The revelations in this week's WaPo series on -Vice- President Cheney finally reveal what many of us have believed all along. The nation should have been paying MUCH more attention to the little man behind the curtain. It turns out, unlike the one in Oz, the Wizard of Wyoming IS great and all powerful.
Now that the rest of America has been awakened to this sinister and unchecked "FourthBranch" (h/t to dday) operating within the federal government what are our Democratic presidential candidates going to do about it?
Glad you asked...let's take a look.
Sadly, there's been mostly silence from our would-be leaders.
A review of the candidates websites was resoundingly disappointing as I looked for substantial reactions from our Democratic Presidents-in-Waiting. To be fair, Sen. Obama did issue a press release yesterday saying:
Chicago, IL June 25, 2007
Chicago, IL-Senator Obama today released the following statement on Vice President Cheney's attempts to prevent public scrutiny of his office.
"Throughout this administration, Vice President Cheney has consistently sought to operate in secrecy and thwart rules designed to ensure the public's right to know how their business is being done. I believe strongly that democracy works best when it does its work in the daylight. In an Obama Administration, we will launch the most sweeping ethics reform in history so that we can restore an open, honest government that finally makes real progress on the challenges facing the American people."
Yes, Senator, fine and dandy. But, WTF are you going to do about the current situation?
Hillary? Silence. Someone on her web development team might want to make the site searchable, I couldn't find a Search function anywhere. Practically every press releaseis about endorsements and polls. (I've got lots to say about that, but I'll bite my tongue for now).
John Edwards? Quite a few policy statements discuss Cheney's role in energy and military policy, but nothing (at least that I could find) about the WaPo series. Biden has some press releases about Iraq & Employee Free Choice. Good, important stuff but nothing about Cheney. Over at Richardson's website it was more of the same. The deafening silence continued on Sen. Gravel's and Dodd's websites.
I thought for sure Kucinich, the sponsor of impeachment articles, would have something to say but the most recent press release is from June 8 - and it's about new campaign television ads. A "search" for Cheney brings up four press releases on the Cheney articles of impeachment Kucinich has proposed in the House, but the most recent is from mid-April. NOTE TO HILLARY - even Kucinich's website has a "search function."
I'm on practically every campaign's email list - and I don't recall seeing any of them mention this - yet. I understand this is the last week of the fundraising quarter and they're focused on the money race, but come on folks. Perhaps the candidates are out on the campaign trail discussing this, but I have a hunch they're not. [of course, if someone has information I've overlooked, please let me know and I'll revise the post]
I wonder to myself, what's missing? Intelligence? Passion? Courage?
Is it intelligence? Perhaps the Democrats don't grasp the seriousness of Cheney's outside the rule of law, behind the scenes manipulations? When Harry Reid said a while back, "I'm not going to get into a name-calling match with somebody who has a 9 percent approval rating," he revealed the depth of the Democrats ignorance regarding Cheney. They think it's a popularity contest.
Don't they see? Fourthbranch wanted (and needed) the Democrats to dismiss him as a result of his abysmal approval ratings. While the Dems were telling jokes about his hunting expeditions, Dick was hard at work dismantling our constitutional system of checks and balances, redefining the powers of the executive branch, destroying our military and endorsing -torture- creative interrogation techniques. Now we know what Dick's been smirking about all these years.
The time for "name-calling" has long since past, Senator Reid. Even Dorothy's Scarecrow could understand that. And he didn't have a brain.
Could the silence be due to a lack of passion? The Democratic base is more engaged, enraged and committed than it has been in years - perhaps ever. This has translated into huge gains for the Democratic Party across the nation. But it's unclear (to this observer) that this passion is understood (or shared) by our elected leaders. Like the Tin Man, it might be time to find out if the DC Democrats have a heart.
Or have our "leaders" chosen to remain silent because by acknowledging what's gone on in this administration may lead them to the inevitable conclusion - the Vice President's actions demand impeachment hearings? Clearly, we've got ourselves a pride of Cowardly Lions roaming the halls of Congress and the presidential campaign trail.
We all know how Dorothy and her pals eventually discover their "missing" qualities residing within. And, I'm going to hold out hope the Democrats can find theirs, too.
On Thursday night, all eight of the candidates will gather at Howard University at a PBS-sponsored debate moderated by Tavis Smiley. I'm interested to hear what our candidates have to say about the WaPo revelations.
Now that the Fourth Estate has finally done it's job, it's time for our democratic leaders to do theirs.