Only seven republicans voted for the resolution -- Norm Coleman (MN), Susan Collins (ME), Chuck Hagel (NE), Gordon Smith (OR), Olympia Snowe (ME), Arlen Specter (PA), and John Sununu (NH). The rest of the Senate GOP is, apparently, fine with government abuse of power, election fraud, and plain old-fashioned idiocy and incompetence in a Justice Department that has been called 'dysfunctional' by those willing to cut the AG a break. Those unwilling to voted for the resolution.
George W. Bush, once again displaying his pathological inability to accept responsibility for anything, still stands by his AG.
Speaking to reporters in Bulgaria, President Bush blasted a "no confidence" vote on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales scheduled [Monday] for the Senate as "meaningless."
According to the president, Democrats are wasting their time with this "political" resolution which will have no bearing on the beleaguered Attorney General's status, and it shows how their priorities are misplaced, since they are prioritizing the vote over such issues as settling the immigration debate.
Yeah, the nation's top law enforcement official is a corrupt SOB, so dealing with that shouldn't be a priority. It's not like the Justice Department does anything important, like enforce federal law. I guess there's reality and there's the White House. Bush doesn't seem able to live in both places.
And it's 'meaningless?' On what planet? That the vote was held at all is significant and that Republicans let themselves be trapped into making a choice between a pointless party loyalty or the good of the nation once again is significant. That only seven made the right choice is significant. It proves that, in the Senate, the GOP has become as shameless, corrupt, and antiamerican as the Bush administration. That's far from 'meaningless.'
As he did with Scooter Libby, Bush will stand by Gonzales until he finally goes under. Maybe a vote of 'no confidence' was the wrong way to go -- Chuck Schumer should've scheduled a vote of 'absolute confidence' in the AG with some sort of commendation. Let's see how many would want to go on the record as thinking Gonzo's doing an exceptional job. There'd still be a few -- even if Gonzales was caught on tape eating orphaned children alive, there would still be few -- but how many total would sign on to a resolution rewarding Gonzales for a job well done?
I'm guessing not many.
Then again, if I were wrong, it wouldn't be the first time. It's hard to predict just how low today's Republican lawmaker is willing to go. When I talk about the Bush administration, I always warn that you can't shame the shameless. Can't shame the Senate GOP either. At least 41 of them, anyway.
Here's a fine example:
Senator Trent Lott (R-MS), the Minority Whip and former Republican Majority leader, objected to the constitutionality of the Senate's no confidence motion, suggesting that it resembled the British political tradition, and was not in line with the American political system.
"What are we going to do, bring the president in here for a question period?" he asked.
See if you can follow that logic -- it's unconstitutional to rebuke the AG for unconstitutional activities. The police, apparently, need no policing. And why not bring Bush in? The 9/11 commission did it -- they even let Dick Cheney come hold his hand. I have serious doubts as to whether the american public would find a move like that outrageous.
In the end, the inability of Republicans to hold this administration accountable for anything renders them profoundly ineffective. And that's the best case scenario. The worst is that they don't freakin' care about the Constitution, the law, America's reputation, or the nation's best interests. In that case, the party serves the party alone -- not the people who elected them and not the nation the were elected to serve. In that case, they've become a party that stands for nothing at all. Newsflash, superpatriots of the right, nihilism isn't an american value.
You can serve the country or you can serve the elephant. In a perfect world and a perfect time, you should be able to do both. But the elephant has become the symbol of the party that opposes everything this country stands for -- fairness and justice and democracy. In this world, in these times, you can't serve the elephant and the nation at once.
And those who've chosen to serve the GOP have ceased serving the nation. The good news is that the entire GOP hasn't signed on to sell the country down the river. The bad news is that only seven of those principled Republicans still serve in the Senate.
Technorati tags: politics; Justice Department; Alberto Gonzales; crime; scandal; corruption; Senate Republicans serve Bush, not America