Friday, May 22, 2009

Just wondering. . . .

I could write for days on the speeches that President Obama and Dick Cheney gave yesterday, but there isn't time right now. Here's a question for the audience, though:

If it is true, as President Obama asserts, that the Bush administration was indifferent to the rule of law and was busy shredding the Constitution, why would it have even bothered to seek legal advice? And when the Supreme Court ruled against the Bush administration, it complied with the rulings. Does this really sound like a lawless administration to you?

3 comments:

Right Hook said...

The speeches reveal the difference between the two: Cheney is a patriot and statesman, and the current occupant of the White House is a slick, narcissistic politician.

Or as Laura Ingraham just put it, statesmanship vs. stagemanship.

Cheney 2012!

Anonymous said...

Mark,
The Bush administration didn't seek legal advice. They sought legal cover from people who were willing to embarass themselves and shred their own professional reputations for a slice of political power and personal gain. The memos provide by Bybee, Addington, Yoo, etc. were not honest attempts to set legal limits on interrogations (which were the various authors’ statutory obligations). They were written to provide legal immunity for acts that are clearly illegal, immoral, and violations of our country’s most basic values. Furthermore, many were written after the fact, and retro-fitted to maximize legal cover for violations already committed.

Regarding the Bush administration complying with a Supreme Court ruling, you seem to be conflating all of the illegal acts that may have been committed by the Bushies with one court ruling, when you know that the jury is still out on most of the acts in question. Furthermore, are we really supposed to give the Bush administration a pat on the back for grudgingly complying with a Supreme Court ruling. What a great bunch of guys...they didn't force a Constitutional crisis. Can we mark that down as another major achievement of the last administration?

As you have told me before, you can do better than this.

Regards,
Rich

Mark Heuring said...

Rich,

I asked a question. You gave me an answer. Thank you for your answer.

Now, a few points:

The memos provide by Bybee, Addington, Yoo, etc. were not honest attempts to set legal limits on interrogations (which were the various authors’ statutory obligations).That's your opinion and you're entitled to it. But your opinion isn't dispositive. Unless you and other like-minded people are the ones to determine the honesty of someone's work and efforts.

They were written to provide legal immunity for acts that are clearly illegal, immoral, and violations of our country’s most basic values.If these matters were as clear as you maintain, we wouldn't be having this discussion. If things were as clear as you say, Nancy Pelosi would have run screaming from the room and shouted it all from the housetops. She didn't.

Regarding the Bush administration complying with a Supreme Court ruling, you seem to be conflating all of the illegal acts that may have been committed by the Bushies with one court ruling, when you know that the jury is still out on most of the acts in question.Read what I wrote, Rich. I said "rulings." There were 3 in question -- Hamdan, Rasul and Boumediene. Two were decided 5-4 and the other was 6-3. And all were approved at one point or another in the lower courts. It was hardly as clear cut as you make it out to be. And as you helpfully point out yourself, the jury is still out on a number of other questions. And you might also consider that other decisions went the administration's way. But that gets in the way of the narrative.

Furthermore, are we really supposed to give the Bush administration a pat on the back for grudgingly complying with a Supreme Court ruling. What a great bunch of guys...they didn't force a Constitutional crisis. Can we mark that down as another major achievement of the last administration?Again, read what I wrote. My question was "does this really sound like a lawless administration to you?" They sought legal advice and complied with Supreme Court rulings. If they were lawless, they would haven't gone to the trouble of going through the machinations they did. They don't need a pat on the back. But the fact that they did comply undercuts the argument you are making.

As you have told me before, you can do better than this.Physician, heal thyself. :)

Best,
Mark