June 25, 2007


The guys are installing the last of our replacement windows so I have a little time on my hands. Not that it really eases my mind to read about the conservatives who seem hell-bent on undermining our system. But it does keep me out of the way.

In the last comment thread, Steve suggested that he would prefer Hillary over Rudy (me too) but was waiting to see what Fred Thompson brings to the table. Yeah, not me.

I think all we need to know about Fred Thompson we are learning in his fact-challenged attack on the Scooter Libby trial.

The Nation's John Nichols has this on Thompson's pandering to the Bush delusionals
In the faux-conservative circles that define the modern Republican Party, Thompson is more closely associated with the defense of the disgraced White House aide than with any particular stand on the issues facing the nation. That's one of the reasons why so many of the true believers in the Bush presidency are so very enthusiastic about Thompson's now likely candidacy to replace Bush.


"The Justice Department, bowing to political and media pressure, appointed a Special Counsel to investigate the leak and promised that the Justice Department would exercise no supervision over him whatsoever — a status even the Attorney General does not have," Thompson explained in his May 12 speech. "The only problem with this little scenario was that there was no violation of the law, by anyone, and everybody — the CIA, the Justice Department and the Special Counsel knew it. Ms. Plame was not a 'covered person' under the statute and it was obvious from the outset."


Here is what an actual prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, said in the 18-page Libby sentencing memorandum released two weeks after Thompson asserted that "everybody knew" Plame-Wilson was "not a covered person" under the rules that protect covert agents: "[It] was clear from very early in the investigation that Ms. Wilson qualified under the relevant statute (Title 50, United States Code, Section 421) as a covert agent."

Fitzgerald also detailed how Libby had blown Plame-Wilson's cover in conversations with reporters and White House aides, and explained that, "Mr. Libby kept the Vice President apprised of his shifting accounts of how he claimed to have learned about Ms. Wilson's CIA employment."

Yeah, doesn't this sound like replacing one incompetent President and power hungry/paranoid VP with a man who admires them?


On that note, btw, Republican candidates can't seem to adequately express how excessive they think Scooter's sentence was. Rudy called it "grossly excessive." How so? Do those same people express the outrage over non-violent drug users doing serious time?

Nope. Poor Scooter. The system is clearly stacked against rich white lawyers.


steve s said...

Apparently Scooter's sentence is longer than average for that type of conviction. I am not suggesting that he didn't deserve it, but there is some merit to that complaint. Thompson's support of Scooter is not something I agree with, but isn't a deal-breaker, IMO.

Streak said...

So the fact that Thompson is completely distorting the facts of the Libby case is not a problem for you? Or that he is essentially mouthing the right wing talking points on this issue? Haven't we had 6+ years of that? You want more?

BTW, Steve, where are you on Cheney? I believe that Thompson is a big fan of the VP.

steve s said...

It is a problem. I will certainly take it into account when I vote in the primary and the general election. It will all depend upon the other candidate and what else I learn. I am not sold on FT, but I haven't ruled him out at this point. Clinton had his problems with ethics and other issues, but I am sure you believe he was a better president than Bush?

I don't care for Cheney, but unless FT asks him to fill some cabinet position or be his VP, I will forgive his 'support.' Like I said, I am not sold on FT. He supports the war in Iraq and supported the Campaign Finance Reform Act, which I believe is unConstitutional.

Streak said...

Hmm, that sounds like my complaint is only valid if I can offer a perfect candidate. Of course Clinton had ethics issues, but FT is defending someone who undermined our national security for a political vendetta.

Not only that, but he is supporting people who gave us Abu Ghraib and then tried to legalize it. Those aren't simple ethics problems imho, they are the difference between believing in our system and not.

And since he admires Scooter and Cheney so much, what would tell you that he wouldn't nominate them to some key position--or people like them. Of course, just as with Bush, we would only find out after the election.

And lastly, let's be honest, "better president than Bush?" Anyone not qualify there? William Henry Harrison was a better president.

steve s said...

Your, or anyone else's, complaint is valid. I am just suggesting that in the current field, I am not finding much that I agree with completely. No matter who I choose, it will probably end up being some kind of compromise.

Clinton had more than just ethics issues, but we don't need to rehash those. I still think John Murtha is a good man, despite some 'problems.'

Streak said...

John Murtha? He running? Did I miss something?

