Thursday, September 4, 2008

Campaign 08: Biden, Obama to Prosecute Bush?

The preemptive self-pardon has been a hot-topic in the far corners of the blawgosphere in recent months. But there has actually been very little analysis of what each and every American can do to bring on such a preposterous episode. Once possibility: act just a little bit nutty and constantly raise the spectre of frivolous partisan criminal "investigations" of your political opponents for show.

In a recent Deerfield Beach (FL) appearance, Democratic vice-presidential nominee Joseph Biden said that he and running mate Barack Obama might very well pursue criminal charges against the Bush administration if elected in November. Or, more specifically, he said:

"If there has been a basis upon which you can pursue someone for a criminal violation, they will be pursued – not out of vengeance, not out of retribution, out of the need to preserve the notion that no one, no attorney general, no president -- no one is above the law."
But, a few hours later, Biden was asked about "a report that if you guys are elected ... you're actually going to pursue criminal charges against President Bush's administration and different people that served there." The quirky Biden responded:

"That's not true. I don't know where that report's coming from. What is true is the United States Congress is trying to preserve records on questions that relate to whether or not the law has been violated by anyone ... No one's talking about President Bush. ... I've never heard anybody mention President Bush in that context ... There's been an awful lot of unsavory stuff that's gone on ... but I have no evidence of any of that. No one's talking about pursuing President Bush criminally."
Is 66-year old Biden unstable? a clumsy liar? a primary strategist in the campaign to produce history's first preemptive self pardon? Or, is it time to pull out the old Clinton Parse-o-Meter (patent pending) ... let's see, he didn't actually mention Bush by name ... he could have meant any previous president ...

For now, let's just hope it was a silly, immature ploy of the Delaware Senator to steal some headlines away from Sarah Palin and the Republican National Convention. Sure, Biden had to contradict himself and appear a little senile in the process. But any headline with "Bush" and "criminal" was well worth it. And, besides, it's not likely anyone is going to start holding Biden accountable for what he says. As Neil Kinnick once put it, "Let’s see how things work out for Joe ... He is a really nice guy, a really smart guy.”

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