Friday, February 29, 2008
Some Nails Get Pounded
Let's get this right. The U.S. Congress is going to keep our world healthy and our democracy intact by pounding down Roger Clemens. There's no hammer to spare for a president, vice president, chief political adviser or other officials who, say, spied on Americans, set up torture and other war crimes, deliberately and repeatedly lied to Congress to get us into two wars, caused the deaths of thousands of U.S. soldiers and contractors (and many tends of thousands of others) and losses exceeding one trillion dollars, revealed a CIA agent's identity, and otherwise subverted our Constitution and laws.
After all, what's important?
Reading how the FBI is devoting its time and staff to finding out if yet another dull-witted and arrogant pro athlete 1) took performance-enhancing drugs, and 2) lied under oath to Congress about it, I am stunned. Tell me another dozen times why it matters. Pretend that the integrity of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and indeed, our whole way of life is at stake here.
I'll certainly feel safer and freer when yet another lying multi-millionaire jock is brought down.
We do have those little matters of a certain current President deserving impeachment like no one since Dick Nixon. He and this present and former cohorts should be removed from office and jailed. Thinking about Bill Clinton impeached for lying about receiving fellatio from a young woman while Bush, Cheney, Rove and their gang walk about should stun us all.
So, Congress protects us from lies by fat old baseball players at the end of their careers. It whistles and looks away at elected and appointed officials who lie big, often and to horrific effect. Those who make Congress to be dupes, fools and hypocrites seem to be fine. If you took steroids and tell them you didn't, that's big trouble.
It reminds me of a long time ago when I was a newspaper reporter in Beaufort, South Carolina. The first time I met the county sheriff, L.W. Wallace, we sat almost knee to knee in facing chairs. He put his doughy, always sweaty hand on the pearl handle of his holstered pistol (no easy feat considering his gigantic gut). Then he slapped my thigh and said, "You write lies about me, boy, and you be in big trouble."
There's Congress for you. Roger Clemens is in big trouble for small lies. George Bush, Dick Cheney and too many others, are mincing their way to the end of the term, having told and continuing to tell big lies and spitting on everything that is American.
We know what's wrong with this picture. We know Congress has a hammer. We also know that they use it on the wrong targets.
Saturday Brinksman Update: U.S. AG Michael Mukasey refuses to prosecute evil doers Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten and former presidential counsel Harriet E. Miers. On the shameful canning of the fleet of U.S. Attorneys, they refused to comply with congressional subpoenas at the urging of George the Lesser. The best report seems to be in the Washington Post. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi says she'll see him in court. In her written statement, she included, "The House has already provided authority for the Judiciary Committee to file a civil enforcement action in federal district court and the House shall do so promptly. As public officials, we take an oath to uphold the Constitution and protect our system of checks and balances and our civil lawsuit seeks to do just that."
Tags: massmarrier, Bush, Clemens, perjury, impeachment, Congress