Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Purging Stevens

As a good Democrat, I hope that Sen Stevens loses the senate election. As a citizen who worries about our rush to police state status, I am concerned about his treatment by the Bush Justice Dept.

To the Rapture Republicans that dominate the GOP, Stevens was an embarrassment -- not because of any corruption on his part, since the folks who lied us into war and stole billions in no-bid contracts for their friends are hardly capable of blushing over that. No, Stevens was one of the last Rockefeller Republicans -- pro-choice and moderate on social issues. Not a culture warrior. Heck, he probably doesn' even think the Earth is only 6000 years old! So, he was expendable (especially since they did not think the Dems could get a filibuster-proof majority when he was indicted.) The new Alaska GOP -- "reformers" like Sarah "Fire-My-Brother-In-Law" Palin -- need him to make way.

Actually, I agree with Stevens that this is an unjust prosecution. The Feds took a relatively trivial DISCLOSURE requirement and inflated it to a felony. Please spare me the sanctimonious "He lied to cover up the gifts" crap. If Stevens was being BRIBED, he should have been charged with receiving bribes and prosecuted accordingly. Instead, what we got was a not-very-subtle reminder to the Congress that Justice can indict even powerful members of Congress over what are trivial technical violations (NB any of you who might foolishly want to clean up the Justice Department after its KGB-style kow-towing to Bush & Rove.)

Putin would be proud.

Of course, Stevens has spent a career letting the "law & order" nuts undermine the Constitution, empowering the Feds to greater & greater criminal jurisdiction with less & less controls, and putting a bunch of semi-facists on the Supreme Court. In short, doing exactly what the Senate is designed to prevent. Now it has come back to bite him on the backside.

But I take no joy in a prosecution that was primarily a GOP culture purge and a means of intimidating Congress from its oversight role over Justice. Better a single senator who takes bribes to do what is wrong than a Congress that is too fearful to do right.


OK, I will say it said...

Hell, you never know whether a contractor or even -- just like in Monopoly -- a bank will make a mistake in your favor. It just happens all the time.

Nevertheless, these innocent (yet materially enriching) mistakes can result in all kinds of trouble for the unsuspecting family trying to live beyond their means from sunrise to sunset; although, it just seems to happen more often if you just happen to be a US Senator ... or some other elected official further down the political food chain.

I particularly like the chapter of the Stevens' saga where the Senator left all his the personal business transactions to his spouse, who just happens to be an attorney.

Apparently Catherine Stevens is not very detail-oriented person, but she has generally successful law practice. (You know I have heard that when you are married to an elected official so many nice people seem to appear with legal work whether or not one is a detail person.)

But I digress.

The learned Mrs. Stevens just never noticed all that new stuff showing up around the A Frame. Yet this is understandable because being a political spouse is so taxing; therefore, it is not surprising that she did not really follow up on things with the attention to detail that one might expect of a legal professional.

We learn one important lesson from the Steven's situation and from Phil's commentary: Politicians should not live in houses because these structures only invite "unfair prosecution."

Furthermore, if you want to run for office, sleep under the stars and do not marry lawyers.

Anonymous said...

Phil why the hell would you even bring this issue up with your background. You deserve every bit of mud thrown at you. Effing idgit!

Phil Cardarella said...

Because the central issue is the power of the Justice Department and its abuse.

The most dangerous theme of the Bush administration has been its abuse of power, and the shift of that power to the executive branch. Its political focus of the Justice Department's power is truly dangerous to the Republic. The courts have been less and less able or disposed to protect against such abuse. Prosecuting members of Congress on relatively trivial violations sends a powerful signal that Justice will not take kindly to any control by the Legislative branch, either.

A nation in which there are no real limits on the ability of "law enforcement" to abuse its power is the definition of a Police State.

Anonymous said...

Being handed what amounts to a new home is not trivial.

Anonymous said...

Who the Hell thought Phil was the right person to serve as a spokesperson for the CCP anyway? Did Steve Bough do this?

Someone else without the baggage that Phil carries should have the responsibilty for this blog, or it should be shut down. The Committee should not take such a risk.

friend of probable felons said...

wow this just a craker-jack blog!

Anonymous said...

Why not just take this blog down rather than leave it up for every loser in the county to rhetorically dribble on since you do not seem interested in posting new stuff?

Anonymous said...

Yeah. It looks like it is time to shut this thing down before anything else obnoxious is posted.

The Blindfolded Lady said...

In my opinion Phil you and your wife should be in jail along with your cronies.

Anonymous said...

This is sinking into the abyss.

Anonymous said...

Is this blog dead?

Anonymous said...

No, just quiet at the moment. I asked Bough about it a little while ago, and he said he got tied up with work. Maybe someone else will take the laboring oar.

Nor'easter said...

It was foolish to give Phil the keys to this. He and his wife are to the CCP what OJ Simpson is to the NFL. The response should be: Are you sure they played here?

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