From Michael Horowitz:
...As the Bork case led inexorably to the Clinton impeachment, so can the case before the Court profoundly criminalize and poison the country's political process with calls for retribution on the part of many who will never believe--never--that Scooter merits criminal punishment or, God forbid, incarceration...
Are we talking Retribution like a future Ken Starr or are we talking jet planes into Towers?
Like Digby says,
This is one of my favorite right wing gambits: threatening to pitch such a sustained and over-the-top partisan tantrum that the whole country will regret not letting them have their way. For instance, this was the subtext of the Florida recount.
"You thought impeachment was bad... if Al Gore moves into Bush's house we will make his life --- and the country's --- so miserable they will rue the day he took the oath of office. We will never --- never --- accept that Gore won this election. Make it easy on yourselves, people. Do the smart thing. Let the Republicans have their way."
...The media, of course, fed into this with all their hand wringing about how we needed to hurry up and decide because "god knows what will happen if we don't." Of course, we knew exactly what would happen: the right wing would have an epic fit that made the Clinton years look like utopia. I think for a lot of people it was a sense of relief that the Republicans would finally be appeased, (which is, of course, impossible.) Certainly, the punditocrisy sold that idea but instead of presenting it honestly, they wrote columns about how Bush was the right choice because he was a uniter not a divider, forgetting to mention that he and his cronies were the ones who created the divisions in the first place and threatened to deepen them if they didn't get their way.
You can see why Democrats are gunshy with these people. They are thugs, as Horowitz's letter, in surprisingly crude fashion, illustrates. (No wonder they didn't want them made public.) They are saying straight-up that if Scooter has to go to jail they are going to the mattresses...
A comment I think worth repeating:
...It's interesting that when they are called out on anything they have a long memory and seethe with a desire for revenge. There is no attempt at self-evaluation no examining the acts that got them into trouble.
Part of this may come from a feeling of entitlement and part may come from contempt for process.
There is, I've felt for YEARS, among Republicans, especially those from a business background, that their ends are all that count and any opposition to those ends are to be crushed at the earliest possible opportunity.
The nation, the Constitution, American tradition is of no use to them if any of these are a perceived hindrance to their ends.
The tactic they've developed in recent years is that lacking ALL power they'll use whatever they have to insure that the opposition fails. Whether that harms the interest of the nation is of no interest to them. The frivolous use of impeachment of Clinton was, arguably, their most heinous act, the trivialization of impeachment.
I believe that there are some conscientious Democrats who don't want to impeach Bush simply because they don't want impeachment to become a FEATURE of government. The functional crippling of the nation if the Congress is controlled by one party and the White House by the other.
The power of impeachment is supposed to be used to get rid of office holders whose acts are an egregious misuse of power, necessary to keep the executive branch in check. When Republicans impeached Clinton they, in affect, took impeachment off the table and out of the Constitution as a check against an out of control executive.
The Republicans have adopted Leninist tactics and given our irresponsible media and a lax public, I see no way to reverse this dangerous republic destroying trend.
cal1942 is absolutely right.
It will be men like Elliot Abrams and Oliver North who will usurp the rule of law for their party.
Not these particular individuals, doubtless. They're much too visible now. I'm sure among the 150,000 private contractors in Iraq there are many who would be too glad to assume the role of spoiler for any democratically elected government for our former republic.