It's easy to understand how those who have missed trashing a presidential administration on the front page during the seven years of near-constant fellation of the Faux Flyboy George W. Bush and his Magic Codpiece. But the double-your-pleasure nominations of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State and Eric Holder as Attorney General mean the good old days of Clinton Derangement Syndrome are back.
In the New York Times
today (well-known for flogging Whitewater when no one else was, even though there was no there there), Eric Lichtblau and David Johnston examine Holder's role in the Marc Rich pardon.
I've never really understood what the obsession with this particular pardon was. I think much of it had to do with speculation that Bill Clinton was nailing Rich's ex-wife and that it was a case of making decisions with the infamous and all-powerful Clenis™. After all, sex sells, and God knows Bill Clinton gave the media enough fodder. Marc Rich is certainly a Bad Guy, but when you think about the kinds of shenanigans the current Administration has pulled, and the number of Republicans who have fallen in disgrace over the last four years, and the way Senate Republicans violated long-standing protocol to give convicted-on-seven-counts felon Ted Stevens a standing ovation just a few weeks ago, the continued vapors over Marc Rich seem a bit disingenuous:
By all accounts, Mr. Holder’s role in the affair represents the biggest misstep of his career, and Mr. Obama’s aides focused on the issue before Mr. Holder was selected. Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee were consulted to gauge whether the pardon would prove an insurmountable hurdle.
Some Republicans in Congress are eager to revisit the Rich pardon, which was investigated at length in 2001 both by Congress and by a grand jury amid a public clamor that was fueled by hefty donations that Mr. Rich’s former wife had made to Mr. Clinton’s presidential library and to Democratic causes. Critics of the pardon also seized on reports from American intelligence officials that Mr. Rich’s oil-and-commodities company had done business with Iran, Iraq and other so-called rogue states.
“Marc Rich was a fugitive for nearly two decades, wanted by the federal government for fraud and tax evasion,” Representative Lamar Smith of Texas, the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, said Monday after the nomination was announced. Referring to Mr. Holder’s actions, Mr. Smith added, “If a Republican official had engaged in this kind of activity, he would never receive Senate confirmation.”
Oh. My. God. Rich's company had done business with Iraq and Iran. Mr. Smith, I'd like to introduce you to Dick Cheney.
You know, the scowling Angel of Death who crawls out of his bunker to show up there in the Senate every now and then?
On the one hand, one could wonder why Barack Obama was willing to open this door again and provide both the Republicans and the frothing mad dogs of the media with this kind of Clintonian obsession point this early in the game. But Obama has shown during the campaign that while Maureen Dowd may think of him as "Obambi", he is nobody's pushover, and he he made that clear yesterday
.. I assembled this team because I'm a strong believer in strong personalities and strong opinions. I think that's how the best decisions are made. One of the dangers in a White House, based on my reading of history, is that you get wrapped up in groupthink and everybody agrees with everything and there's no discussion and there are no dissenting views. So I'm going to be welcoming a vigorous debate inside the White House.
But understand, I will be setting policy as president. I will be responsible for the vision that this team carries out, and I expect them to implement that vision once decisions are made.
It's almost enough to make me think that the Holder hearings might be worth watching, because everyone is expecting the kind of groveling, Renfield-like smarminess that has become the trademark of Democratic dealings with Republicans. It's my hope, at least, that Holder has the stones to put this "Buh..buh...but CLINTON!!!" crap to rest once and for all.
Labels: Clinton Derangement Syndrome, Democrats with balls, Obama Administration