Worse Than Watergate?
You Bet

I know you're enjoying it. Of course I am referring watching Seedy Gonzales get his comeuppance.

But give that a rest for a moment and come with me while I rewind this movie to the beginning. What you learn explains how it all began. And the why and how of this sordid affair strikes at the very heart of who were are or at least were as nation.

What we've learned is that, once Gonzales was promoted from White House Counsel to Attorney General his top assignment was to do use the heavy hand of Justice to intimidate and suppress Democratic get-out-the-vote efforts around the nation.

Suddenly US Attorney's in key states were being pushed to start aggressively charging and prosecuting Democratic get-out-the-vote groups under the guise of fighting vote fraud. When prosecutions did come quickly enough, or at all because of lack of evidence, heads began to roll. Eight US Attorney's, seven of whom had stellar performance records, we fired and replaced by GOP toadies. The message was, get with the pogrom or we'll free you up to pursue other interests.

In all 26 US attorneys were on the White House hit list before the new Democratic-controlled Congress began holding the first real oversight hearing in six years. It wasn't long before those hearings blew the administration's cover story, that those fired were let go because of poor performance. What they did not say, and could not say, was precisely what assignment they had performed poorly on using their power to suppress Democratic votes through intimidation in future elections.

The purpose of this Democratic voter pogrom is obvious. If successful, Karl Rove believed, the scheme could reinvigorate his dream of creating a permanent Republican majority, in Congress. It would, he hoped, become a final solution to the GOP's Democrat problem.

The recipe for Rove's voter suppression scheme was discovered in Florida in 2000. It was a simple combination of ingredients that landed George W. Bush in the White House, even though he lost the popular vote. All it took was a dash of ballot confusion then leveraged by a corrupt and politically ambitious Republican official, Katherine Harris. Stir it up real good, then bake for a week in a politically stacked Supreme Court. Serve hot.

Then came Rove's dry run in Ohio in 2004 elections. Eureka! Ohio was Rove's proof of concept. Suppressing Democratic votes worked. Time to move Seedy Gonzales over to Justice. After all, his work at the White House was done. Torture, secret prisons, warrantless wiretaps he'd given President Bush legal cover on each. Now it was time to move this obedient sycophant to his next assignment.

By 2004 the administration had the federal courts stacked with friendly judges, from bottom to top. And they had seeded federal departments with administration-friendly Republicans. But by then the GOP had bigger problems political problems. Polls showed voters were increasingly turned off by Republican candidates. A growingly unpopular war, an increasingly stressed middle class and early reports of rampant corruption were coming together and turning off , not just Democrats, but independent voters and an alarming number of moderate Republicans.

Suppressing Democratic votes became more important than ever. Rove's deepest fears were realized when Democrats gained narrow victories in 2006, regaining control of the House and Senate. Worse yet the GOP's political prospects for 2008 were clouded when suspicions of Republican corruption became fact. Rove's reputation as the administration's strategic wonder boy were on the line. It was pedal to the metal time for Rove's voter fraud prosecution scheme. Time to let US Attorney know their bosses in the administration meant business Tony Soprano kinda business.

And so the administration turned the U.S Department of Justice into an arm of the Republican National Committee. (Complete with RNC email addresses for those special needs emails.) The maestro of the matter was, of course, Karl Rove. Rove's Consigliarie was the man his boss, George Bush, had conveniently appointed Attorney General -- precisely for this purpose, Alberto Gonzales. It would not be the first time Seedy Gonzales had pulled George's chestnuts out a fire.

The White House's had another important task on Alberto's to-do list -- protect sitting GOP members of Congress threatened by allegations of corruption. And sitting Republicans were in danger real danger of being charge, prosecuted and convicted of just that and by the DOJ's own US Attorney's no less.

Which explains why former San Diego US Attorney, Carol Lamm was near the top of Rove's hit list. Ms. Lamm had already bagged Republican crook, Rep. Duke Cunningham and was hot on the trail of a senior GOP member of Congress, Rep. Jerry Lewis.

While we are just now learning about the Rove-Gonzales suppress the vote operation, it was apparently no secret among senior Republicans in the House and Senate. Some were even active players in the scheme.

Sen. Pete V. Domenici (R-N.M.) acknowledged that he contacted the U.S. attorney in Albuquerque last year to ask about an ongoing corruption probe of Democrats, but said he "never pressured him nor threatened him in any way."... Domenici also said in a statement that he told the Justice Department it should replace U.S. Attorney David C. Iglesias, one of eight federal prosecutors fired in December. But Domenici said the recommendation came before his call to Iglesias about the criminal investigation ... Domenici's remarks came four days after Iglesias alleged that two New Mexico (GOP) lawmakers called him and pressured him about the pace of the investigation. Iglesias said he believes the calls were at the root of his dismissal. (Full)

All of which explains why Alberto can't remember nearly anything when he's under oath. If he could, what he remembered would be a crime a felony to be precise. Some of the 5 million missing White House emails could also shed light on what was going on if they were suddenly found (you know, Hillary Clinton found those missing Whitewater documents on a White House table one day.)

But don't hold your breath. If they did turn up you can bet the administration would throw the blanket of executive privilege over them muy pronto. Because some of those emails almost surely contain go-to-jail quality evidence.

Yesterday I recalled when Richard M. Nixon and gang tried to subvert the American democratic process. During their escapades they violated the US Constitution, abused their offices, lied to the American public and broke a host of laws. Most of that gang went to jail and their disgraced leader was banished from power.

Now I ask now that we know what the current administration has been up to, why aren't we getting the same results? How are their crimes and abuses of power by the Department of Justice and the White House any less a crime? How are they any less a threat to the democratic process? How are they any less prosecutable, and less impeachable offenses?

Because if there were ever an assault on American values, traditions and the very heart and soul of democracy , this is it. If Congress and the courts don't respond appropriately to such a list of high crimes and misdemeanors now, where does that set the bar for future administrations?

Think about it.