The Week In Review
Well, I tell ya, ace, that was some birthday party. I don't remember a good swath of last week, but I do see that I made a few notes about important — or at the very least, amusing — stories to be blogged about at a later date, when I was in a more receptive state of mind. So let's get into it. Because whether one senator's wearing diapers or another's wearing "gay sweaters," something's gotta give.
Louisiana senator David Vitters was the big story at the beginning of the week. First, his name came out on the DC Madam's list. Then, a pair of New Orleans brothels maintained he visited them with some frequency. Then, Larry Flynt took credit for the whole story in a typically slurry, sluggish press conference. And finally, Wonkette reported that Vitters's particular fetish was diaper wearing. All this was especially laughable due to its hypocrisy, what with Vitters being one of those Republicans that got into office on the family values, God-gays-guns platform. Vitters, denied it all, of course, saying that he had never visited brothels in New Orleans. No one believed him.
Sen. David Vitter, alleged diaper festishist.
Of course, other than the blatant hypocrisy, Vitter has nothing to be ashamed of. As anyone who's been to a fetish party or ten can tell you, diaper-wearing geeks are a constant on the scene, as common as ball gags or thigh-high, stiletto-heeled boots. Mind you, I don't pretend to understand the tendency to strap on a pair of Depends and call it kinky, but it is all too common. Hell, a few years back, I interviewed a professional dominatrix at her place of business — a nondescript white home near Andrews Avenue and Las Olas Boulevard. A tour of the place included a jail cell, a courtroom, and a nursery complete with an adult-sized crib. So, the baby thing is at least common enough to justify its being one of the settings in an S&M house of fun. So don't feel bad, Sen. Davey. You're just one of the many diaper-wearing freaks. Let the flag fly. ... of course, you should feel bad about the hypocrisy of telling everyone else that they're a bunch of evildoers for having their own sexual peccadilloes. I'd tell you that you should get a good spanking for that, but we all know you'd enjoy it.
Perhaps the least-noticed news item of last week is that we've gone from 18 presidential candidates to 17 as Jim Gilmore has dropped out of the race. Whatever.
Gilmore Out, No One Surprised
But the campaign whose oncoming doom was most heralded last week had to be that of Fightin' John McCain, who has seen massive staff desertions, is almost out of money and is up in arms about all the gay sweaters his staff has made him wear. ... Yes, Gay Sweaters will spell the end of the Straight Talk Express. Right.
Romney looks like a sure thing on the GOP side now, but no one really likes him. Just to be a smartass, I'll stick with my prediction from back in January that the general election will be a Huckabee/Obama race. I don't really believe it like I used to, but it's just as likely as that 800-pound phony Fred Thompson hopping in the race and winning. Christ, what a douchebag. If you haven't read the first two paragraphs of this Washington Monthly bio on the man yet, please do so.
Yeah, fuck it, ace. Huckabee/Obama's still a real possibility. If McCain, Giuliani and Romney all implode — the first two going up in flames you can take to the bank, though Romney's iffy — Huckabee will look pretty good. It's just a matter of whether he can hold on over the next few months.
Meanwhile, whoever gets elected in 2008, they'll have the War in Iran to deal with, if Cheney has his way. As always, we turn to the UK's Guardian newspaper to read the stuff no one in America sees fit to print. Apparently, Cheney has stolen Bush away from Rice and Gates to his own point of view, which is that Iran must be "dealt with" before someone else enters the White House. Great.
Impeachment may very well be the only logical recourse at this point. Not out of any sense of justice or moral rectitude, but simply out of self-preservation. Meanwhile, the White House is screaming executive privilege from the highest mountains, and people like Harriet Miers are listening, refusing to even appear before Congress. Now that John Conyers has invoked the moldy specter of inherent contempt, last used by Congress in 1934, all that screaming has an answer. Basically, even without a court proceeding, Congress can technically have people who fail to show up to Congress arrested and held for the remainder of that session of Congress (in this case, until January 2009).
Of course, Bush'll probably just pardon anyone thrown in jail anyway — but can he? What's the separation of powers here? Lord knows I'm not smart enough to figure it out.
But to hear the Bush administration tell it, the separation of powers is very simple — there's the White House at the top, and everyone else at the bottom. This story in today's Washington Post is particularly stunning. Just check out the lead paragraph:
"Bush administration officials unveiled a bold new assertion of executive authority yesterday in the dispute over the firing of nine U.S. attorneys, saying that the Justice Department will never be allowed to pursue contempt charges initiated by Congress against White House officials once the president has invoked executive privilege."
The Justice Department will never be allowed? Come again? Andrew Jackson famously said, after the Supreme Court told him that he couldn't send the Indians on their death march to Oklahoma, "John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it." What resulted was one of the most horrific atrocities ever committed on American soil as Jackson thumbed his nose at the rule of law and stood by while 4,000 Cherokees died on the long march to Oklahoma from their ome in Georgia. Bush is doing the same here, only to Congress instead of the Supreme Court. Whether Congress sits idly by and lets it happen remains to be seen. The Supreme Court had no recourse. It could make decisions, but it had no way to enforce them. Congress, on the other hand, has a recourse — it should move immediately to impeach and remove both the president and the vice president. The courts can handle their subsequent criminal trials.