, 2007
| Over 2 Million Served |




Home | Notes
Archives | Search
Links | About

Julia Gorin
The America Show
Episode 4
Jesus and Mordy
Watch Video Now


Conservatives Are From Mars, Liberals Are From San Francisco
by Burt Prelutsky

America Alone
by Mark Steyn


The CRO Store




  Assault on the Presidency
by J. F. Kelly, Jr. [writer] 3/30/07

Democratic leaders in Congress have declared war on the president. In interpreting their party’s recent election successes as a mandate to assume, not only prosecution of the war in Iraq, but other executive branch responsibilities as well, they seem determined to undermine, at any cost, the remaining months of George W. Bush’s administration. It is a dangerous strategy; one that could do lasting damage to the concept of separation of powers. It is, also, a double-edged sword that can be turned against future Democratic administrations as well. Revenge is a powerful motivator in politics.

J.F. Kelly, Jr.

J.F. Kelly, Jr. is a retired Navy Captain and bank executive who writes on current events and military subjects. He is a resident of Coronado, California. [go to Kelly index]

The most egregious examples of the campaign to emasculate Mr. Bush’s presidency are the efforts in Congress to seize control of the war in Iraq by tying funding to mandatory troop withdrawal deadlines and, of lesser urgency but still of great significance, the political circus created over the replacement—the Democrats and their supporters in the media prefer the more dramatic term, “firing”—of eight U.S. Attorneys.  

Most Americans are by now used to the political side shows staged over the comings and goings of presidential appointments, so let’s deal with this one first. Historically and for good reason, presidents have enjoyed wide latitude in filling political appointments, particularly cabinet members who report and are responsible directly to him. Since the buck stops with the president, cabinet members should serve at his pleasure, not that of the Congress. It is, after all, the president’s cabinet, consisting of appointees chosen by him to help him discharge his responsibilities as the head of government and it is the president, not the Congress, who is responsible for their performance. This, of course, has not stopped some members of Congress from demanding the resignations of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfelt and lately that of embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales because they did not meet the expectations of these members of Congress.

Democrats are alleging all sorts of sinister motives behind the “firing” of the eight U.S. Attorneys including suggestions that the Justice Department and the White House may have been attempting to interfere with ongoing investigations and that the firings were politically motivated. Politically motivated? Are these not political appointments? A White House response could have been simply that some changes were being made to provide opportunities for other qualified persons to serve, just as previous administrations had done. Political appointments do not, after all, confer employment for life. In 1993, President Bill Clinton’s Attorney General Janet Reno replaced (fired) all 93 U.S. Attorneys without a peep of protest from Congress or calls for her dismissal. How politics has changed.

Unfortunately, the Justice Department responded to the criticisms with the agility of a beached whale, contending initially that the firings were performance related. As every human resources director knows, this is, even if true, the most problematic of all justifications for termination because it inevitably elicits defensive reactions from the departing officials and their supporters and it usually turns out that the alleged inadequate performance cannot even be documented or is based upon highly subjective judgment.

 More to the point, no reason had to be given at all, other than to say, perhaps, that changes were instituted to reflect the administration’s updated priorities. Congressional demands that Mr. Gonzales be sacked and that presidential advisors be subpoenaed to testify under oath are outrageous. Mr. Bush was entirely justified in refusing to support a congressional fishing expedition which could have a chilling effect on the access of future presidents to candid, confidential advice from their own advisors.

The attempts by Congress to usurp executive powers of the Commander-in-chief to prosecute a war which Congress itself authorized is nothing less than a national disgrace and a slap in the face to the troops whose lives are on the line. The bill that the House produced by a vote of 218-212, almost entirely along party lines with only two Republicans voting in favor, was shameful, imposing an arbitrary deadline for troop withdrawal and containing pork projects having nothing to do with the war, added only as sweeteners to obtain enough votes to pass the bill. “The American people have lost faith in the president’s conduct of this war,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Can the American people possibly have faith in the ability of this Congress to conduct it?

We are witnessing nothing less than an all-out assault on what remains of the presidency of George W. Bush. The national interest is being subordinated to the political war. What has become of the concept of the loyal opposition? At a time when national unity is urgently needed, we have, instead, unrestrained political warfare. It must be very reassuring to our enemies and profoundly disturbing to our troops. CRO

copyright 2007 J. F. Kelly, Jr.



Apple iTunes
Apple iTunes
Apple iTunes
Apple iTunes
Apple iTunes
Applicable copyrights indicated. All other material copyright 2002-2007 CaliforniaRepublic.org