Fox Nation Asks: Did Obama Violate His Oath Of Office?

As bad as the Fox News Channel is, it does not even come close to the irresponsible, juvenile, wildly biased, stinking heap of dishonesty that is the Fox Nation web site. A casual glance on any day of the week will reveal an endless stream of puerile and partisan propaganda that seems to have been written by fourteen year old meth fiends after experimental electroshock therapy gone awry.

Today the Fox Nationalists posted as their featured headline story one of their standard cut-and-paste jobs whose only purpose was to disparage President Obama. This particular story raised the question as to whether or not Obama had violated his oath of office by instituting a policy to suspend deportations of undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children. The article quoted a source familiar to everyone who has studied corrupt cabinet officials.

Fox Nation - Alberto Gonzales

That’s right. George W. Bush’s crooked Attorney General Alberto Gonzales spoke to the Faith & Freedom Coalition conference and speculated as to whether Obama had violated his oath of office.

“To halt through executive order the deportation of some undocumented immigrants looks like a political calculation to win Hispanic votes and subjects him to criticism that he is violating his oath of office by selectively failing to enforce the law.”

This is the same man who, when being investigated for unlawful politicization of the Department of Justice, responded to inquiries from the Senate by answering “I don’t know” or “I don’t recall” at least 72 times.

Setting aside for the moment the inappropriateness of a shyster like Gonzales passing judgment on the legality of anyone else’s activities, he is displaying a profound ignorance of the facts relating to Obama’s recent decision.

First of all, it was not an Executive Order. It was merely an administrative determination by the Department of Homeland Security to employ prosecutorial discretion with regard to the specified immigrants. That’s something that is done regularly by the DOJ and every state attorney general. And even if it were an Executive Order, it would still be fully within the jurisdiction of the President to issue it.

Secondly, Obama cannot be accused of selective enforcement for a policy that applies so broadly to such a large community. And when you take into consideration that those affected are not even technically in violation of any law, then why should they be considered for prosecution in the fist place?

Gonzales was simply making a transparent attempt to pander to the audience of Teavangelicals at the conference. This is especially apparent in light of the fact that he has previously gone on record supporting the very same sort of policies that Obama enacted.

Of course, the Fox Nationalists ate this up and posted their article asking essentially if Obama was subject to impeachment. The gross partisanship and smear tactics that are evident every day on Fox Nation should disqualify Fox from being regarded as a news enterprise. Fox Nation is not some separate entity. It resides on the Fox News domain and it uses the resources of Fox News to ceaselessly bash the President and promote his opponents. If any unlawful activity is going on here, it is Fox News serving as an adjunct to the Republican Party and donating millions of dollars worth of promotion in violation of campaign finance laws.

Dismembering George W. Bush

As the administration of George W. Bush at long last comes to a close, the historical record of his presidency will begin to take shape. And like everything else that touches this president, the outlines of his legacy will be distorted by his accomplices and apologists. They will seek to recast in the public mind an accounting that bears little resemblance to reality. It will not be a remembering of the Bush era, but a dismembering, a mutilation of facts and consequences.

In pursuit of that goal, a coven of Bush minions has already convened to forge a counterfeit version of recent events. This faction of falsifiers includes the most notorious of Bush’s inner circle. Amongst the notables who have converged to sanitize and canonize the outgoing misleader are:

  • Karl Rove – Also known as the Architect or Bush’s Brain. Rove was the source of some of the most insidious propaganda emanating from the Bush White House.
  • Margaret Spellings – A Bush crony from the Texas clan. As Secretary of Education, with no experience in teaching or administration, she presided over millions of children being left behind.
  • Mark McKinnon – The Bush media advisor who received a recess appoint to the Broadcasting Board of Governors. His role as an advocate of fake news reports makes him an obvious choice to help fictionalize the Bush years.
  • Karen Hughes – A long-time PR flack for Bush whose work with the White House Iraq Group was instrumental in developing the lies used to sell war to the American people.
  • Alberto Gonzales – The Former Attorney General. A natural choice for historical recollections when, during testimony before Congress, he couldn’t seem to recall anything about his own tenure at the Justice Department.

The determination of this group to whitewash Bush’s reign of error will no doubt be intense. But so will be the level of difficulty. Bush is skipping out of Washington with the lowest approval rating of any president for as long as such ratings have been measured. Even worse, with regard to forming a legacy, is that majorities of historians rank Bush as the “worst president ever,” an awesome achievement considering competition from the likes of James Buchanon, Herbert Hoover, and Richard Nixon. The comments of one historian in the survey summarize the situation nicely:

“No individual president can compare to the second Bush. Glib, contemptuous, ignorant, incurious, a dupe of anyone who humors his deluded belief in his heroic self, he has bankrupted the country with his disastrous war and his tax breaks for the rich, trampled on the Bill of Rights, appointed foxes in every henhouse, compounded the terrorist threat, turned a blind eye to torture and corruption and a looming ecological disaster, and squandered the rest of the world’s goodwill. In short, no other president’s faults have had so deleterious an effect on not only the country but the world at large.”

