The House voted on Thursday to hold two former Bush aides in contempt of Congress for “failing to cooperate with an inquiry into whether federal prosecutors were ousted for political reasons.”
The 223-32 vote Thursday targets presidential chief of staff Josh Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers. The citations charge Miers with failing to testify and accuse her and Bolten of refusing Congress’ demands for documents related to the 2006-2007 firings.
This is silly for two reasons:
1. This really shows a flaw in our political system. Remember last spring when everyone got angry because the Justice Department might have fired federal prosecutors because they didn’t agree with the Bush administration? Remember when it became painfully clear that our Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, was a lying sack of shit? Well, these aides are in trouble for not testifying to Congress about that incident.
But the thing is, even if the House files contempt charges against these two, the Justice Department won’t ask the U.S. Attorney to actually pursue those charges! Why would the Justice Department try to prosecute these aides for refusing to testify against the Justice Department? So, basically, nothing bad will happen to these two for refusing to listen to Congress.
BTW, this is the first time in 25 years that a full chamber of Congress has voted on a contempt of Congress citation.
If Congress does not act to enforce the subpoenas, said Rep. Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat, it would “be giving its tacit consent to the dangerous idea of an imperial presidency, above the law and beyond the reach of checks and balances.”
2. Proving that we do have children running our government, Republicans staged a walk-out to protest the vote. Instead of voting on these contempt charges, House Republicans wanted to vote to extend warrantless wiretapping while granting immunity to telecommunications companies that broke the law by providing the government with confidential information on their customers after Sept. 11th.
“We have space on the calendar today for a politically charged fishing expedition but no space for a bill that would protect the American people from terrorists who want to kill us,” said Rep. John A. Boehner, the Republican minority leader.
“Let’s just get up and leave,” he told his colleagues, before storming out of the House chamber with scores of Republicans in tow.
How do we elect these people? “A bill that would protect the American people from terrorists who want to kill us?” This is embarrassing. I guess from now on, Congress can only vote on things that the Republicans want to vote on.