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Subpoena Envy

Commentary by Greg Lewis / NewMediaJournal.US
August 21
, 2007

Contempt of Congress? Du-uh! What else could you possibly have for a body of lawmakers whose majority members can't even articulate a legislative agenda and so must pursue the only other activity, issuing subpoenas, they can think of that might possibly gain them legitimacy in the eyes of their ever more left-leaning constituency. Indeed, receiving a subpoena for contempt of congress would be a badge of honor if it weren't for the prospect that yet another rogue prosecutor like Patrick Fitzgerald might surface and railroad those in his gunsights into a conviction, while weasels like Richard Armitage simply keep their mouths shut, essentially criminally withholding evidence while those subpoenaed twist in the wind.

What the hell, if you can't be the Chief Executive, you might as well try to chip away at his executive powers. And it can't hurt if you bring the legislative process to a standstill in the bargain, can it? That's what John Conyers, the sultan of the subpoena, and his Democrat cohorts are trying to do. Dems' threats to subpoena Bush administration officials for the slightest supposed misstep may even have resulted, as Rush Limbaugh noted comically on his program on Wednesday, July 25, in a shortage of subpoena forms so serious that backups have had to be requisitioned from other areas outside of Washington D.C.

I mean, come on. You're issuing subpoenas for Harriet Miers and Josh Bolten? Despite the fact that charges of criminal contempt are historically ignored by federal prosecutors where the issue is executive privilege? I guess futility has never been something the Democrats acknowledged when there was even the remote possibility of doing serious damage to the character and careers of their opponents.

After all, it was clear from the start that there was no way that Lewis "Scooter" Libby would - nay could - have been found guilty, even though we didn't have Armitage's evidence (arguably criminally suppressed by prosecutor Fitzgerald), to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that there was no underlying crime in the first place.


Even following the ugly misprision of justice that the Libby conviction represented, the Dems hadn't had enough. They couldn't get Bush himself, or even Dick Cheney, so they had to find other whipping boys. And "boy" is decidedly the right word for one of their next targets. Attacking Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez is like torturing a kitten. It's something only the deranged even consider doing, and it's an act that only the certifiably criminally insane actually perpetrate.

Never mind that Gonzalez may possess only borderline competence, both in his ability to carry out his professional responsibilities and certainly in his ability to defend himself. The question is not his competence: it's whether he's innocent or guilty of misdeeds in actually doing what his job responsibilities say he should do, which responsibilities include, among other things, to hire and fire U.S. attorneys.

Of course, Democrats, sniffing blood, don't see it that way. Despite the fact that the administration has submitted more than (by one count) 600,000 pages of documents in this case, and despite the fact that by this action he has agruably made a significant compromise in his claims of executive privilege, President Bush has agreed to have his aides testify in private and without a record of testimony being made, Democrats are still not satisfied. That would mean that there would be no possibility of putting yet another Bush appointee through the hell that "Scooter" Libby has had to endure. Issuing subpoenas is turning out to be the Democrats' only reason for even bothering to show up on Capitol Hill, if not, indeed, their very raison d'etre.

It can certainly be argued that the Democrats are suffering from a severe case of subpoena envy, one which may date back to the attacks made by Republicans on the very poster boy of their political and moral malfeasance, Bill Clinton. Whatever the roots of their behavior, subpoena envy represents a serious collective neurosis, and it will prove to be but one more nail in the Democrats' political coffin as the American public comes to the full horror of the realization that they've elected a gang of scoundrels whose sole motivation seems to be to prove that their subpoenas are as large and as lethal as those of their adversaries.


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