Random snippets of news

Bush affirms his “strong backing and support” for Gonzales. Let us hope this is the latest equivalent of the “heckuva job” kiss of death. (For those who haven’t been following the news: Congress is investigating the firing of 8 US attorneys, apparently as part of a scheme to force prosecutors to actively investigate charges against Democrats, especially ones in the midst of reelection campaigns, and ignore charges against Republicans. The White House’s explanations of this have shifted on a day-to-day basis, but at this point it’s become clear based on internal memos that Rove and Gonzales were both intimately involved in the process, and the process was very explicitly based on the attorneys not being “loyal Bushies.” (The words of a memo) Gonzales’ chief of staff has already resigned, and the cover-up alone is likely to bring various charges of perjury)

Interesting editorial by Nicholas Kristof on Cheney and Iran (requires real subscription) The gist is that Cheney’s actions as VP have been so systematically towards Iran’s benefit (deposing the governments of all of Iran’s chief enemies, dismantling the Ba’ath party and installing a pro-Iranian regime in Baghdad, etc) that it brings up questions about his loyalties. Brad Hicks has an editorial suggesting much the same about our President, titled “George Bush: #2 in al Qaeda?,” which requires no special login and frankly is somewhat better written than Kristof’s.

Now, both of these editorials are using the allegation as a rhetorical device, saying at the end that they don’t really believe that either of these men are traitors. But when the number and scale of derelictions of duty and malfeasances of power (such as, say, the deliberate use of federal prosecutors to manipulate elections by investigating only political enemies and shielding friends) exceeds a certain threshold, at what point does intent become irrelevant? Is there a notion of “willful blindness” in betrayal?

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Published in: on March 20, 2007 at 10:30  Comments (4)  
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4 Comments

  1. I’m not normally a fan of Glenn McCoy’s political cartoons, but this one is pretty funny, and an amusingly accurate portrayal of how odd Gonzales’s comment rang in all of our ears.

  2. I’m not normally a fan of Glenn McCoy’s political cartoons, but this one is pretty funny, and an amusingly accurate portrayal of how odd Gonzales’s comment rang in all of our ears.

  3. Intention is a necessary component of ideas like “traitor” and “betrayal”, so I don’t think intent is ever irrelevant when discussing them. Unless you really mean that Bush or Cheney actually meant to do America harm, calling them traitors is hyperbole. Grossly negligent, or incompetent, perhaps, but not traitors.

  4. Intention is a necessary component of ideas like “traitor” and “betrayal”, so I don’t think intent is ever irrelevant when discussing them. Unless you really mean that Bush or Cheney actually meant to do America harm, calling them traitors is hyperbole. Grossly negligent, or incompetent, perhaps, but not traitors.


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