Observers can be forgiven for wondering why the US Congress, following years of spineless acquiescence to the Bush agenda, has suddenly developed a backbone in the case of the fired US attorneys. Mere days after Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi ripped even the pretense of resostance to Bush's war on Iran from a military spending bill, in obvious defience of the voter mandate which brought her to her present station, we see Congress as a whole sprouting large amounts of gonadal tissue and charging full-tilt boogie head-to-ghead with the White House.
Why the change? Why after years of pretending that our nation wasn;t lied into a war, years of ignoring the warrentless spying on American citizens, years of pretending that it really was necessary to torture totally innocent people to win ther war on terror, why has the firing of the US attorneys and the White House defiance of Congressional Subpoenas ignited such a political firestorm?
The reason is a simple one. We are heading into an election year and Dempocrats need an issue they can run on. But neither they nor the Republicans can dare allow any real issues to enter the public mind for this coming election.
You see, there are two kinds of scandals.
There are the real big scandals, the kind that can bring down the entire government. Scandals like the lies used to trick the nation into supporting wars of aggression. Warrentless spying. Torture. Stolen national elections. Whether the income tax is really legal. The extent to which a foreign nation influences out government. These are scandals that cannot be pegged to just a few officials or just one party. Scandals such as these delegitimize the government as a whole, and this is why nobody in the government will never address these scandals.
But then there are the small scandals, scandals which CAN be planted onto a few individuals, like Randy Cunningham, or Jack Abramoff, or onto one political party, such as New Hampshire phone jamming.
These scandals are "safe" to play politics with because while individual players may win or lose, the system as a whole is kept safe.
And this is why Attorney-gate has exploded across the media and Washington DC. It is safe to play with. It is safe to use for campainging in 2008. Regardless of the outcome, it does not threaten the government as a whole. It doesn't threaten the push for more war. It does not threaten AIPAC. Indeed behind the furor of thr White House battle with Congress regarding subpoenas and Executive Priviledge, the WAR, and AIPAC can move forward more quickly with the light of public awareness now safely pointed onto something relatively benign and harmless in the greater scheme of things.
Indeed it may be that this contest over the subpoenas is simply a device to allow Congress to act like they still have a function on the running of this nation, posing and preening into the 2008 election season, even as everyone dutifully marks time and goes through the legal motions to run out the clock on the Bush administration while leaving the war machine intact for his successor.
I know that we are all excited to see Bush squirm in some measure of legal troubles for all that he has done, but really, considering what he HAS done and gotten away with, does this whole affair not seem like a tempest in a teapot, and worse, a stage-managed one at that?
It does to me. No matter what happens in Attorney-gate, it won;t really change anything. The wars will go on., Iran will be invaded, AIPAC will still spy on us and bribe our Congress, and rule us covertly for Israel's benefit. None of the real issues that we face are addressed or affected by Attorney-gate... which is why it is such big news.