Saturday, April 01, 2006

John Dean on censure

The Arizona Daily Star didn't even mention that hearings are going on right now in the Senate Judiciary Committee on whether to censure President Bush over the domestic spying scandal. The Star's headline just says "Dean tells Senate panel Bush should be censured" (Howard Dean, the popular scapegoat of the right wing cause, or John Dean, the Republican?) then the story just says Dean "told the Senate Judiciary Committee..." i.e. no specific mention of subject of the Judiciary Committee meeting. The story then refers to the censure issue prominently as "Feingold's measure," just isolating the whole issue as some pipedream of a disgruntled democrat, rather than focusing on the substance of the event. The standard "dems want to score political points" crap, which tends to show whenever Democrats make a substantive argument against BushCo, is also inserted.

I'm guessing a few specific things were edited out of the AP copy, as is the practice in Arizona, to soften the impact and avoid the seriousness of the issue. Plainly stating at the beginning of the article that the Sentate is still actively looking at a censure of Bush over domestic spying might undermine Bush's support among the 30% of people in U.S. who still believe he's worth a damn.

I will give the Star credit for admitting that John Dean said impeachment might be appropriate in Bush's case, but once again the Star seems kind of slick.

My theory is that the Star, and a lot of other papers, want to keep readership at the maximum by drawing both conservative and liberal readers. The Star throws out a few key points, for example a major Nixon-era figure talking about censure and impeachment of Bush, so the liberals can feel something is being done about Bush, and the "conservatives" can still whine about the "liberal media bias." At the same time, the Star leaves a lot out of the story, for example the fact that the Senate is presently considering cesure of Bush, to avoid publishing evidence of just how poorly the Bush administration is doing, just how much trouble these people are getting themselves into.

Dean, who worked for Nixon, obviously a Republican and a conservative, made remarks that echo the feelings of many of us "left wing fringe radicals" (this term, in popular debate these days really just means "anyone who opposes Bush and states publically that something should be done to take our country back from BushCo").

Dean's remarks, which I found published here in Rolling Stone, resonate truly with me, and demonstrate that opposition to Bush and Bush policy and corporate cronies like Cheney, is actually not limited to a couple outspoken Democrats, but is in reality widespread and bipartisan. Dean's remarks also echo a growing feeling among the populace that the Bush administration is power-mad, corrupt, and is doing a lot of harm to the values it claims to support.

Excerpts from Rolling Stone:
No presidency that I can find in history has adopted a policy of expanding presidential powers merely for the sake of expanding presidential powers.... It has been the announced policy of the Bush/Cheney presidency, however, from its outset, to expand presidential power for its own sake, and it continually searched for avenues to do just that, while constantly testing to see how far it can push the limits. I must add that never before have I felt the slightest reason to fear our government. Nor do I frighten easily. But I do fear the Bush/Cheney government (and the precedents they are creating) because this administration is caught up in the rectitude of its own self-righteousness, and for all practical purposes this presidency has remained largely unchecked by its constitutional coequals....

Congress is now confronted with executive branch attorneys who take the most aggressive reading possible in all situations that favor executive power.... If this committee does not believe this Administration is hell bent on expanding its powers ... you have been looking the other way for some five years of this presidency.... That is why censure might be the only way for the Senate to avoid acquiescing in what is clearly a blatant violation of the 1978 FISA stature, not to mention the Fourth Amendment.

I implore the Senate to undertake not a partisan action, but a strong institutional action. I recall a morning -- March 21, 1973 -- that I tried to warn a president of the consequences of staying his course. I failed to convince President Nixon that morning, and the rest, as they say, is history. I certainly do not claim to be prescient. Then or now. But actions have consequences, and to ignore them is merely denial. Today, it is very obvious that history is repeating itself.... I hope that the collective wisdom of this committee will prevail, and you will not place the president above the law by inaction.... Hopefully the Senate will not sit by while even more serious abuses unfold before it.
Text of Dean's entire statment, is published at

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