July 2007
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Day July 20, 2007

President for a Day…?

On second thought, I’m going to wish President Bush well with his colonoscopy tomorrow. I hope it goes smoothly, and above all, quickly. Dick Cheney really is going to be President for a good chunk of tomorrow, and it appears that at least the wingnuts are happy about that fact. Suggestions at the NRO’s blog for Dark Lord Acting President Voldemort’s Cheney’s “to do list” include:

Bomb Iran.

Commute the sentences of those border agents.

Fire Mike Chertoff.

Tell Harry Reid to … well, you know…

Pardon Scooter

Of course, I strongly doubt that Cheney will actually do anything too serious tomorrow, except in a real emergency situation. Apart from telling Harry Reid to…well, you know…few of these things wouldn’t have major consequences. And that would just hurt the GOP further in their attempt to run a serious presidential campaign (although I hear that Mr. None Of The Above is finally pulling ahead of the pack in the latest polls….).

But just the same, I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for the Dark Mark signs of misbehavior on the part of the Veep, who isn’t known for his mild temper and sunny disposition (or his aim, according to his duck-hunting buddies).

Sticking to the Script: Executive Privilege and Contempt Citations

Today the Washington Post reported that the Administration will not allow the Justice Department to pursue contempt proceedings in the US attornies firing scandal. This is wholly unsurprising: the White House is sticking closely to what seems to be the script of a spaghetti Western: Showdown on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Congress isn’t done here, by a long shot. Credibility in the 2008 elections pretty much rides on keeping the heat on, especially since the Administration is now employing the tactics of slow tactical retreat on a number of issues that have long been recognized by many to be losing battles both morally and for public opinion (I’m thinking especially of today’s executive order banning the CIA from using torture enhanced interrogation tactics). I’d expect the next step to be Congress actually testing the Administration’s resolve to block grand jury proceedings by formally requesting such, at least in the case of Harriet Miers and Joshua Bolten.

But when the Administration steps up and does block the Justice Department from carrying out its statutory and constitutional obligations, Congress must be ready to turn the page and move on to the next scene in the showdown, which will likely be a series of lawsuits filed in the DC Federal courts. Although I have to admit, I’m more and more attracted to the idea of the Sergeant-at-Arms marching up to the White House gates every time the President pulls one of these power-grab maneuvers.

I was going to finish with a joke about the President’s colonoscopy, but that would be in bad taste. I’ll leave the possibilities to your imagination.