Occasional blogging, mostly of the long-form variety.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

“The President is Always Right”

Updated below

Every so often, the Bush administration drops its guard and the truth slips out. Let me correct that — the truth rarely slips out, but their true attitudes slip out.

Case in point, Steven Bradbury, head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, had a rare moment of cheeky candor today in front of the Senate. Think Progress has the clip and a transcript while Crooks and Liars features only the key line.

Dana Milbank has a good new Washington Sketch on this very Senate session and Dan Froomkin dissects the Bush administration’s current mentality with his usual skill. Meanwhile, Anonymous Liberal has a good post exposing the exercise in bad faith and aggressive denial of reality that is the hallmark of the Bush administration, in this case on the consequences of the Hamdan decision. (Psychosis — it’s not just for Iraq policy, anymore!)

As I remarked at ThinkProgress and Crooks and Liars, Bradbury is clearly irked at being challenged on his obfuscating spin, and takes a condescending tone to Leahy about answering a central question about a (typically) blatantly false statement by Bush. While Leahy may come off as a little cranky to his detractors, his question is directly on point, and Bradbury either doesn't understand the Hamdan decision or is trying to spin it (or both). His answer that "The President is always right" is snotty and may be facetious on one level, but come on, does anyone really have any doubt that he believes it? Bradbury reeks aggressive jock-frat boy and displays an ignorance of the law combined with an arrogant disdain for core principles of American government. (In other words, he fits right in with the other Bushies.)

Whether Bradbury’s ignorance is feigned or actual really is pretty irrelevant, as is the issue of whether he truly believes Bush is "always right." Regardless of his beliefs, his sneering attitude is all too real, and he clearly will continue to act as if Bush is always right. Knowing his true mindset is only useful for gauging the extent of his pathology.

The Bush administration is not run by adults. Bradbury is just further proof.

UPDATE: Predictably, Bradbury has since said he was kdding. It's also no surprise that he and his cohorts continue to push Congress to approve military tribunals exactly like (or very close to) those the Supreme Court just found unconstitutional. Their audacity to dismiss the key aspects of the Hamdan decision is not just an act of bad faith, it's an act of aggressive defiance towards core principles of law. The Bush administration will admit no wrong and will acknowledge no higher authority - apart from what Bush thinks God tells him to do.

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