Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The promised excerpts from MSNBC

In the previous post I said I would provide excerpts from last night's Dan Abrams commentary on Karl Rove and Keith Olbermann's interview with James Moore, and here they are...

Here's what Abrams said:
[I]n terms of his legal legacy, Rove has long applied basic political strategy to the courts: Accuse your opponents or critics of engaging in the very behavior that could become your own Achilles heel. Rove has accused judges of bending the law to fit their personal agenda. It‘s true, some do. But I can‘t think of a federal judge who has done that more than Karl Rove himself.

Rove called the federal judiciary fundamentally out of touch with mainstream America, a nice campaign slogan, but it demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the role of judges. They‘re not supposed to reflect popular opinion.
(emphasis added). Abrams is absolutely right. Like it or not, judges are not supposed to reflect public opinion. The legislature is supposed to reflect public opinion by creating laws. The role of the courts is to enforce those laws which are passed by Congress and to determine if those laws comply with the Constitution. And the Constitution is not supposed to be a reflection of popular opinion--unless popular opinion establishes a Constitutional amendment through an established process. The remainder of Abrams's commentary summarized Rove's SOP (standard operating procedure):
It also demonstrates some hypocrisy. He cites the will of the people until, of course, it comes to the people‘s reaction to this administration‘s policies. Then he ignores it and even said, quote, “I‘m not going to stay or leave based on whether it pleases the mob.” Rove‘s legacy is littered with examples of shifting rules to accommodate his own political objectives.

We don‘t know exactly how involved he was with certain decisions about everything from the NSA spying to Guantanamo, but we do know, according to Justice Department e-mails, that in January of 2005, Rove was asking about firing all 93 U.S. attorneys, that he passed along specific complaints about others, then reportedly advised on how to make the firings seem merit-based.

And to avoid being scrutinized ever, he sent more than 140,000 e-mails through the Republican National Committee‘s computer system instead of through the White House, thereby circumventing federal law. That‘s according to a House oversight committee.

His philosophy: expand the power of the executive branch, often meaning his own power—and demean the branch of government willing to rein him in, the judicial branch. Rove used court appointments as a political carrot, privately assuring religious groups, for example, that court nominees would share their beliefs. And for the fired U.S. attorneys, it was also about politics but in the form of political punishment.

He may be one of the great political operatives of all time, but from a lawyer‘s perspective, as someone who‘s studied the Constitution and relishes the rule of law, appreciates our courts, I will not shed a tear at his farewell bash.
(emphasis added). Nor will I, Mr. Abrams.

Although Abrams was speaking only about Rove, there is no way to separate Rove's tactics and philosophy from those of the Bush administration as a whole, as James Moore explained to Keith Olbermann.
You‘d like to believe that we all at least had a shred of humanity and will have a moment of atonement. I do not think that Karl does. There is a certain part of this guy that is pathological, and he has a happy little movie in his head that he is watching. And he creates a reality that he refers to. That is what sustains him and the people who support him. They are in denial, just as they have been in 2006 and with the war.
See? I'm not the only one who thinks Rove is pathological. Moore then went on to sum up Rove and the Bush administration:
What Karl has done throughout the years is turn everything political. He has taken the institutions of our government and our country and he‘s turned them into political institutions in ways that they never were used before. Federal agencies are used to accumulate political power. Everything they did was to accumulate political power. And eventually, what happened was that when those agencies were called upon to serve the constituencies that elected people to Washington, when they were unable to do that, the public finally said, we have had enough. We get what‘s going on here. Karl did not see that coming. But that does not mean he is not a bright political guy. It just means that nothing else mattered to him beyond the accumulation of political power. It was not about serving the people that sent them to Washington.
(emphasis added). I have tried repeatedly tried to make the points Moore so succinctly stated, and he just about covered everything. About the only thing missing is that there were some "true believers" in the Bush administration--Wolfowitless being the chief one--but even they were delusional and they were so devoted exclusively to their own views that they were blind to reality and thus blind to trying to serve the people.

"It was not about serving the people that sent them to Washington." That is and will be the legacy of Karl Rove and George W. Bush.

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