More Democrat Stupidity on Gonzales

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Recap to this point: Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said on March 13th that he was not involved in the process of determining which U.S. Attorneys would be fired. This has been twisted out of ignorance or malice by most observers, including politicians and the media, into Gonzales saying he was not involved in the firings at all, and when evidence crops out that shows he was involved, they accuse him of making an inaccurate claim (one that he never made).

So back when this all started up, Senator Leahy, chair of the Judiciary Committee, wanted Gonzales to testify before his committee, and Gonzales said yes, and they haggled and set a date of April 13. Well now that there's these pervasive and false stories about what Gonzales said, Gonzales wants to push the date up, so he can fix the record.

Except now Leahy is saying No. His excuse? "We have already scheduled other things." Yeah, like that's ever stopped you before? This happens all the time. For important testimony, schedules are changed all the time. When he says his reason is that they already have scheduled other things, he is lying; his reason is that he wants to stick it to the Attorney General.

It's quite likely that Leahy knows full well that their story about Gonzales' "inaccurate statement" is B.S., but the longer the lie hangs out there, the more time the lie has to become the truth.

So, Dick "the Dick" Durbin (along with Schumer, one of the very few people in Washington D.C. that I truly despise; I normally don't resort to namecalling, but I really hate this guy) was on This Week with George Stephanpolous this weekend. Durbin starts off his appearance feigning ignorance:

We are absolutely confused by the White House position. For the longest time, Alberto Gonzales wasn't going to come, maybe much later, now the White House can't wait to bring him in. It's really tough to follow their logic here.

Two lies in that, and both are painfully obvious. The first is that Gonzales was ever NOT going to come before the committee. That is simply false. Like all cabinet officials, he is essentially required to come before the Senate if called. Second, that it is "tough to follow their logic here." How can Durbin possibly be that stupid? The logic is simple: before, it was not pressing for him to come, because he had no need to set the record straight; now, he has that need, so it is pressing. How is that tough to follow for anyone who can breathe?

Then Durbin launches into a defense of Chuck Schumer. This is so incredible ... it boggles the mind. Let's go back to a few years ago, before Justice Roberts was nominated to the Supreme Court. Durbin, Reid, and Schumer led the Democrats in claiming that Bush should consult them -- not the Senate, but the Democrats -- before making a nomination. Misappropriating the Advice and Consent clause of the Constitution, they swapped "minority party" into the Constitution where "Senate" had been. They literally claimed that their party status had Constitutional significance in dealing with the President, which is simply not true. The Constitution says the President should get the Advice and Consent of the Senate, not of the minority party.

As Senator Leahy said in a floor speech in June 2005:

I hope that if a vacancy does arise the President will finally turn away from his past practices, consult with us [Democratic Senators] and work with us.  This is the way to unite instead of divide the Nation, and this is the way to honor the Constitution's "advise and consent" directive ... Despite his public commitment at a news conference three weeks ago specifically regarding the Supreme Court, the President has not even begun the process of consulting with Democratic Senators.

So when Senator Schumer is being accused of a conflict of interest because while he is investigating Gonzales, he is using that very investigation to raise money to get Democrats elected (as chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee), what does Durbin say?

Chuck Schumer has made a clear distinction between any wrongdoing by members of Congress, which is not being investigated by the Senate Judiciary Committee -- it's been referred to the Senate Ethics Committee -- and questions that we are all asking of the Executive Branch, of the Department of Justice. Schumer has really drawn a clear line here, and I think as long as that line is held, there's no reason to question why he shouldn't be an important part of this hearing.

You got that switcheroo? So when the Democrats are in a minority, their party status has Constitutional significance. They are not merely a part of the Senate, led by the leadership of the Senate, in dealing with the Executive Branch: they are a separate entity that can demand access to the President, outside of the Senate chain of command.

But now that they are the majority, well, the dealings they have with the Executive Branch are not as Democrats, but as the Senate. This has nothing to do with partisanship, it's just the Executive vs. Legislative. There's no conflict of interest here; what are you talking about? You just don't understand these things. Run along, little boy! My, you're cute; does your mother know where you are?

And so after Durbin sits there and lies, and twists the truth, and reverses course on fundamental interpretations of the Constitutional role of the Senate, he asks:

Isn't it a spectacle to witness when we have a high-level official in the Department of Justice taking the Fifth Amendemnt for fear of being incriminated by sworn testimony?

No. Not at all. As anyone on the Judiciary Committee should know, pleading the Fifth is not done because your testimony would incriminate you, but because you have a legitimate fear of incrimination, and that fear does not have to be related to the incidence of any actual wrongdoing. Durbin's behavior has proven beyond reasonable doubt that he is perfectly willing to twist the truth into a lie, so why even bother giving him the truth?

While I am on the subject of lies about the U.S. Attorney "scandal," TPM Muckracker had its own whoppper yesterday:

Mark Pryor (D-AR) has publicly accused Gonzales of lying to him in a conversation late last year about the appointment of Tim Griffin to be the U.S. Attorney in Little Rock. Gonzales, Pryor says, promised him that the administration would submit Griffin for Senate confirmation ...

Not only is there no evidence Gonzales ever made such a promise, there is also no evidence Pryor ever said he did. What Pryor claimed is that Gonzales said they planned to bring Griffin to the Senate, not that he promised to. There's a difference. In the former, you could not bring him to the Senate, simply because you evaluated the options and decided it wasn't the best thing to do, and it would not be a lie or backtrack of any kind. In the latter, if you do not bring him before the Senate, you have absolutely gone back on your word.

Now, there is apparently some evidence that Gonzales may have been lying, that at the time Gonzales apparently said they planned to do it, they in fact were not planning to do it. But that doesn't make what TPM said any less of a lie.

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This page contains a single entry by pudge published on April 4, 2007 11:18 AM.

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