The iridescent Glenn Greenwald digs up one of those innumerable oldie-but-goodie quotes regarding the conservatives’ once all-important priority: Rule of Law. And sure, it’s easy to mock our rightwing brethren for their pre-9/11 (and more importantly, pre-Bush) attitudes regarding the Rule of Law and its power on the presidency, because it’s entirely absurd. For them, Rule of Law was little more than the latest façade to cover their personal preferences; a means of making their capricious wants sound absolutist.
Here’s what I’m talking about, from David Frum (no link):
During the Lewinsky scandal, those of us on the pro-impeachment side repeatedly said – and said and said and said again – that the offense for which Clinton deserved to be removed was not sexual misconduct, but perjury.
Ok. They say that it wasn’t about sex, and that’s the end of it. No way that was just an empty argument, only necessary because they knew there was no sex-based reason for impeachment. They say it’s about perjury and that’s the end of it. Of course, when needled further, they’re forced to say that it really came down to a president abusing his powers to cover-up personal wrong-doing; so as to excuse Watergate, Iran-Contra, and almost anything remotely linked to Dick Cheney. And if you can continue to argue further, you’ll find that it always boils down to it being unconstitutional to have a president who’s last name begins with C and ends with N with a linto in between. And they are absolute in that belief.
And really, this wasn’t about sex OR the perjury. This was about crippling a Democratic president for personal and political gain using the only possibly legal argument they could find. And needless to say, they’d have been just as happy to do without the whole legal rigmarole at all. Heck, they’d like it best if they could just have the president removed at their whim. And while they might agree in theory that such a power would surely be dangerous, I have no doubts that they wouldn’t reluctantly accept them. Or maybe not so reluctantly.
But that’s all that was about. That’s all it was ever about. It wasn’t about sketchy real estate deals, or abuse of power, or sex, or any of that crap. It was about crippling the Democrat by any means possible. And as usual, they were their own undoing as everything culminated into an embarrassing impeachment which really brought a strong spotlight on the wingnut’s rabid wingnuttery. It was all fine and dandy to bitch and moan about Clinton’s illegalities when they didn’t have to be legally binding about it, but dammit if the actual proceedings exposed what a sham they had dreamed-up.
And so when the impeachment finally put the rubber to the road, their fantasy world finally ended and they came-out empty-handed and looking dumb. Not that they don’t always look that way, but even they had a hard time arguing that it wasn’t true. And isn’t that also the reason they object to the entire judicial branch? Because they like to see themselves as the final arbiters of right and wrong and resent the idea of a third-party judging their arguments in an objective fashion. Particularly as their arguments really only make sense to other delusionals. Which is why the only good judges are the judges who give the “proper” judgments.
But so it is with everything they do, including Frum’s own writings which Greenwald so handily eviscerated. They’re not looking for arguments, as much as rationalizations. When they’re looking for wrong-doing, they’ll find it. Just as easily as they can find defenses when they want. It’s all about focus. And as much as Frum derides liberals for their D v. R. preferences, it’s merely a projection of their own biased ways.
If they can find anything that Clinton did which has similarities to the bad stuff the Bushies do, then all is justified; even if there are obvious distinctions between them. All that matters is that they have an argument, so as to put things into the subjective category. It matters not if the argument is absurd. And they won’t even consider the possibility that our arguments make sense. How can they? They can do little more than assume that we’re no better than themselves.