Back to School
I did briefly mention the White House ethics classes in the last post, but this deserves a little more scrutiny. This is the gang that in 2000 campaigned on the theme of bringing "honor and dignity" back to the White House. Bush repeatedly said "We will not only do what is legal but what is right."
Of course it was all bullshit. They did what was illegal as long as it was right for the Republican Party. There's a lot of chatter that Karl Rove will be forced to resign whether he is indicted or not. The idea is to give the Administration a fresh start. I don't know how that would work unless everybody left from the top down. This isn't about "a few bad apples" (gee, where have we heard that before?); it's institutional. We have a Vice President deeply involved in the outing of a CIA agent, who shills for torture for that same CIA. We have a Secretary of Defense that to this day cannot equip his troops in the field, all the while authorizing torture practices and the use of chemical weapons. We have the two of them forming what the former chief of staff to the Secretary of State Col. Wilkerson called "a cabal" that drove national security policy through hyped intelligence, secret intelligence bureaus and strategic partnerships with the media. There was an entire group known as the White House Iraq Group whose entire raison d'etre was to sell a war of choice to the public based on a primary assertion of WMD that was demonstrably untrue.
You're going to give people like this ETHICS CLASSES?
Here's the punch line to the whole thing:
A senior aide said Bush decided to mandate the ethics course during private meetings last weekend with Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. and counsel Harriet Miers. Miers's office will conduct the ethics briefings.
Well, at least she landed on her feet.
p.s. I really, REALLY don't want to hear this whole "But Clinton was unethical TOO" talking point. I was unaware of the "everybody does it" statute in American law. Was that used in the "Brach's Candy v. Kid in the Supermarket" case? Corruption and lax ethics should be rooted out of government, be it Democratic or Republican. Most of us on the left of the blogosphere say "That's wrong, get rid of them." Most on the right say "That's wrong, but everybody does it, so ignore it." I guess that's what they call "realpolitik." Or "willful blindness." Or something like that.