jersey girl on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 11:42:57 AM
They groom foreign dictators too, but sometimes th... by David Salaam Goldstein on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 12:06:14 PM
I recall Nixon working it so he wouldn't be pr... by Steve Hanken on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 12:16:29 PM
Harvard takes care of that. What is difference, if... by robert braunstein on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 12:27:19 PM
Was that book groomed as well, William? I don'... by Katrin R. on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 2:41:44 PM
What about his cocaine, and other addictions?... by Katrin R. on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 2:43:59 PM
From what I read Obama only used cocaine on occasi... by David Salaam Goldstein on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 7:21:20 PM
I am doing a poor job communicating today. just ig... by Katrin R. on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 7:33:18 PM
No offense, but how on earth do you know who Obama... by jersey girl on Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 at 6:50:47 AM
you could write any lie about yourself and put it ... by Katrin R. on Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 at 6:31:48 PM
One skill us fledging Conspiracy Nuts (hehehe) nee... by Steve Windisch (jibbguy) on Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 at 9:51:27 AM
It's what he has in store for our future. ... by jersey girl on Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 at 1:51:30 PM
what some mean by a "sealed past" is tha... by sommers on Thursday, Jan 29, 2009 at 12:41:30 PM
You said in your article "When people can act... by Patrick Sinnott on Thursday, Jan 29, 2009 at 11:50:34 PM