Thursday, March 22, 2007
Tony Snow: Executive Branch Can Do Whatever It Wants And Congress Can Do Nothing About It
Markos at The Daily Kos notes that it's
The executive branch is under no compulsion to testify to Congress, because Congress in fact doesn't have oversight ability.
the cleanest elucidation of the "fuck you Congress" theory Bush has operated under the past 6 years.
Josh Marshall thinks the administration is gambling that they can tie up ALL Congressional oversight of the executive in court for the next two years by claiming executive privilege:
Quite a few people have speculated over whether Tony Snow really meant to say that Congress had no right or ability to conduct oversight of the executive branch. The claim is belied by the US constitution and all US history down to the present day. But I strongly suspect that it was no accident, slip of the tongue or loosely general statement the White House won't stand behind.
The simple truth, I think, is that there's too much criminality waiting to be uncovered.
In the US Attorney purge, yes. But that's only the start of it.
The only and perhaps the best approach for the White House is to fight what in military terms you might call a forward engagement, gumming up the very concept and premise of oversight itself in the courts for long enough to wait out the clock. That's what this is about.
I think that's exactly right.
Were I he, I wouldn't count on my 'friends' coming to my aid in a Constitutional crisis -- many were only there for as long as he could still slather them with patronage plum jelly, and most of the politicos who support him have future elections to worry about. If it starts to stink in his vicinity, he'll be as welcome as a skunk at a BBQ, and people who were cheering him on last month won't remember his name. His getting into a fight with Congress might be the only thing that could scotch the proposed presidential library at SMU -- and I would LAUGH and LAUGH and...
No...not so sure. So far there is no constitutional crisis...not yet. The crisis will come when DoJ refuses to proceed on the contempt of congress charges that are sure to follow Bu$hCo's refusal to honor subpoenas.
Oversight is not a constitutional issue, as it's clearly spelled out in the Constitution. The issue is legislation that deals with how the executive (i.e., DoJ) is supposed to deal with congressional contempt charges.
My bet is that his obstinance will collapse as soon as Congress rolls up its sleeves preparing for a fight.
kvatch, while you're correct in what you say, I'm not so sure this preznut and his minions actually accept every thing clearly spelled out in the constitution!
Well that's certainly true. Probably the only way to get Bu$hCo to heel is to slap them with a Supreme Court ruling saying "Bad...bad president!"