There is something going on with Dick Cheney, about what part of the government he is in, whether he has executive privilege or not, something like that. It is very confusing, because he's saying all sorts of stupid shit. I stopped trying to "get" this administration just like I stopped trying to "get" my ex-girlfriend. Neither of them makes any sense, so you just wait until the time is right and cut off all ties with them altogether.
Also in the news: Bush rejected a subpoena about firing all those attorneys, citing executive privilege. "We didn't do anything wrong! You just have to trust us!"
So I will talk further about Executive Privilege. THATS RIGHT ITS CLEVELAND AGAIN MOTHERFUCKERS
Washington established the precedent just like every other thing he did, and said that since the Senate makes treaties only they were allowed to read the pertinent documents, not the House. Then John Marshall pulled it back from Jefferson, and said that it's the court's decision what is and is not pertinent. Some privilege.
So it's fucking Cleveland time woo
So the other day I mentioned that Cleveland employed similar executive privilege. What I didn't mention is the circumstances. Cleveland was the first Democrat to enter office since Andrew-Johnson-Sort-Of (aj - lowercase cause he sucked - technically had no party in office, but was a Democrat before and after). Here's how it went down:
Cleveland: I'm removing your guys from office
Congress: Your files, let us see them
Cleveland: FUCK YOU
Sound like anyone we know?
The law that got aj impeached was the Tenure of Office Act, which said that if a President appointed someone and Congress approved it, when the President elected to remove said official the Senate would have to approve the removal. aj defied it, because he thought it was unconstitutional, and he paid for it in spades. It was repealed halfway through Cleveland's first term. In fact, where Johnson had faltered, Cleveland succeeded, mostly due to his severe popularity. In his 1904 book, "Presidential Problems," Cleveland said:
"I am not responsible to the Senate, and I am unwilling to submit my actions and official conduct to them for judgment."
Cleveland argued that the President was directly responsible to the people, not the Senate, and the Senate backed off him - Cleveland was so popular at the time, and was removing the officials because they had been appointed for patronage reasons so that he could replace them with more "deserving" individuals. There wasn't a question of Cleveland's integrity - check out one newspaper's endorsement for him:
"Four Good Reasons for Electing Cleveland: 1. He is honest. 2. He is honest. 3. He is honest. 4. He is honest."
It was a pretty universal sentiment.
The difference between the two, I think, is that in Cleveland's case there wasn't the mounting evidence of wrongdoing. Nixon claimed executive privilege regarding the tapes of conversations regarding criminal charges against some in his administration and was denied - the the Supreme Court said that the importance of finding the truth in a criminal investigation was more important to the public than some generalized confidentiality. This isn't quite a criminal investigation yet, but the evidence of wrongdoing here is much stronger than it was against Cleveland.
But, like in Cleveland's time, this will play out as a power struggle. Few know what will come out of this case, but Congress is certainly justified in asking.
Next time: Not Cleveland!
Labels: dick cheney, executive privilege, george w bush, grover cleveland, presidents