Thursday, March 29, 2007

Real-Time Hypocrisy

So let me see if I've got this right. In 1993, then-President Bill Clinton fired 93 federal prosecutors. Democrats patiently informed that this way it would be easier to "carry forth the administration's agenda."

In 2005, President Bush fired 13 prosecutors, some of whom, seemingly, for political reasons. House leaders are now threatening to subpoena members of his administration.

Concurrently, Bush's nominee for U.S. ambassador to Belgium, Sam Fox, has been derailed by Democrats because of a $50,000 contribution he made in 2004 to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. His qualifications, meanwhile, have never been questioned. Today Bush rescinded the nomination.

So, according to Democrats, is factoring in politics OK when hiring and firing, or not OK? The principle seems to depend on the politics.

What we're seeing here is hypocrisy -- in real time.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Leaving aside the thoroughly discredited talking point about Clinton (hint: Reagan and W. did the same thing), do you really not understand the difference between a US Attorney and an ambassador to Belgium?

Although I will concede that, if the ambassador was fired because he was about to expose corruption in the Belgian Embassy, I would be equally outraged.

The Mechanical Eye said...

Also:

U.S. ambassadorships have normally been politically plum jobs (often to reward campaign supporters and donees, as the case is here). Offing nominees over political reasons doesn't seem out of bounds there.

for U.S. attorneys, on the other hand, there's a strong undercurrent that the attorneys in question were fired because they went after election fraud cases that implicated Republicans as opposed to Democrats.

Those seem like important differences.

DU

Anonymous said...

The Ambassador to Belgium can't subpoena people to appear in front of grand juries and can't indict people for crimes.

The main concern is not whether politics entered Bush's choice of new attorneys, the issue is whether attorneys were wrongfully fired for indicting too many Republicans or not indicting enough Democrats.

tom said...

Mechanical Eye:

Both positions serve at the pleasure of the president, meaning they don't enjoy civil-service protections. If your point about prosecutors being fired because of the politics of the cases they chose to bring is relevant, one has to take into account the same actions during the Clinton/Reagan administrations. Either the principle exists, or it doesn't.

Which is it?

Nick Kasoff said...

You are only saying this because you don't understand a fundamental difference between Democrats and Republicans. Democrats are humble folk who care only for the will of the people. So when Clinton sacked the whole gang, it was to advance the will of the people, and therefore a good thing.

Republicans, on the other hand, are plutocrats, who care nothing for the welfare of the common man. When Bush fires somebody, hires somebody, or makes and governmental decision whatsoever, it is to benefit the rich and elite at the expense of everyone else. Therefore, everything Bush does is political - and evil.

Nick Kasoff
The Thug Report

Anonymous said...

Tom:

You're right, one does have to take into account the same actions during the Clinton/Reagan administrations. Except for one problem: Bush's decision to fire USAs in the middle of his term is unprecedented. The custom has been for incoming presidents of a new party to replace most, if not all, USAs upon entering the White House. However, the only ones who have been removed from office once appointed have largely been for gross corruption or mismanagement.

Anyway, this whole argument is a distraction. Bush indisputably has the right to fire them. The question is, why did he do it? They've had more than a month to come up with a reason, and still haven't managed to get their story straight.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous writes: "the issue is whether attorneys were wrongfully fired for indicting too many Republicans or not indicting enough Democrats."

And the evidence for that is...? What? Of course! Bush is a Republican, so anything he does must be de facto evidence of wongdoing or a cover up.

Is it that hard to imagine that, at any given moment, eight out of any 93 lawyers need to be fired?

And to add a bit of perspective, Bill Clinton's blunderbuss firing of all 93 U.S. Attorneys was done to cover over the firing of one specific U.S. attorney-- for Arkansas, who was actively investigating the Clintons, their cronies, and Whitewater. Clinton then replaced that attorney with his old law clerk!