Saturday, June 23, 2007

Saying and doing

Despite the fact that The Washington Post editorial page is now simply a palette of Bush apologia and neoconservative tripe, the news pages can still deliver the goods on occasion, and they do so at times in subtle ways. While not something that jumps out from the online edition, the print edition of page 2 of WaPo today brilliantly juxtaposed two seemingly unrelated stories. But they are related, and reassert the Bush administration's continuing refrain of do as we say, not as we do:
Bush Prods Vietnamese President On Human Rights and Openness

White House Defends Cheney's Refusal of Oversight
This juxtaposition is then face-on followed by the page 3 story about Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Abraham, a former member of the Combatant Status Review Tribunal, who called the Pentagon secret military tribunals "fundamentally flawed," and which heavily relied on "unsubstantiated statements" and secret "evidence" to determine whether Gitmo detainees were enemy combatants.

The visual effect created by opening the first page of WaPo and being confronted with nothing but a broad buffet of White House secrecy, asinine constitutional assertions, and the hypocrisy we've all grown to know and loathe still has a jarring effect. There is yet some hope to be found at The Washington Post yet.

Of course, the story that Cheney and his handlers have hit upon the novel argument that, as president of the Senate, the veep is not actually a part of the executive branch and therefore not subject to executive orders is being met with rolling eyes and shaking heads. White House lip-moving person, Dana Perino, informs us that executive oversight and Cheney's role within the executive is a "little bit of nonissue" because, and this is where things really go of track,
the president gets to decide whether or not he should be treated separately, and he's decided that he should.
Most people would have expected that it is Article II of the Constitution that "gets to decide" the role of vice president, but when one has the attitude that the Constitution is just a "goddamn piece of paper," it seems anything goes. In this White House, the decider gets to decide, and he decides when the vice president is in the executive and when he is not. I'm guessing, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are executive days, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays are when Cheney, with a wave of Bush's presidential wand, magically becomes part of the legislature. Except when the moon is waxing gibbous, in which case the order is vice versa unless Bush decides otherwise based on what God tells him, messages that may come from on high with little notice but have an amazing coincidence with the state of current scandals. Sunday, of course, is a day of rest from the stressful effort of preventing anyone from finding out what the fuck Cheney is doing on the taxpayer nickel.


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