Thanks for the response, Old Man Kinsley. I’ll try to type something out here before
the early bird special ends the second wave of documents goes up (which could settle the whole “scandal” issue to both our satisfaction).
First of all, I am clearly more easily amused than you are. For me, the spectacle of the Bush administration searching for its rear using about six different sets of hands and a special, Abu-Ghraib-approved glow stick is entertaining enough to count as “scandal,” though it is true that we don’t know yet if any laws have been broken. I mean, have you read the first batch of emails? Petty complaints! (A favorite: Not enough marijuana cases. Apparently, the GOP bristles at any limits set on its pointless drug war.) Not waiting for bodies to cool! “MASSIVE POLITICAL UPHEAVAL”! Being “happy as a clam”! And that’s before the scandal — er, something — takes off.
Then there’s the cover-up — which you seem to agree is happening, though you doubt there’s a crime underneath. I tend to think lying, in and of itself, is worth making a stink about but then again I think Scooter Libby should go to jail. And I should be clear: I didn’t say if “no one is saying ‘that anyone did anything illegal—or even wrong’ in these firings,” because, obviously, a lot of people are saying just that. What I argued is that the admin has, at the very least, proved its incompetence by managing to piss off veteran Republicans such as Iglesias and Cummins. Best case scenario for the Bushies is that the firings were political, but that’s okay (“pleasure of the president,” etc). Even that situation strongly suggests that Gonzales knowingly lied to — or purposely misled — Congress when he said he’s “never” fire anyone for political reasons. Worst case scenario is that Carol Lam was fired for looking too closely at Duke Cunningham. And I’m pretty sure that’s getting close to illegal. Surely, it’s scandalous.
As for the Patriot Act provisions about Senate confirmations: I am going to have to get back to you though I suspect our commenters will have Googled some data before I have my first martini.
I am, in fact, old enough to drink.