At one point early on in The West Wing John Spencer’s character Leo McGarry was outed as a recovering alcoholic to the press. When the intern that leaked the information attempts to resign Leo refuses to accept it and tells her that she was doing what she thought was right. (I don’t remember this episode, but I’ve been told about it – so pardon if my retelling is off).
This is a great story to lead into the Bush administration’s response to the recent spying scandal. First there’s the refusal to talk about it, then it was defiantly acknowledged, then my favorite is Dick Cheney saying “Especially in the day and age we live in the President of the United States needs to have his constitutional powers unimpaired, if you will, in terms of the conduct of national security policy.” He is essentially saying that the President acted with powers he should have. Is that not illegal?
So ok – there is a grey area here. Something that probably should be looked into. And today it is announced that the Justice department will be investigating the leak of the alleged unconstitutional acts of the Bush Administration. Going back to The West Wing, that story displayed a remarkable amount of character. Fictional character – but character none the less. If there are illegal acts going on in the White House it is the responsibility of the press and the officials that are entrusted with running this country to admit the wrong doing, address it, and then move on.
“Watergate and a lot of the things around Watergate and Vietnam, both during the 1970s, served, I think, to erode the authority I think the president needs to be effective, especially in the national security area,” Cheney told reporters traveling with him on Air Force Two. It is funny that Cheney brings up the checks and balances that were instituted after the Watergate scandal as if they were a bad thing. The reason we need the checks and balances are to prevent rogue administrations running amuck.
Why is it that republican administrations are unable to live within the guidelines set by the constitution?