Thursday, April 12, 2007
The Tempest In A Thimble
Talk about grasping at straws. This is what happens when people like Vermont’s Patrick “Leaky” Leahy are put in positions of power and responsibility for which they are wholly unqualified.
Leaky Leahy is upset that some White House emails pertaining to the US Attorney firings may have been deleted. He’s convinced White House staffers who claim email may have been deleted are lying and even if said emails were deleted Leahy is convinced that through the miracle of modern technology no email is ever beyond the reach of a Senate subpoena.
When Pat Leahy became an expert on email technology isn’t exactly clear.
The Washington Post’s Dan Froomkin is hauling more water for Leaky Leahy than the Culligan Man. A cursory reading of his latest “investigative” writing would have you believe the very fabric of the country is unraveling because every single word (spoken, written, or otherwise transmitted) of Karl “Sith Lord” Rove has not been recorded for use during a public flogging unseen in Washington since the days of Oliver North and Iran-Contra hearings.
I’m not going to bore you with the explicit details of who sent which email using which server and whether or not said communication violated the spirit or letter of the Presidential Records Act or the Hatch Act. I’ll leave that to Froomkin and his willing accomplices in the MSM. Froomkin himself is convinced this is “The Next Bush Scandal” – the kind the beltway media types live to cover in wall-to-wall whine TV.
The problem with Leahy, Froomkin, et al is that their argument holds no water. They simply have no case. This tempest would be lost in a teacup and is barely worthy of the thimble in which it currently resides. The bottom line is, there is no standing by which Congress can insert itself into this issue.
US Attorneys are appointed by the President of the United States. They serve at his pleasure and can be dismissed at any time for any reason. Its what the private sector likes to refer to as “At Will Employment”. Simply put, if W doesn’t like the color of the guy’s tie, or the gal’s skirt, or the way they are or are not pursing the law enforcement goals of the W Administration, he can simply show them the door.
Constitutionally speaking, which I know is hard for Pat Leahy to understand, and in legal terms, Congress simply has no standing from which to investigate the firing of political appointees. That fact in and of itself makes Leahy’s subpoena threats and Froomkin’s rantings pretty much a moot point.
One fact which Froomkin mentioned but did not elaborate on is the fact there are far harsher consequences for violation of the Hatch Act (which prohibits using federal resources for campaign purposes) than there are for violating the Presidential Records Act. People go to jail under the Hatch Act. People get dirty looks for violating the Presidential Records Act. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out which one is worse.
Leahy’s antics and feigned outrage are good for entertainment, but not much more than that. If I had the time and energy to spare, I might research his reaction to the Clinton (Sorry Excuse For) Administration’s tactic of delay and deny when confronted with Congressional demands for internal White House communications. Then again, I’m pretty sure I’d find no hysteria there.
There is no scandal here. There is no story here. This is nothing more than a very obvious effort by the Congressional Jackasses and their ever willing accomplices in the MSM to drum up anti-W sentiment where ever possible.
And people wonder why – outside the beltway echo chamber – few people care what Leahy whines about.
Here endeth the lesson.