Friday, February 8, 2008

The Best Laid Plan

The plan was to look at a house in Seward Park, then drive over to the Obama rally at Seattle Center. T and I looked at the house all right, but the traffic into Seattle Center was impenetrable -- and we tried from a variety of directions. Traffic at the Mercer exit off northbound I-5 backed up at least a mile. Southbound 5 was no better. We tried various surface street approaches to no avail. We eventually gave up and had lunch in Pioneer Square. I did pick up some interesting stuff at Wessel & Lieberman Booksellers, plus we checked out Seiko Tachibana's impressive prints at Davidson Gallery.

But I digress. Early reports of the Obama rally had 17,000-seat Key Arena filled with enthusiastic supporters, with thousands more outside. By contrast, Hillary Clinton attracted 5,000 to a waterfront rally with hundreds turned away. It's worth noting that the Obama event happened during working hours, while Clinton's was after work. I don't know what all that means for tomorrow's caucuses, but Obama has done very well in caucus states.

Meanwhile, Josh Marshall reports on the latest bit of Bush Administration chicanery. In short, the Mukasey-led Justice Department declines to investigate the legality of waterboarding or warrantless wiretapping because, well, the Gonzales-led Justice Department said they were o.k. Gonzales, of course, eventually resigned because of his role in the NSA domestic eavesdropping plan razed his credibility in and out of the Justice Department to a level lower than the Seattle Underground Tour.

This business of unfettered executive power is arguably the most dangerous aspect of the disastrous Bush-Cheney legacy, and yet it's the least reported on. Presidents regardless of their party are loath to cede authority. Besides ignoring the will of Congress via its unprecedented use of signing statements, the Administration has attempted -- with great success -- to politicize the judicial branch and federal justice system to the extent of making them offshoots of the Republican party. An independent judiciary and Justice Department are vital to the functioning of a healthy democracy. It won't do the country any good if President Obama or Clinton regards them the same way as President Bush has.

1 comment:

Renegade Eye said...

I expect the Democratic Party to keep the executive powers, collected by the Bush administration. People have illusions that basic changes will come, with a new president.