The issue for me is that all sins are not equal. Clinton's dalliance with Monica is not equal to, well, anything Cheney has done. Ann Coulter mocking the death of John and Elizabeth Edwards' son is not the same as someone mocking Bush's speaking problems. Cheney has subverted our very system. And continues to do so. Fred Thompson seems to reward and applaud. That says something to me.

steve s said...

No, all is not equal...I would alos have to say that Clinton's escapades with ML are the least of his sins, but that is history and he isn't running either.

Streak said...


I am not trying to be a jerk. I am simply suggesting that Cheney and Libby committed a crime that is not just politics as usual. The right calls it the criminalization of politics, but it instead seems like the criminal politicization of national security. For someone like Fred Thompson to run an entire campaign to rehabilitate Libby (and by extension his boss) strikes me as not just another stance.

Obviously, you are free to do as you choose. But I am not interested in anyone who looks at what Cheney has done to this country and cheers. If those people are elected president, they will do more damage.

steve s said...

If FT bases most of his campaign on cheerleading for the current administration, then I won't vote for him. If he establishes a campaign based on policies that I agree with, then I may vote for him.

Streak said...

Ok. Like I said, his cheering for Scooter tells me all I need to know about the man. People are known by their friends and he is trying to make his political leanings known to the right.

You can ignore that if you want, but don't be surprised if he appoints Cheney clones to his cabinet.

steve s said...

I won't ignore it, but it will depend on what else he does and says. I feel like we have had this discussion before. I can't think of a single candidate that I am 100% in agreement with and this includes skeletons in the closet. I can't think of many politicians that are squeaky clean and sometimes we are given lousy choices.

I have 'thrown my vote away' on a 3rd party candidate in the past and I may do it this time. I wish they had more of a chance, but maybe this may be a time they could do well. Bush is doing a crappy job, but the approval rating of Congress is even worse than his.

Streak said...


Not to belabor the point, but let me ask you to clarify. I completely agree that we never find that perfect candidate that stands right on all the issues and is morally upright, blah blah. So all of us make choices and hold our nose to some extent.

But skelatons and moral lapses are not all the same. Some moral and ethical questions are more important than others, don't you agree?

Would you vote for a man who advocated torture? What about someone who said they would use those signing statements to subvert the constitution? What about someone who advocated warrantless searches?

I am not speaking of FT in particular here, but merely inquiring where the ethical lapses become problems or are merely part of voting for a flawed candidate.

steve s said...

That is a difficult question. I should say no, but it would depend on what the other option(s) were/are. I am hoping that FT makes his positions clearer once he throws his hat into the ring. His support of the McCain/Feingold Campaign Finance Reform was problematic, but he has said that he made a mistake. Is he sincere? I don't know. For the most part, I usually end up putting the pro's and con's of each candidate on a list and 'weigh' their responses. Supporting torture, the patriot act and warrantless searches are big negatives.

It is hard to say at this point. If it were between Hillary and Guiliani, I would vote for Hillary. If it were between Hillary and FT, I am not sure.

Streak said...

Are there any issues/ethical lapses/stances on controversial things/ that constitute a deal breaker for you?

steve s said...

Yes. I know this won't come as a big surprise, but I usually won't vote for a person that is very anti-gun. It isn't just because I enjoy owning firearms, but it is kind of litmus test on how the candidate views rights and logic. I won't vote for someone that supports the use of torture. I am sure there are others, but these are the only I can think of off the top of my head.

Ethical and legal issues...hmmmm. Lying or destroying documents (i.e. Sandy Berger) are hard to stomach. Something that happened a long time ago, such as Clinton avoiding the draft or Bush using drugs seems to not be all that big of a deal. I am more concerned with what they are doing now. There are some actions that I cannot forgive. Because of his raping a minor, I will not see any Roman Polanski films. Granted, he is not a politician.

What about you?

Streak said...

Torture is near the top of the list and I feel silly listing it. It feels like a "duh" moment that would be like saying you don't support child molestation. But unfortunately, thanks to Bush/Cheney and the GOP in charge, I have to make sure people know that I am opposed to torture.

Someone who flippantly discusses "nuking" anyone or even "bombing" people (see John McCain for that one).

Hmm, let's see. I don't think I would vote for someone who said that only Christians should be elected, and would have serious issues with someone who thought evolution was a religion. That view has been moderated a bit with my discussions with our friend Tony, but I would still struggle with that.