It will be interesting to see how the defenders of the Bush legacy respond to that. Karl Rove has already provided a preview of how the history manglers are going to proceed. And he is not shy about disseminating nonsense. He asserts that no one will regard the decision to take out Saddam Hussein as a mistake or that the broader war on terrorism was a miscalculation. Rove may have a point there, except for the fact that most Americans already regard the Iraq war as a mistake, and the broader war on terrorism has been miserably miscalculated, as evidenced by the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan and the recent bombings in Mumbai. However, some of what Rove says is disturbingly plausible:

“No administration in the foreseeable future is going to go in and say, ‘You know what, we’re repealing the Patriot Act. You know what, we’re throwing out that terrorist surveillance program.'”

If Rove is right about this, than the American experiment was a failure. This is why it is imperative for Bush to be reprimanded by the law for his transgressions against the American people, the Constitution, and the world. If the Obama administration fails to undo these legislative and executive atrocities, then an abhorrent precedent will be set for decades to come. Americans may forever lose the freedoms for which Bush says the terrorists hate us. Maybe that’s his secret plan. If terrorists truly do hate us for our freedoms, then if you take them away the terrorists will no longer hate us – or hurt us. Safe at last. But Rove isn’t through prognasticating:

“We are better off for having woken up to the fact that we were in a war, and, mark my words, no president in the foreseeable future is going to step back from the tenets of the Bush philosophy, which are: better to fight them over there than to fight them here, and we will not wait until dangers fully materialize before we strike.”

The tenets of the Bush philosophy are nothing less than the grotesque advocacy of superiority and aggression. The phrase “fight them over there” is an overt declaration that non-American lives have less value and are expendable in the war on terror. Rove is making the argument that, while it is Americans who are fighting terrorists, it is everyone else who should suffer the consequences. And Bush’s doctrine of preventative war is not a policy of striking before “dangers fully materialize.” It is a policy of striking whether or not danger even exists. It is a policy of striking at shadows and illusions, except with real victims. Rove seems to have forgotten that no WMDs were ever found in Iraq. It’s too bad that thousands of Americans and more than a million Iraqis had to die in the interim. More likely, however, Bush’s philosophy is just a policy of manufacturing false justifications for attacking economic and ideological adversaries.

In the passage of time it is going to be important to preserve honest representations of the past. We must foil the legacy perverters in their attempts to fictionalize history. This means vigilance over the sort of odious assemblies described above, as well as over the media that has already been infiltrated by these and other revisionist historians.

If we are not vigilant, our legacy will be that we misunderestimated their strategery and we will forever dismember what actually happened in the dark days of Bush. And thus we will be condemned to repeat it.

Bush League Justice Under Investigation At MSNBC

Dan Abrams will be hosting a series of programs this week focusing on the abuses of the Bush Administration, particularly with regard to the Department of Justice. This is an important subject that gets far too little play in the press, but impacts everything from civil rights to political corruption to First Amendment freedoms of speech and religion, and so much more. The article announcing the program, penned by Abrams, covers all of these issues with the indignation of someone who loves the law and the fair administration of justice. Here are some selected excerpts:

“‘Bush League Justice’ is a series (airing Monday-Thursday at 9 pm on MSNBC) that stems from my increasing frustration and outrage over how the Bush Administration has politicized the usually apolitical Justice Department.”

“…this President has flipped the goals and mission of the [Civil Rights] Division and allowed it to become a tool of the radical right […] almost half of the new hires in that department who had ‘civil rights experience’ had ‘experience’ only in defending employers or -fighting- affirmative action.”

“The President has effectively declared the right to disobey more than 750 laws. From the interrogation of prisoners to torture to investigations by U.S. officials in Iraq, President Bush has added a caveat that says, ‘I will only enforce this if.’ So he is effectively telling Congress thanks for your advice on this law, but I reserve the right to ignore this law.”

“Maybe the most obvious betrayal of the public trust has been politically motivated prosecutions. A University of Minnesota study conducted this year shows that for every elected Republican investigated during this President’s tenure, there were seven elected Democrats investigated.”

“This series is long overdue. The scandal with the firings of the U.S. Attorneys under Attorney General Alberto Gonzales exposed the underbelly of this administration’s penchant for putting politics over objectivity and qualifications.”

The tone set by Abrams is both surprising and promising. He does not have the reputation of a firebrand activist, but he is clearly expressing something heartfelt in these comments. He was trained as a lawyer and his father, Floyd Abrams, is one of the most respected First Amendment attorneys of the 20th century. So perhaps Dan’s genetics are kicking in.

These issues are desperately in need of a champion, someone who can do for justice what Lou Dobbs does for immigration. And the protection and preservation of our Constitutional liberties is far more important than the racist scapegoating that demagogues like Dobbs engage in.

We’ll see, as the series unfolds, if Abrams’ passion for the law results in a broadcast that forthrightly exposes Bush’s contempt for fairness and equality in the administration of justice. There is a cornucopia of criminal misconduct to explore produced by both intent and incompetence. The scandals of the Alberto Gonzales era at DoJ have fallen from the media radar, but they are just as toxic to our nation’s future as ever. The political firings of department attorneys, the distortion of the mission of civil and voting rights prosecutions, the hiring of more than 150 lawyers from Pat Robertsons Regent University, the justification for torture, the disrespect for Congress and the doctrine of equal powers, the debasement of the Supreme Court – all of these matters need to be remembered and acted upon if our democracy is to endure.

An honest presentation of the record is indeed long overdue. An honest presentation should put to rest the question of whether impeachment ought to be on the table. I hope that these programs will finally provide what has been sorely lacking from a somnolent media for the past seven years: an honest presentation.