Seeking forgiveness

Seeking forgiveness


The Bush administration, amid rebukes from Congress and the courts, is now trying to get legislation passed to authorize or indemnify themselves for much of what they’ve done in the past few years.

It’s a bit like getting caught with your hand in the cookie jar, and then seeking to have stealing cookies declared retroactively legal.

In one piece of legislation, the administration both seeks to circumvent the recent Supreme Court ruling in Hamden and legalize Bush’s “enemy combatant” designation.

In separate talks, they’re also trying to escape the spectre of war-crimes charges — both for U.S. personnel and, potentially, themselves.

And let’s not forget the bill being put together that would let Congress sue Bush over his use of signing statements, and Bush’s attempts to have his NSA eavesdropping efforts retroactively legalized.

Maybe, instead of acting like a bunch of teenagers — doing whatever they wanted, hoping not to get caught and then seeking forgiveness when they were — the administration should have fully consulted Congress and sought pre-emptive court rulings to support their actions. Maybe they should have found ways to work within or modify existing laws rather than inventing spurious rationales for ignoring them. Perhaps then they wouldn’t find themselves drowning in a sea of self-made difficulties while Iraq circles the drain.

Just a thought.

Previous articleWho Lost Iraq?
Next articleA Tale of Two Candidates …
  • DosPeros

    Sean – there is no “seeking forgiveness” here, nor is there a concession of illegality in these proposed bills (with the exception of the “enemy combatant” designation, which the decision of Hamdam went so far as to suggest legislative action). This is political and legal fortification, not concession.

    When I beat my children, I consider it my inherent power as their father, but I damn well ask their mother first. Usually, she says no — this in no way effects my inherent power, but it does make it political suicide to use that inherent power to beat them. See, no concession, no forgiveness, mere political fortification.

  • Sean Aqui

    Dos: They are implicitly seeking forgiveness by the simple act of seeking Congressional authorization for things that up until now they’ve insisted they needed no authorization for. Maybe they see it as merely dotting a few i’s and crossing a few t’s, but the fact is they’re only doing it because either Congress or the courts invalidated — or threatened to invalidate — the way they were doing things before.

  • Michael Reynolds

    The reason they didn’t manage this like adults in advance is that they specifically wished to deny any and all limitations on their power. It was somewhere on the scale between adolescent rebellion and sheer megalomania.

  • Sean Aqui

    Michael: Yeah. You get the distinct impression that Bush and/or Cheney don’t like being told what to do. By anybody. Nor do they like advice or facts that run counter to their pre-existing ideology.

  • sleipner

    Much like many fundamentalist types – any information that runs counter to their world view is immediately attacked or ignored, or the messenger is attacked, then they go off and do what they want anyway.

  • Meredith

    I wouldn’t call it forgiveness. They’re just trying to cover their butts for what they’ve already done. They might slip it all through too, if people don’t call them out on it.