Friday, February 08, 2008

Home of the Petty

Land of the Childish

There's been a lot of world class pettiness on display in American politics for a long, long time. Yesterday, I started the day off with a good feeling that maybe, just maybe, some of the pettiness in the political process might be ebbing. By the end of the day, so much pettiness had been blasted through the newscycle that I wound up sitting on my couch in a rage, flailing away at my laptop cursing the likes of Mike Mukasey, Mitt Romney, Rush Limbaugh and a cast of thousands of the pettiest emeffers walking what's left of planet Earth.

It has occurred to me, that this is my own fault. I'm too optimistic. A candidate like Barack Obama, or even Hillary Clinton at times, can tap into that optimism. Occasionally I'll go an hour or two without the bitterness of living in a twisted, dystopian shadow of the America I grew up in, which was itself a shadow of the America that it should have been.

So when I see a news item like this I start to think, maybe this troll Mukasey ain't so bad.

From The Washington Post:

Five years after a gay advocacy group was told that it could no longer use the e-mail, bulletin boards and meeting rooms at the Justice Department, Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey has reversed that decision and issued a revised equal-employment-opportunity policy barring discrimination against any group.

Mukasey informed leaders of DOJ Pride last week that the department would give it the same rights as all other DOJ employee organizations, said the group's president, Chris Hook. In a statement, Mukasey said the department will "foster an environment in which diversity is valued, understood and sought" and maintain "an environment that's free of discrimination."

DOJ Pride and its 110 members had been barred from holding an annual Gay and Lesbian Pride Month celebration since 2003, when then-Attorney General John D. Ashcroft told the group that the Bush administration observed an unwritten policy of not sponsoring events without a presidential proclamation, Hook said. The group also was told it could not post notices of general meetings and events on department bulletin boards, he said.

Sure, Mukasey reversed an incredibly petty move by Ass-croft that was continued by Alberto Gonzales, who remains at large. No big deal, just simple human consideration. A welcome development that caused me to think, maybe this guy's different.

Now don't get me wrong, I never expected him to be any better than Ashcroft or Gonzo when it came to policy. I just thought, maybe he's not a complete asshole.

I was disabused of that notion quickly.

Unconventional Conventionist nailed this down yesterday... He sucks. To that I'll add--he blows. During his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee yesterday, he testified that he would not investigate waterboarding because the Department previously ruled the program legal.

Wow! That is an outrage! But, by the standards set by the last two Attorneys General, it was right about where you would expect him to be--destroying our lives before hitting the lecture circuit. Holdfast blogger Matt Hamlin Browner wrote that Mukasey's declaration amounted to "a note that should go down as the day in which the Bush administration formalizes its position that the United States should be a country that is subject to the rule of men and not the rule of law." And he's right, except the Bush administration formalizes that position several times already--Patriot Act, Military Commissions Act, several other acts, executive orders out the wazoo--we all have our favorite greatest hits of Bush's team killing democracy.

But to add pettiness to assault on the torn up, charred pieces of the Constitution, I capped off my night by reading about how Mukasey is stonewalling Talking Points Memo in retribution for their coverage of the US Attorney purge. Muckrakergate, as The Politico is calling it, was one of the subjects brought up at the hearing. Democratic Representative Hank Johnson had to ask Mukasey whether he was responsible for taking TPM off the DoJ press list. We actually had a hearing where Congress demanded to know from the Nation's top law enforcement officer "are we are a nation of laws or men, and by the way, why'd you monkey with that blog?" Mukasey's a child.

Between the onslaught of disturbing Mukasey stories, Mitt Romney managed to take pettiness to the next, smarmy level with his rationale for getting out of the Presidential race. You see, Romney
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