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A Plague on Both Your Houses (of Congress)


In a season of noble commencement speeches, this observer offers a few words in the national interest.

Dear Members of the House and Senate:

I will be brief and dispense with a humorous opening, for men, women, children and this planet are in distress.

I will not congratulate you or extoll your virtues, because you all  are most experienced masters of the mutual admiration arts.

Instead, let me ask a question.

What was that oath of office to which you swore?

Did you swear to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States?

Yes. You did.

But what have you done lately to uphold that hallowed oath?

You in this august assembly who have defended the Bush Administration’s propaganda, blunders and lies must be reminded that whatever administration holds office, that administration is not the Constitution of the United States. And when an administration defies, subverts or ignores constitutional principles, it is your sworn duty to choose protecting the Constitution over condoning vile political acts and policies.

Of course, one expects Bush Administration supporters in Congress to toe the party line, no matter how obscenely it may violate supposedly-sacred constitutional demands. But what of those, mostly Democrats, who oppose Bush-Cheney policies and actions? Again, that oath you took has been abandoned at a time when it should be most honored. Unfortunately, you have deliberately  chosen to play the Game of Politics at the expense of protecting individual rights and liberties.

How many times has Karl Rove or some other reluctant Bush Administration operative been “invited” to appear before one of your seemingly-endless hearing line-up? Finally, as the magical witching hour of the election draws near, a subpoena has been issued for Mr. Rove to appear, not immediately, but sometime in July. May we confidently expect that his hearing will be conveniently postponed?

It is obvious you Democrats are deliberately stalling. You are avoiding without embarrassment the necessity of holding this current administration accountable for its (and for some of your own) misdeeds. To their everlasting shame, your leaders are as obscenely unwilling to confront Bush Administration wrongdoing as that administration has been willing to abort fairness, constitutional rights and basic human decency in its pursuit of an agenda aimed at destroying America’s economy, reputation and principles.

Tell us, Democratic leaders: Will the hapless Scott McClellan now be invited to a round of hearings so that you all may publicly express how you are “Shocked, shocked, shocked!” by his belated revelations of what everyone has known for years?

Whatever happened to the calls of Republicans such as Bruce Fein, Robert Barr and others for an investigation of Bush Administration high crimes and misdemeanors?

Why are so many Democrats unwilling to join Representative Robert Wexler and his small band of Minutemen and Minutewomen in their effort to “do the right thing”?

Seldom has this nation been so poorly served by its elected officials.

You took an oath, but you didn’t take it seriously.

A plague. A plague on both your houses.

DOUG GIEBEL lives in Montana. He welcomes comment at


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