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R. Emmett Tyrrell laments the “culture of corruption” evidenced by the comical and tragic saga of Sandy Berger’s visit to the National Archives. Now, it seems, months after the legalities of the matter were wrist slapped into the darkness under the carpet, we have a Congressional Report acknowledging that maybe Mr. Berger was a very naughty fellow indeed. Case closed; questions remain open.
Recently there appeared in these pages what I saw as an apologia for our President’s leadership shortcomings. It was based on the assertion that he’s driven by collegiality in working with the Democrats, rather than by any perceived duty to do political battle with them. I have to wonder if it’s that same spirit of collegiality that causes Mr. Bush to decline to demand that the Justice Department take an aggressive tone in answering the questions left unanswered even after the aforementioned Congressional Report’s release. Did he, perhaps, advise his underlings at the DOJ to tread lightly on the subject, or did he merely allow them to do as they pleased? Mr. Tyrrell himself alleges that officials in the DOJ were apparently corrupted. Has anyone alerted Mr. Bush?! What was his response?
After all, this is the same president who upon election announced his intention to “move on” from the alleged scandals of the Clinton years. Unlike Mr. Clinton, who fired legions of U.S. Attorneys after taking office, Mr. Bush kept on almost all functionaries from the Clinton Administration. What a pal! He tolerated, or even brokered, his father’s humiliating love-fest with Bill Clinton on national TV, after Clinton had savaged the old man during their election campaign.
What are the limits of this collegiality? When has Mr. Bush stood up and said, “My way or the highway?” (Other than regarding illegal immigration or the quagmire in Iraq.) Ronald Reagan unsheathed his veto pen dozens of times and brandished it boldly against Democratic majorities. All he did was become one of our greatest presidents, against whom the Democrats still fulminate.
As something of a “Clinton Sleuth” myself, I certainly agree with Mr. Tyrrell’s caution that “cultures of corruption have a way of spreading.” Like weeds, they lay deep roots and flourish when allowed to do what they do naturally, in the absence of aggressive efforts to destroy them. Our president, the chief law enforcement agent of the land, has shown no stomach whatsoever for that provocative work. The Department of Justice, his bailiwick, has shown remarkable tenacity in hounding the politically incorrect and expanding its power to carry out what I think the authors of the Bill of Rights might refer to, in our vernacular, as “dirty tricks.” I’m greatly disappointed that he doesn’t direct its big guns against political corruption, which nibbles away at our national soul, and is, in my view, far more insidious than any Ponzi scheme or money laundering by drug dealers.
(Speaking of Ponzi schemes, that Social Security reform proposal sure died a quick death at the hands of our President’s Democratic “pals,” didn’t it? They were like the Big, Bad Wolf blowing down the house of straw.)
Far be it from me to suggest any corruption on the part of President Bush, and I’m not doing so. I’m merely saying that his “collegiality” alarms me. He has signed a number of bills (passed with a Democratic minority!!) that cause revulsion in my libertarian/conservative heart and soul, and vetoed but one. He has taken a pass on getting to the bottom of warehouses full of evidence of corruption (well, warehouses no longer quite as full as they once were).
I don’t want a president whose ambition is to obliterate the scant differences between the dominant parties and put into effect yet more laws. We have plenty enough laws, and I’d like to see that trend reversed. I want a president who demands that his (and thus, my) Department of Justice go bare-knuckled and white-fanged against political and judicial corruption, even at the expense of letting some drug dealer or business cheat keep his mansion and Bentley. I see it as a higher priority to root out behavior that’s contrary to the public interest and our founding documents than to spy upon and hassle those who prey upon the public’s greed and foolishness with their own willing participation. It’s the Department of Justice, for crying out loud, and what is a greater crime against justice than peddling the influence garnered from thousands or millions of voters for personal gain?
If a new law must be passed, how about pushing for one that makes political and judicial corruption a capital crime? I could get behind that. Corruption is tantamount to treason, after all. One would expect the Democrats to oppose such a thing with their every breath, but where would Mr. Bush come down on it? In view of his light tread on matters of corruption, I have to suppose that he’d line up yet again with the Democrats.p>Speaking in the context of the “War On Terrorism,” Mr. Bush remarked that, “You’re either with us or you’re against us.” Well, speaking as one who sees the war on corruption as at least as significant as that battle, I see Mr. Bush as the metaphorical equivalent of the French when it comes to counting my allies. br> — Mark Fallert br> Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania /p> p> Berger got off with a hand slap — if it was “joe citizen” or a Republican they would be imprisoned forever and the MSM would be all over it. But alas, the Clinton machine is still at work and running a shadow government to undermine anyone who gets in their way. Berger must have received a tidy sum and who knows what else. Obviously, the docs he stole and then destroyed must have been so devastating to the Clinton Administration that they could not let the truth get out. Very telling that the Clinton machine only care about themselves and their power and care so little for this Country and her citizens. Just think how different this war on terror would be if Berger/Clinton had gone to such lengths to protect us and actually kill our enemies — maybe 9/11 wouldn’t have happened….
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?