Off The Reservation

Tuesday, March 27, 2007
How does a man as profoundly perfidious as Paul McNulty get appointed Deputy Attorney General? Who vetted this snake to a post where his betrayal could do so much damage? If you don't recognize the name, you need to read this exclusive account of perfidy, disloyalty and disobedience to understand what type of loathsome viper the President inadvertently invited into his Department of Justice.

McNulty is a product of the same Southern District of New York which produced Comey and Fitzgerald. He exhibits the same fawning servility to Chuck Schumer as do the other two and his allegiance to that snake of a politician is possibly even stronger. As you read the article you can sense the slightest bit of regret by McNulty for carried scorpion (Schumer) across the river. That regret is as phony as the balance of this non mea culpa. McNulty was and is a very willing betrayer angling for a future political plum.

The President is reaping what he himself has sown in this matter. His retention of Dan Bartlett and Cathie Martin in the communications office (both are very close to Rove), coupled with an apparent desire to appear to be "above" politics have severely damaged both his standing with the people and his ability to actually lead.

The President's ludicrous instruction to "fully cooperate" with FBI agents running a political operation in the Plame matter while at the same time insisting that a condition of employment by this White House means forfeiture of the Fifth Amendment right has finally reached what should have been its obvious conclusion. AG Gonzales' counselor, Monica Goodling has appropriately taken a leave of absence and announced her intention to make full use of her right against self incrimination. Apparently she paid close attention to Fitzgerald's conduct in the Libby matter and decided that allegiance to a President unwilling to stand beside those who stand beside him was of little value.

McNulty's fawning obsequience to Schumer and his sideshow is another matter. Having never been loyal to anyone other than himself he cannot be characterized as other than a week reed who should never have been entrusted with his office.

The President's decision to rid himself of the eight US Attorneys who were not carrying out his policies was correct and without need of any justification other than that they did not please him. After all, that's what "at the pleasure of the President" means. Cobbling up the "poor performance" rationale was shabby cover for the exercise of a legitimate prerogative and the cover was torn aside by McNulty in an attempt to ingratiate himself with Schumer.

The Bush administration has been remarkably clean (especially in comparison to the Clinton administration). The Indian Affairs scandal (Abramoff affair) was largely due to the venality of Congressmen who thought themselves beyond the law. The Plame matter could easily have been a tempest in a teapot if it had not been handled so maladroitly and the current brouhaha about the exercise of legitimate executive power is an entirely self inflicted wound.

It would be nice if the President woke up tomorrow and remembered that he is still only a politician. He isn't "above" the fray and he is going to be running the Executive by himself if he doesn't drop the "turn the other cheek" pose and return open blow for open blow. He might start by taking a hard look at his communication staff and a harder look at those closest to him. They are not telling him what he needs to hear if he is to complete his term with any support whatsoever.

8 comments:

terrye said...

Do you really think that if Bush had not told people to cooperate in the Plame investigation that the Democrats would have just rolled over?

I agree that this McNulty character is a bad egg, but there are always a few like this in any administration, people being what they are.

And I agree that Bush did not have to justify the firings, they were legal. But I also think that you are underestimating the ability of the Democrats together with their allies in the media to exploite virtually any situation.

In other words, I don't think it would have mattered what Bush said, this would have gotten out of hand.

Rick Ballard said...

"Do you really think that if Bush had not told people to cooperate in the Plame investigation that the Democrats would have just rolled over?"

No, but there was absolutely no need to emphasize cooperation to the extent that he did. Just as there was no need to make giving up the 5th Amendment a condition of employment. Both of those "ideas" were purely political in nature, meant to distinguish "Bush" from "Clinton". Thet were very empty (and very cheap) words when the deeds were speaking for themselves.

There was nothing wrong with going after political operatives who were trying to lie themselves into the Kerry "administration".

There is nothing wrong with firing political appointees who fail to pursue administration priorities either. Especially when at least some of the jokers were turning a very blind eye to voting scams.

What is wrong is the pretense that the administration is apolitical. That's a lie that a child can see through and it and the possibility that it would boomerang should have been accounted for at the outset.

Shoving the "dirty" political decisions downstream in order to keep your hands clean is nice in theory and it works some of the time. Leaving the folks to whom you delegated the dirty work hanging in the wind just guarantees that in the end you'll wish that you had done it yourself.

Bostonian said...

Bush has NOT stuck up for his domestic allies.

It is a clear pattern, and I am sick to death of it.

brylun said...

Rick, Nice post! I agree completely.

On a different subject, check out my new project: eGOPnews.com

terrye said...

Well I think Bush should have fired the Democrats left over from Clinton and I think he was naive in a way about his ability to deal with the Democrats in Washington. Washington is not Texas.

But I would not say that Bush has not stuck up for his domestic allies, in fact it seems to me that the Republcians are more than willing to abandon him when it suits them.

I also think that during the Clnton years people began to get more and more partisan and it has reached a point where I am not sure anyone can really lead in a national sense. That bothers me. Because it makes me feel as if no matter what Bush does, or for that matter the next president, there will always be some Machiavellian plot underway.

terrye said...

brylun:

If Bush was not willing to stick up for his domestic allies, Gonzales, Rove and probably Cheney would have been gone a long time ago.

Doug said...

I think terrye's comment about not firing Clintonista Traitors depicts one of W's biggest failures, for which we have paid dearly.
---
...and softheads like Gonzales, Rice, and Mineta had no business being in DC.
(bring back John Ashcroft!)
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U.S. Softening Stance on Muslim Brotherhood
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April 23, 2007 issue - A brief encounter at a Cairo cocktail party could signal a shift in Bush administration policy toward the Muslim Brotherhood, a worldwide Islamic movement that the United States has shunned because of its alleged ties to terrorism.

The party, at the residence of U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Francis Ricciardone, was for House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and other visiting members of Congress.
While there, Hoyer told NEWSWEEK, he was introduced by a U.S. Embassy official to one of the invited guests: Mohammed Saad el-Katatni, a Brotherhood leader who also serves as a chief of an "independent" bloc in the Egyptian Parliament allied with the movement, which itself is banned by the Egyptian government.

Hoyer told the embassy he wanted to hear "alternative" voices in Egypt. He had met el-Katatni with other Parliament members earlier in the day. But, Hoyer said, "we didn't ask that the Brotherhood be included in the reception. Frankly, we were surprised to see him." During their five-minute talk, Hoyer and el-Katatni debated the role of Hamas, the Palestinian offshoot of the Brotherhood. "He was definitely rationalizing Hamas's position," said Hoyer.

Doug said...

For Terrye:
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Teresita said...

"Say, when a cow's laying down, which end of her gets up first?
Answer up prompt now -- don't stop
to study over it.
Which end gets up first?"

"The hind end, mum."

"Well, then, a horse?"

"The for'rard end, mum."

"Which side of a tree does the moss grow on?"

"North side."

"If fifteen cows is browsing on a hillside, how many of them eats with their heads pointed the same
direction?"

"The whole fifteen, mum."

"Well, I reckon you HAVE lived in the country. I thought maybe you was trying to hocus me again. What's your real name, now?"

"George Peters, mum."