Cynicism

Cynicism runs rampant in this business; a tragic side effect of following the course of political events so closely. Laymen and casual followers of current events grow cynical towards the government because the predominent news stories give only a glimpse into the political debate which must seem hysterical beyond comprehension to them.

For us, it’s worse because we know just how bad it gets.

I mention this because a few days ago I actually extended the olive branch towards one of the most prominent conservative bloggers right now, “Captain” Ed. After carrying water for embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, he finally came to the reality of the matter, all be it grudgingly.

It would seem I spoke too soon, thereby allowing the cynicism with which I hold my conservative counterparts to fester. Coming on the heels of Ed’s reluctant admittance of Gonzo’s wrongdoing, he allowed himself to be made the White House’s butt boy, furthering its message that Gonzo, much like the villain of the movie Lethal Weapon 2, was above the law.

In so doing, he furthers a meme that seems less like any kind of will for good and justice to be done, and instead an excuse to avoid the prosecution of Gonzo, something that would inevitably be a dark and indellible stain on the modern GOP, and one that current Republican politicians would be incredibly hard pressed to avoid. That meme, of course, is that we shouldn’t because then it would solidify Executive Privelege.

What people tend to forget, however, is that one of the beautiful things about our government is that laws are not permanent, and boundaries of power are constantly capable of being redefined. And so it seems that the next portion of this political episode is defined.

As Think Progress shows us, even conservative politicians won’t go on their news network of choice, Fox, to defend Gonzales, or even the gross abuses of Executive Privelege which has prolonged the entire embarrassing tragedy that swirls around him.

In essence, it appears to be that the strategem is to deny opinions of rightor wrongdoing (there can be no good there to be had by Republicans), but instead to focus the debate on procedural issues and legalities. They know what Gonzo has done during his tenure is both wrong and most likely illegal in some cases, but that is beside the point. People, they are hoping, will not focus on that, but instead will focus on how ill-advised trying to “sue City Hall” will be.

Or more simply put, they are effectively melding their time tested tactic of bait and switch with that of ignore until it goes away.

Sadly, this has the promise of actually working, but even worse, it has shown that the Republicans actually partaking in this, and those conservative opinionators acting as enablers still don’t get it. They don’t get why putting the screws to Gonzo is important. They don’t get why we should care about warrantless wiretapping, or politically motivated firings of US Attorneys, or missteps taken in the run up to the Iraqi war or in the post war efforts. They don’t understand why the outing of an undercover CIA officer was a big deal, nor why Libby’s perjury and obstruction of justice should be punishable by prison time.

They don’t get it, probably too cynical to see beyond the political warmongering of their party’s foe. And yes, while I will admit that some of this is business as usual, at stake is something more than pure partisan politics. At stake is the soul of our government.

They don’t get that regardless of your ideological beliefs, the stewardship of our nation’s federal government has been taken down a dark and dangerous road. They don’t get that the balance of the three branches has been greviously thrown off track, nor that to put things right, extraordinary actions must be taken. They don’t even get that if Republicans worked with Democrats on this, not only would congressional approval rise, but the party’s own fortunes would too. People wouldn’t see congress as conducting business as usual, but instead holding to account an administration that no one save a small and stubborn percentage feels is doing the will of the people.

It is the sheer blinding cynicism towards politics and one’s political foes that seems to have blinded Republicans and their conservative constituents to this fact. If the fortunes of the political parties were the only thing that mattered here, then I wouldn’t mind. Go for it, Goppers, defend this Attorney General and this Administration at your peril.

But that’s not the case; so much more is at stake, and I think it’s about high time for these people to pull their heads out of their asses.

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