Hypocrisy Rules

Aside from, hopefully, ridding us of Alberto Gonzales, the current controversy about his firing of U.S. Attorneys serves an additional purpose: exposing hypocrisy on all sides.

Defenders of the Bush Administration are working overtime to remind everyone that the incoming Clinton Administration fired all 93 U.S. Attorneys in 1993. This proves, they say, that other presidents have exercised their right to fire U.S. Attorneys for any reason they wish. In other words, “It’s okay for us to do it because Clinton did it too.”

Wait just a minute here. I distinctly remember the mass firing of USAs in 1993, and I can assure you that Republicans at the time did not like it one bit. There was a great deal of speculation that Clinton did it to head off investigations of the scandals that were already enveloping his presidency even in its opening days.

The dishonesty on all sides is amazing. The same Republicans who screamed about “rule of law” when Clinton was president now claim “pleasure of the president” when their own guy does the same thing. Likewise, Democrats who had no problem with Clinton firing USAs are up in arms about Bush doing it.

The same thing goes for the forthcoming battle over executive privilege. Democrats were outraged when the GOP forced Clinton aides to testify before Congress in public and under oath. Now they want nothing less from Bush staffers. Republicans who demanded “accountability” from the Clinton Administration think the Bush Administration should be left alone to do whatever it wants.

Bottom line: it’s all about power – getting it and keeping it. When truth and consistency get in the way of power, these principles will be ignored by both parties. That is the one thing they all agree on.

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