Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Happy Fourth of July! Like so many holidays, the Fourth has become associated with its trappings more than its meaning. It's the holiday of barbeque and fire crackers. How black a July Fourth Eve we had yesterday when the president commuted the sentence of the one member of his administration so far convicted for the avalanche of crimes they have committed. And before the appeals process was even over. Democracy? I don't think so.
As Keith Olbermann said last night:
"It is nearly July 4th, Mr. Bush, the commemoration of the moment we Americans decided that rather than live under a King who made up the laws, or erased them, or ignored them—or commuted the sentences of those rightly convicted under them—we would force our independence, and regain our sacred freedoms.
We of this time—and our leaders in Congress, of both parties—must now live up to those standards which echo through our history: Pressure, negotiate, impeach—get you, Mr. Bush, and Mr. Cheney, two men who are now perilous to our Democracy, away from its helm.
For you, Mr. Bush, and for Mr. Cheney, there is a lesser task. You need merely achieve a very low threshold indeed. Display just that iota of patriotism which Richard Nixon showed, on August 9th, 1974.
What a tremendous slap in the nation's face this pardon is. What timing! It's as if to say, "Enjoy your fireworks, America. Look up in the sky and say 'Ooooh!' while I go on playing king."
Do you realize that Paris Hilton served a harsher sentence for whatever it was she did (and who cares?) than Scooter Libby did for intentionally leaking the identity of a CIA agent for political purposes? Though that isn't even what he was sentenced for, right? Just for lying about it? I mean, it was a joke to begin with that he (and others) couldn't be tried for TREASON, just PERJURY -- and even that little wrist slap has now been overturned?
Olbermann points out that at the Constitutional Convention James Madison advised impeaching any president who pardoned or sheltered those who had commited crimes advised by that president. I bet Bush couldn't tell you a thing about James Madison. Maybe he knows he was the fourth president, but I bet not. Well, Madison is the man who dreamt up the three branches of government. He is the man who wrote the Bill of Rights, those first 10 amendments to the Constitution that this administration finds to be of such negligible importance (well, except for the second one, of course).
Aiii. Folks. This is not a happy Fourth of July. I plan to barbeque like everybody else, and I've got a hankering to go out and buy a wading pool because it is HOT today. And yes, we'll have sparklers and fire crackers and beer and pie. But it's bitter. This isn't the country we want it to be. It's not the country it's supposed to be.
You can watch or read Olbermann's full commentary here.
Posted by Laini Taylor at 9:53 AM