Saturday, January 06, 2007

Bush's Strategy of Massive Resistance

Huffington Post
Paul Begala
Bush's Strategy of Massive Resistance

On October 19 I debated Bob Novak at Emory University. The topic was "Civil Liberties in a Time of War." I kicked his ass, but that's not why I mention it. In the debate I predicted that, after the Democrats captured the Congress, Pres. Bush would provoke a Constitutional crisis by refusing to comply with congressional subpoenas.

Pres. Bush, I predicted, will effectively tell Speaker Pelosi, "You send the Capitol Police to enforce your subpoena. I'll send the 82d Airborne to resist them. Let's meet on the Mall and see who wins."

Novak said I was crazy. It's beginning to look like I was right.

The only reason George W. Bush would turn loose of White House Counsel Harriett Miers - who gazes upon our president with an adoration and veneration bordering on idolatry - is because he wants a war-time consigliere.

In a way that might make Harry F. Byrd proud, our president is about to embark on a policy of massive resistance. He will instruct his lawyers to delay, deny and refuse to comply with any effort by Congress to get to the bottom of official corruption - especially as the billions squandered or stolen in Mr. Bush's war. He'll try to run out the clock, then take his chances with his hand-picked right-wing judiciary. (Keep in mind the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, through which this dispute would flow, includes such Bush appointees as Brett Kavanaugh, a Ken Starr protégé whose work in the Bush White House was described by Henry Waxman as promoting "an imperial presidency." And the Supreme Court has such presidential suck-ups as John Roberts and Sam Alito.)

Thank God the American people - and Nancy Pelosi -- have given the responsibility of oversight we have constitutional heroes like Waxman and John Dingell. They are fair and tough. But even in their combined 83 years experience in Congress they have not seen a crowd that has more contempt for the Constitution than the Bush-Cheney team. I would not be surprised to learn that, in anticipation of receiving congressional subpoenas, the Bushies were having shredding parties that would make Ollie North and Fawn Hall blush.

Let's all watch to see who Bush appoints to replace Ms. Miers. If he chooses someone like David Addington, Vice President Cheney's chief counsel, we'll know Mr. Bush intends to shred yet another Article of the Constitution.