Thursday, April 01, 2004

Losing Broder?

David Broder, "The Dean of the Washington Press Corps", has always been a good soldier when it comes to protecting the image of America. If that means jettisoning the principals of America that is okay, just so long as America as some kind of entity continues to proceed forward in as non-chaotic a fashion as is possible. Thus, after the 2000 election, Broder was a leading example of the idea that it was better for Bush to become President than Gore for the simple reason that Republicans would be more likely to riot in the street if they didn't get their way.

Via Atrios we get the latest column from "The Dean of the Washington Press Corps" in which Broder comes as close as he has ever come to realizing that Bush may be the biggest threat to his precious image of America:

At a time when the American people -- and the world -- desperately need reassurance that the government was not asleep at the switch, Bush has clenched his jaw and said nothing that would ease those concerns. Instead, he has arranged that when he answers the commission's questions in a yet-to-be-scheduled private session, he will not face it alone. He and Vice President Cheney will appear together. It will be interesting to learn who furnishes most of the answers.

Bush was on sound constitutional ground in rejecting calls for Rice's testimony. The right of a president to receive candid advice from his staff members -- and to shield them from being second-guessed by officials of the legislative branch or their designees -- is fundamental. Cabinet members, because they are confirmed by the Senate and their departments are financed by Congress, do have a responsibility to respond to such inquiries. But the president's men and women have only one obligation: to give him their best judgment. Some quit and go public, as Clarke did, when they no longer can support his policies.

I guess "The Dean of the Washington Press Corps" would have been fine if Bush had continued to stonewall the 9/11 commission on Rice. But it is his stonewalling with respect to his own testimony that may be the thing that finally puts "The Dean of the Washington Press Corps" over the edge.

We can but hope.


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