By Bernard Weiner, The Crisis Papers
These final months are not fun. The economy is a disaster. My ratings have sunk even deeper into the toilet. Congress, sensing my lame-duck weakness, has started over-riding my vetos. Republican candidates are staying away from me like I'm toxic waste. The Democrats are licking their lips, already tasting victory in November.
(But, lucky for us, the Democrat leaders are still wimps and aren't really coming after us in the White House. Karl was right: Make the Democrats complicit in the Iraq War and on domestic spying and on tax-cuts, economic bailouts, etc; with the Dems locked into our policies, at least tangentially, on those issues, they won't dare come at us frontally or they'll go down along with us. I love the beltway!)
There's not much for me to do around here, so mostly I'm just officiating at numerous ceremonial events, using the bully pulpit on occasion, and traveling around the globe saying my goodbyes. Most of the world leaders seem to be tolerating me, but with no great warmth, almost as if they're happy I'm departing the scene. Can that really be true?
The Vice President continues to more or less run the show, with his CoC Addington doing the heavy lifting and providing the ideological underpinnings. In short, Dick's got himself an even-better Libby. Cheney seems to have every neo-con in Washington on his staff or under his control -- what an operation! (The GOP may pay a price in November for my having commuted Libby's sentence, but it was important that he not go to prison so that all our closest former advisers, especially Alberto, would get the message: Keep your mouth shut and, if it comes to that, we'll take care of you with a full pardon.)
Mukasey is, like his A.G. predecessor, a good little lap dog. He knows what he was appointed to do: Make sure nobody even gets close to putting us in the federal slammer for what we've done, or makes us liable for "war crimes" prosecutions in The Hague.
So the name of the game now is delay, delay, delay, drag out any possible hope for full congressional investigations of our activities, even if the Dems were to be so inclined. So we make sure our guys don't show up to testify before their committees, or don't submit the subpoenaed documents, or we claim "executive privilege," or file endless briefs in court to postpone decisions, etc. Such delaying tactics, obvious to the public or not, do work.
THANKS BE TO KARL
The Democrat leaders are pissed off that we're thumbing our noses at them and not giving them many openings to attack us, but they're just not willing to take any decisive action against us, even when they hold our folks in "contempt of Congress." I mean, the Dems could, if they wanted to, just order their Sergeants of Arms from the House and Senate to compel appearances before the hearing committees and production of the incriminating documents -- and if our guys don't comply, arrest them. Instead, we'll just slide on through to January 20, home free. It's all political theater. I love American politics!