Apparently, the myriad violations of the Constitution carried out by the Bushies warrant an investigation. But criminal prosecutions? Convictions? We wouldn't want to be rude.
Aug. 4, 2008 | WASHINGTON -- On the campaign trail in April, Barack Obama was asked whether, if elected, he would prosecute Bush administration officials for establishing torture as American policy. The candidate demurred. "If crimes have been committed, they should be investigated," he said. But he quickly added, "I would not want my first term consumed by what was perceived on the part of the Republicans as a partisan witch hunt, because I think we've got too many problems to solve."
Too many problems to solve, indeed. Like torture, for instance -- and also unlawful imprisonment, warrantless spying, war profiteering, an illegal invasion, election theft, voter fraud, politicization of Cabinet departments, signing statements, the outing of covert agents, and on and on and on ...
And here's the would-be President, worried about what might be "perceived on the part of the Republicans as a partisan witch hunt." Because that would be, y'know, rude.
This is part and parcel of what drives me nuts about the Dems. The careful parsing of language, the meticulous calculation of potential political fallout, the deep and abiding fear that they might appear to be weak. They are absolutely tied in knots over this, completely scared of their own shadows. How many times have we seen it? Outspoken against the war, but afraid to actually vote against it, lest they be labeled "weak on terror." Convinced of, even duped by, the fact that the president lied about the war, but afraid to actually call him a liar, lest they be labeled as partisan agitators. Presented with a shameful array of high crimes and misdemeanors, but impeachment is "off the table." 'Cuz, y'know, impeachment is rude, and there was no blowjob involved this time, and well, if a Republican president were to be impeached right after his Democratic predecessor was impeached, that would just be petty partisan revenge rather than a legitimate, Constitutionally-mandated response to a dictatorial Executive.
Now, Obama deserves some credit during this campaign for shifting the political footing. He has at long last shifted the Dems out of reactive mode, and is setting the pace and tone of things, such that McCain -- and the White House -- are dancing to his tune. But when he equivocates on something as fundamental as whether torture carried out under the name of the United States deserves prosecution, it's more of the same.
I'm still hoping that the Dems will realize that strong positions taken out of conviction and devotion to the Consitution are, well, strong. Not holding my breath, however.